Dear Jen,

Whilst I think it’s great that you have posed nude showing off what you call a healthy body image by a role model, I also think you may be a bit off the mark. At least on this topic.

You are not an average woman nor should you be seen as a role model for anything other than your great personality, success and career achievements. Let’s face it, a normal woman would not be able to win Miss Universe and nor would they be paid millions of dollars for the use of her face or body.

A normal woman also is not that skinny and to be totally honest, without dieting and training, I don’t think you are either. The magazine article espouses that you are representative of a role model for body image. If I had a young daughter I would be horrified if she dieted when she didn’t need to just to get her photo taken, or injected botox so that she could look however people who have botox see themselves as looking. I know this is somewhat normal in your career choice, but as a role model to other young women I think it may be a stretch.

Think about your size pre and post Miss Universe. There is a distinct difference. Is dieting and perhaps restricting what you eat before a photoshoot what a role model does? Isn’t there a problem out there with young girls and women that is called an eating disorder? Do we really want them to think that someone as skinny as you is what they should want to look like?

Also, I am unsure of whether face is just what mother nature gave you. Your lips are full of something that sure was not there pre Miss Universe and given I have seen you in real life – your stunned look does come in the form of botox, not genetics.

Your Mum didn’t take this photo of you in your back yard, did she? A professional photographer who knows all the best angles and a lighting expert has made you look the best you possibly could. Now a role model is someone we would all like to be like. I don’t want to be like you ( possibly because it is impossible to be as physically gorgeous as you and success for me does not come in the form of celebrity) and I would hope young women would see your body image as unrealistic and very much a result of diet, exercise and a few subtle cosmetic procedures.

Jen, you are beautiful, but as we all know, being beautiful on the outside often takes a bit of work even for a Miss Universe winner. You have not woken up every day of your adult life looking quite like you do in this picture.

Now an average woman I would suspect cannot afford cosmetic procedures, nor would they probably be inclined to do so. They don’t all have luscious hair extensions, impossibly long legs, fake tan, a makeup artist and the best photographers.

They don’t eat lettuce pre a family photo shoot (nor may you, but I am sure you are getting the picture).

You are no more a role model for body image than Kate Moss. You are a role model for your career achievements and I am sure for the nice person you are. A young cheerleader from Newcastle winning Miss Universe – now that’s a role model. You have done what many young women dream of and should be very proud of yourself. Please keep your credibility in tact and don’t try and be everything to everyone. Being you is just enough. A role model for all young girls that highlights what hard work, determination and courage can do. I bet you have done your family and friends proud… just the way you are. No, you are not a role model for body image, but a role model for success and inspiration.

“Nothing tastes quite like skinny feels” – Kate Moss.

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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