Melbourne, July 10 (ANI): 'Australia's Next Top Model' has been described as "dangerous" by body image experts after it threw out a size 8 teen contestant for being "too big".
Ashlea Monigatti, 16, said she was "embarrassed" and shamed into eating salad after being excluded from a parade at the recent Australian Fashion Week in Sydney.
The schoolgirl, whose measurements (82cm chest, 63cm waist, 88cm hips) equate to a size 8 on Target's clothing range, said the decision was made by producers and stylists from Harper's Bazaar.
Three other contestants were also ruled off the runway, which will feature in the Fox 8 season opener on July 20.
Body image expert Vivienne Lewis said the program was sending a "dangerous message to women that even being rake thin isn't good enough".
A clinical psychologist specialising in eating disorders, Dr Lewis called for viewer warnings on programs, which broadcast an unhealthy portrayal of women.
But the show's model mentor Josh Flinn has defended the program.
"This is not about negative body image, it's a show about finding the right person for the job. If anything, it's a realistic view of the industry," News.com.au quoted him as saying. (ANI)