Tween models, the circus continues.

12 year runway model, Maddison Gabriel struts her stuff as “the official ambassador of Gold Coast Fashion Week” in Australia. 

Her mum is beamed with delight! Prime Minister John Howard flipped his wig.

But highly mature “Maddy” remained calm, cool, and collected in light of the ongoing circus. She did a fabulous job strapping on her string bikini and other revealing outfits for the Queensland event.


But it doesn’t stop there….a 15 year old on the cover of Vogue sends shock waves through the community! A child? Modeling for an adult magazine? How dare they!


News flash: This is nothing new.

This kind of cracks me up, everyone is freaking out over something that’s been going on for decades. When I was recruited to Paris at 16, my models apartment was filled with tween beauties from around the world. No one gave a rip. In fact, we were admired far and wide.

Did you ever wonder how we were actually allowed to work? Black market. Really. Sounds so seedy doesn’t it?

We got into Paris with a regular tourist visa, who the hell knows how the agency justified our wages. I do recall some sort of bust going on, and I had to spend the day waiting in line in a grungy Paris government agency. My booker did all the talking so I really have no clue what transpired, for all I know she could have said I was her daughter. Anyway, we left with paperwork that allowed me to continue working.

Don’t tell anyone, but Adidas hired me to pose as the “mom” in a tennis ad. Kind of freaky when you are 16, the “dad” is 18, and they bring in two little kids to be your “children.” Oh, what a happy little family we were. Good times.

Bottomline, I am glad attention is being drawn to this issue, because this, along with the size 0 bullshit, this tells me we may actually be getting somewhere with taming an industry that has been way out of control for too damn long.


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23 Responses to Tween models, the circus continues.

  1. Nats says:

    This cannot be right?!!! Its crazy!! 15 year olds on the cover of vogue? Next u will be telling me that a 8 year old is advertising tampax!!!

  2. Josie says:

    Doesn’t surprise me much… not much can anymore really.

    Also doesn’t surprise me too much about you being a “mom” … those model families always look so terribly mismatched and unnatural.

  3. Sass1948 says:

    i agree about the model families lookin mismatched too.

    and yeah looks like more atention is bein drawn to this all the time. yey :-)

  4. Sarah says:

    i’m sorry to always play devil’s advocate but if clothes look better on someone with no curves (which in MY opinion they do…) then why isn’t it ok for a younger girl to be modelling them? if the clothes you wanted to by were being modelled on a 200 pound woman would you want to buy them? no. i guess i’m not sure of anyones definition of healthy. most runway models are around 6 ft tall.. i don’t think its “unhealthy” for them to weight under 130. am i saying over that is fat? no. just for modelling clothes. is this weird and unrealistic for my part? maybe i’m bias because i’m in the industry.

  5. Elle says:

    The whole “clothes look beter on girls without curves” concept confuses me. I am underweight for my height at 130lb and 5′ 11″ and I do want to be a lower weight. (I won’t go into how messed up I am to want this) However, I still think woman with curves look much better in clothes than women who are completely flat. Frankly, mamaV’s examples of models at Fashion Week are good example of how bad many of these clothes look on these super thin models. They can’t fill them. That was a very true comment from mamaV in that post.

    I think comparing a 6′ tall woman who is 120lbs and one who is 200lbs is comparing apples to oranges. 200lbs is unhealthy on the other side of the spectrum and no one should be promoting that lifestyle either. But a 6′ 145lbs woman with muscle tone is much closer to the “average build” (though still taller than average), but she is healthy and fit and still thinner than most.

    When I see clothes on a girl without any figure, I almost immediately think to myself that they would not look good on me. The advertisement has the opposite affect. I couldn’t buy the clothes unless I was built like that. Why do they design clothes for and display them on the 99.9 percential for thinness? How does this sell clothes? Do most women think that if they wear the clothes they will look that skinny? These are honest and open questions to everyone.

    I wonder what percentage of these young models keep their figures after puberty as Sarah has. This is also an honest question. For me puberty meant very sudden growing of hips and breast. Wide hips run in my family, but so does slimness. All the women in my family are slim. However, even at my lowest weight (120lbs, I think, which would be a 16.3 bmi) I had 37in hips which are above the modeling industry standard which I understand is a 36in max for fashion models. So, is my wide hip build abnormal or normal? I’m honestly curious. Because I truely still can’t believe that a 5′ 11″ woman could EVER be a size zero. I don’t think it is physically possible for me because of my bone structure.

  6. Michelle says:

    Ok.. if these young pre-teens are modeling women’s clothing.. there is something wrong.

    If the clothes are for women, why aren’t women able to model in them?
    I don’t mind young models, if they model younger generation of clothing.
    Doesn’t that make sense?

    Babies model baby clothes…
    babies don’t model 20 year old clothes.. that would just look weird.. right?

    So why are 15 year olds modeling clothes geared towards 30 year olds?

