Australian Miss Universe finalist Stephanie Naumoska, 19, doesn’t think so. Her teeny but tall frame is stirring up a ruckus, as doctors and dieticians call her "skin and bones." and possibly malnourished.
Sydney model Stephanie Naumoska, 19, was one of 32 contestants from more than 7,000 hopefuls to make the glittering final at an event promoting "healthy, proportioned, bodies."
At 5’11” and 108 lbs, Naumoska’s BMI is around 15, qualifying her as “severely underweight,” even “malnourished” by World Health Authority standards. (For comparison’s sake, I’m the same height and weight 30+ pounds MORE than her.) However, unlike myself, she is of Macedonian heritage, which her defenders are claiming is responsible for her extremely thin body type. (Other examples, according to Macedonia Top Models – don’t ask – include Marijana and Katarina, and they look like pretty much any other model out there. No bigger or smaller.)
Naumoska herself has come out saying she has never been anorexic or bulimic, eats six to eight healthy meals day and “think[s] it is very unfair that I have been criticised that I'm too skinny.”
The actual winner of Australia’s Miss Universe, Rachel Finch, has defended her competition, explaining that she has, indeed, eaten lunch with Naumoska and attributing her body to a combo of genetics and an active lifestyle. Note that Finch is not exactly plus-sized, either.
Rosanna Capolingua, president of the Australian Medical Association president, has come out saying the Miss Universe contest should impose a minimum BMI cut-off of 20. "The most unhealthy part about it, though, is the image it is showing other young women who may view this as normal, when clearly it’s not," she said.
I’m seriously hoping that girls are not still being brought up to view beauty pageant contestants as role models (those of you with sashes, fire away!) But I agree, when a woman struts herself looking like this, and is praised for it (in the form of actually ranking in a Miss Universe contest), it sends the message that girls need to be crazily thin to be beautiful. Part of me wants to believe this model is naturally thin. Then another part of me remembers having an ED, not eating, exercising every day and STILL never dropping below 120 lbs.
Can this be healthy?