As Americans freak about the Miss California/gay marriage debacle, Australians are having their own beauty pageant controversy: many are complaining that a finalist in the Miss Universe contest is too thin and possibly malnourished.
Stephanie Naumoska, 19, was one of 32 women competing in the pageant on Wednesday. Naumoska is 5'11 and weighs 108 pounds, which means her BMI is 15, reports Reuters. The Australian Medical Association is calling for the contest to impose a minimum BMI cut-off of 20. But pageant director Deborah Miller claims Naumoska has a "Macedonian body type," which accounts for her thinness. "They have long, lithe bodies and small bones. It is their body type, just like Asian girls tend to be small," Miller said. Nutritionist Susie Burrell insists that there is no such thing as a "Macedonian body type," saying, 'There is no evidence published anywhere to back up that assertion."
Naumoska was eliminated from the competition last night after appearing in a red string bikini in the swimsuit competition. She said she's very hurt and upset by the controversy, according to The Daily Mail. She said:
'I think that it's horrible... they don't know me, and they don't know what I eat every morning or for lunch or dinner,' she told Australia's Channel Nine.
'They probably think that I don't eat anything, but I do.
'I also think that it's very unfair just to all the other girls out there who have the same body as myself.'
The newly crowned Miss Universe Australia, Rachael Finch, is defending Naumoska, reports News.com.au. "It has been a little overwhelming but I've been saying that Steph is an amazingly nice girl who happens to have a thin figure," she said. "Some girls are just naturally thin and Stephanie is exactly that."
Finch added that she is writing a book for girls who want to build a career in modeling that will emphasize healthy eating. She will compete in the Miss Universe world finals in August.
Miss Universe Australia In "Skinny" Controversy [Reuters]
'Malnourished' Miss Universe Finalist Who Is Just 'Skin And Bones' [The Daily Mail]
New Miss Universe Australia Stands Up For Skinny Stephanie [News.com.au]