In July this year 17 year old Tahnee Atkinson won Australia's Next Top Model. At the time there was much 'to do' about Tahnee beating out Cassi Van Den Dungen to take the crown due to Cassi being taller, thinner and seen to have the better modelling potential. Being a size 10, Tahnee was upheld as the new poster girl for 'curvy' girls and women everywhere.
I blogged about how dangerous I thought calling someone Tahnee's size 'curvy' was here and fervently hoped that this would not translate into her becoming self conscious about her size and engage in weight loss attempts. She stated at the time she was happy with her body but now, sadly, things appear to have changed.
Tahnee is fronting the new Bettina Liano curvy jean range and this story on Today Tonight interviews her about her new fronting role. She comes across to me as a delightfully unaffected and natural teenager and I found myself enjoying the story up until the point where Tahnee mentions a recent work trip to New York where she was told she needed to lose weight. Tahnee's response?
No Tahnee. You don't need to lose weight and anyone that has told you so your parents need to ensure are banished as far away from you as possible. It is ludicrous to suggest that someone your size should lose weight for any reason and in fact it's downright dangerous to suggest it to someone so young and clearly impressionable. My fervent hopes now are that you are surrounded by family and other professionals who can guide you towards understanding that no New York contract job is worth dieting and exercising yourself into a potential depression, anxiety or eating disorder. If you or anyone else think that this cannot happen, reading up on the recent spate of model deaths is probably a very wise move.
Stay as you are Tahnee. It is absolutely possible for you to have a successful career in the modelling world and stay the natural, healthy size you are. By resisting this pressure to lose weight not only will you have a much better chance of holding on to your emotional and physical health, you will be able to send a clear message to many young girls and women that you are truly proud, strong and confident of your body and that you do not believe it is necessary to succumb to the increasingly thin obsessed world we live in.