  7. Sarah says:

    that’s why models are tall and i don’t know about you but i don’t want to wear clothes i saw modelled by a 30 year old. 13 is young for some, but I was already 5’9 and extremely mature at 13, plus.. i think she looks older. if you didn’t know. you’d at least think she was 16 and it wouldn’t be a big deal. i’m sorry buti’m extremely into fashion and as a model since 15 I’m taking offense. i think we need a new post. the fashion industry doesn’t create eating disorders for the girls who idolize models. the industry isn’t in charge of “wannarexics.” is anyone with me here?????

  8. Nats says:

    Sorry Sarah but I am not with you on this one. I think the modeling industry is partly to blame for eating disorders amongst models and they are certainly to blame for not doing anything about them. The models are their responsibility especially at the age of 12!!

  9. Jennifer says:

    Did anyone here watch Model Life on TLC?

  10. Josie says:

    Elle – with you again.
    I’m actually 6′ and 146lbs at recovery weight. If i was properly proportioned, rather than sick-looking and ED-ravaged then i’d be quite thin and probably the right shape and size for modelling.
    Being that weight/height doesn’t make a person healthy though, of course, just like being thin isn’t neccessarily unhealthy.

    Sarah – sorry, not agreeing. Everything in our society, including modelling, advocates the thin=everything myth, which causes and continues EDs and unneccessary dieting. Models are far from the sole cause, but they are one of many.

  11. Rachel says:

    Sarah – sorry, not with you on this one at all. I believe that you look through a lens of bias when it comes to this subject, and this has been proven time and again.

    You may have been mature, 5’9″ at 13, but I was still only around 5″ and I did not grow boobs until I was 18. The fashion industry does play a key role in providing an un-ideal body standard for the young ladies out there. The problem is that it is so warped, and so deeply seeded into our culture that many, such as yourself, do not see it as a problem.

    The girl is 12 years old. Modeling clothes for adults. Period. The industry has been out of control for way too long and in doing so has created an incredibly warped sense of fashion and body image. I’d rather look at models who actually fill their clothes out and look more realistic than walking popsical sticks and walking cadavers. Show me women that actually resemble the average populous. It *IS* quite possible to design chic, sexy clothing for the average woman. If the modeling industry would see this and actually showcase clothes that look good on the AW, then that would be an important step in fixing our overall really F—ing warped relationship with our bodies, and more importantly, our health.

    It is my humble opinion that the clothing designers are lazy and would rather have their fabric hanging off of a hanger than putting the extra thought into designing clothes for a real woman.

    And Josie – I’m definitely with you on this one.

  12. Jane says:

    Sarah – why are you taking offence? I don’t see how you can say that it’s okay for these kids to be modelling clothes that have been designed for women twice their age. I am offended by the modelling industry. I am offended and rather disgusted by their obvious disregard for the rights of these children. How the hell can you say that it’s okay for this to be going on…???

  13. Rhanza says:

    As an Australian, I’m disgusted that exploitation such as this is allowed. SHE JUST TURNED 13. Her ridiculously ‘proud’ parents should be protecting her! If she wants to model, fine, but she should model for her own age-group. What’s going to happen when she hits puberty and most-likely sprouts womanly curves? She’ll be dumped fast unless she staves and excercises herself to death. Of course, there is the possibility that she has a naturally scarily thin body shape.

    MamaV, what do you think should be done? I’m starting to think that Child Abuse is an accurate term to describe what this girl is going through. She claims she wants to model, but do most 13 year olds have the maturity to decide for themselves? I believe anyone under 16 should not be allowed to model adult clothes, period. However, I don’t think that this will happen anytime soon.

    Another issue this subject links into is Pedophilia. How many pedophiles would be lusting after this girl? Don’t try to tell me that she looks older than 13, because she doesn’t and it shouldn’t matter even if she did look older.

    Australia (Queensland more specifically), you have made me ashamed to be an Australian.

  14. Elle says:

    Sarah, you are on the wrong site if you think you’re going to get much support for the fashion industry.

  15. Nats says:

    I agree elle, sorry sarah I wont back anything to do with the fashion industry

  16. Rachel says:

    The fashion industry is bullish and will sink it’s teeth into any bony morsel it finds, that is why I offer it no support. What. So. Ever.

    Things need to change. Biased attitudes like the industry’s do us no good.

  17. Nats says:

    here here rachel xx

  18. Vanessa says:

    haha. even i have nothing good to say about the fashion industry. and i usually have something to nitpick about absolutely everything on this site.

  19. Nats says:

    yep thats true!! lol

  20. Saye Nao says:

    Just WTF. When are they going to stop? Have some REAL grown up women grace the covers, ads, etc. Women’s magazines are still so … messed up.

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  22. Kristi says:

    It’s hilarious to hear you rant about all these skinny girls and then preach anti-ana and anti-mia lifestyles, and no one is trying to push their beliefs on you. The way you go on and on about how you were once a model just makes you sound jealous of thin women and desperate to fit into a smaller size, and going against it is a way to make it “evil” in your mind. NO ONE is trying to make you PRO ANA so stop trying to push YOUR BELIEFS on others.

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