30 April 2009

Beauty scandal: Andrea horrified by skeletal Miss Australia

Andrea Roche is appalled by the latest scandal to rock the modelling world -- the clearly underweight contestant in the Miss Australia contest who was chosen as runner-up.

Miss Universe Ireland organiser Andrea said that the images of Australian finalist, Stephanie Naumoska, shocked her and she was relieved that the girl wasn't crowned the winner of the competition.

Naumoska (19) was one of 32 contestants who made the final at an event aimed at promoting "healthy, proportioned, bodies".

At 5ft 11in tall, she weighed in at just 7st 8lb which represented a body mass index of 15.1. This figure is below the benchmark for malnutrition and the issue has caused controversy around the world.

"In my 12 years in the industry, I have never had any experience dealing with anyone like this," said Andrea. "With the photo that I saw, it's obvious that her body shape was malnourished. She had no glow, her eyes were dead, she had no shape."

Andrea (31) said she was always "a good size 10 model" and was a size 12 when she won Miss Ireland.

"I never felt any pressure or anything," she said.

"I once encountered an anorexia person at a competition, but they had to be sent home. Their hair had fallen out and their cheeks had become hollow."

But Andrea said the issue has highlighted that the modelling industry does not condone super-skinniness.

"Something good can come out of it because it will show girls how an unhealthy body shape is not something to aspire to," she said. "I'm glad there has been uproar around it. It just goes to show that it is not the norm in beauty pageants."

Andrea is continuing her search for Miss Universe Ireland 2009. The final will be held in the City West Hotel on June 26.

"There will be 30 representatives from around the country and the standard just keeps getting better," she said.