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Last Updated: Thursday September 20 2007 07:13 GMT

Is 12 too young to be a model?

London Fashion Week

Organisers of a fashion week in Australia have picked a 12-year-old girl to be the 'face' of Gold Coast Fashion Week.

Some people have said Madison Gabriel is too young to be modelling, and even the Australian Prime Minister John Howard has said he thinks the decision is wrong.

Madison's mum has said she thinks it's fine for her daughter to take part.

There have also been calls to ban models who are younger than 16 from taking part in London Fashion Week.

But what do you think?

Is 12 too young, or should someone be allowed to be model whatever their age?

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your comments

"I think that 12 is too young as a child is still growing and may become underweight."

Hannah, 12, Barnoldswick, England

"I think 12 is fine as long as the girl/boy is healthy and not put under a lot of pressure. Also they should be allowed time for schoolwork."

Abi, 12, UK

"I think 12 is way too young. Madison should stay focused on her education and having fun while being a child. She might start worrying too much about this or that, and for now I think the most important message of the day is enjoy life while you can!"

Rachel, 10, London, England

"I think 12 is way too young to be a model. It's ok to have a few photos taken, but I don't think she should be modelling on a catwalk!"

Emma, 11, Chesterfield, England

"If someone wants to do something that will make them happy, why stop them?"

Charlotte, 13, Salisbury, England

"I think that it's ok as long as it fits in with her school work. My friend has applied to be a model and her parents agreed, so that's ok!"

Sophie, 12, Sidcup, England

"It's never too young to be a model. If it is her dream to be a model, she can be one. You don't have to be skinny to be a model!"

Alana, 11, Slough, England

"I don't see why, if boys younger than 12 can sign for football teams and live their dreams, girls who want to be models shouldn't be allowed to live their dreams!"

Rebecca, 10, Edinburgh, Scotland

"I think 12 should be the lowest age. If she wants to be a model and they think she's got talent, let her."

Tassie, 11, Ely, England

"It is way too young! What kind of message is it sending out to other 12 year old girls? Be really skinny and let fashion get in the way of childhood?"

Alice, 10, Harlow, UK

"I think it is disgraceful! Children that age shouldn't be allowed. And I don't think her mum should agree with it."

Grace, 11, Warrington, England

I think 12 is quite young, but with support from a guardian this is a completely safe job, the same as a young actress or singer."

Rosie, 13, Colchester, England

"I think it would be lovely to be a model at the age of 12. As long as you stay healthy and concentrate on education it is ok."

Emily, 9, Leeds, England

"I would love to be a model at the age of 12. I think that Madison should jump for the chance as it will bring her a brilliant career in the future. If this is what would make her happy and her parents think it is ok then why should anyone stop her?"

Francesca, 12, Manchester, England

"I think 12 is too young to model because you would want to become really skinny."

Isabel, 11, New Ross, Ireland

"It is way too young! What kind of message is it sending out to other 12-year-old girls? 'Be really skinny and let fashion get in the way of childhood'?"

Alice, 10, Harlow, England

"I think that 12 is far too young to be a model. For a start, some models hardly eat anything to keep skinny and it would be a terrible example for other young girls to think that you can't eat anything to look like a model. I also think that models are under a lot of stress and when you're 12 you're only a child. Too much stress isn't good for you."

Lily, 11, Nottinghamshire, England

"I think she is too young to be modelling because if she is so obsessed about modelling she will not concentrate on her education. Her education will be her second priority."

Sasha, 11, Cardiff, Wales

"I doubt that anyone aged 12 would be mature enough to cope with the pressure of being a model. We hear of 25-year-olds who can't cope. What's to say a girl at such a young age will be any different?"

Chloe, 13, Derby, England

"Well done for getting your dream completed so early. As long as you are healthy and keep up with your studies it is fine. Anyway it's her life and her decision."

Alice, 13, London, England

"Give the 12-year-olds a break. If they want to be models, let them, it doesn't have anything to do with anyone else."

Lucy, 12, Harrogate, England

"I think 12 is way too young and she should be doing the things that most 12-year-olds do."

Caitlin, 11, Newport, Wales

"I think that children should be allowed to do what they want to do. If that's in modelling they should be allowed to do so."

Fern, 11, London, England

"As long as she knows what's ahead of her I think it's OK! When I was 12 I just wanted to hang out with my friends... it's weird!"

Orlaith, 13, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

I'm 12-years-old and I can't imagine wanting to be famous. I mean imagine that your trying to have a good time with your mates and your being watched. And then people go: Oh can I have your photo... Urgh frustrating!

Anna, 12, Grantham, England

It's really up to the person involved. If Madison wants to model and her parents think it's ok then yes it's fine. A lot of people are probably saying 12 is too young to be a model because their jealous. Madison is 12, she is old enough to make her own decision. It's her own life, leave her alone people!

Eleanor, 12, Galway, Ireland

"12 is really young but she should follow her dreams. It should be up to her and her parents!!"

Laura, 11, Glasgow, Scotland

"I think anyone can be a model whatever their age."

Lydia, 10, Erith, England

"As long as she and the parents are happy about it I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. She is sending out a message to the whole world that kids can do this as well as adults! She'll be the talk of the whole show, and good for her!"

Alice, 12, Wilmington, England

"Yes, you should be allowed to be a model at any age."

Gabi, 9, London, England

"I think that 12 is too young to be a model because you should make the most of the childhood you have."

Rebecca, 11, Sneyd Green, England

"It's not a good thing because it makes younger people worry about how they look!"

Sana, 12, Blackburn, Lancashire

"I think it is okay as long as she eats well and isn't underweight. Then it is fine, I wish I was her!"

Louisa, 13, Eastbourne, England

"Even though I would love to be a model myself, I think that 12 is still way too young. I mean, come on. She'll never have any time to herself. It'll all be "Madison we need you at such-and-such a time at such-and-such a place" day after day after day. My friend used to be an amateur model and she quit because it was cutting into schoolwork and she was always so tired that she kept collapsing and throwing up. So I think that 12 is far too young."

Kate, 11, Formby, England

"I think 12 is not too young to be a model. I wanted to be a model when I was eight and I still want to be a model."

Amy, 10, Glasgow, Scotland

"I think that it depends. A 12-year-old shouldn't be a runway model for adult clothes, but it's fine if they do photo shoots. It's like a 12-year-old pretending to be 16..."

Sam, 13, NY, USA

"I think it doesn't really matter what age you are when you do modelling, as long as it's appropriate. But then if you're making yourself thin then you shouldn't be allowed to do modelling. But naturally thin people should not be labelled as a SIZE ZERO!"

Hannah, 13, Tisbury, England

"I'm 12 and I can't imagine anyone my age strutting down a catwalk and going to castings and everything!"

Hayley, 12, Musselburgh Scotland

"I think 12 isn't too young to be a model. I think you can be any age to be a model!!!!!!!!!!"

Daniela, 9, Ealing England

"I would love to be a model. All my friends think it's a stupid dream, but I love fashion, and not just high street. I don't think I am ready for that world yet. It's all comments, and if you are affected by them, they hurt you."

Mickie, 12, The Hague Netherlands

"I don't think 12 years old is too young because at the end of the day it is your choice if you want to be a model."

Melody, 10, London, England

"I think 12 is too young because it would be hard to stand all the pressure of being a model and going to school at the same time."

Georgia, 11, Derby, England

"I think 12 is an okay age to be a model. If somebody has a good body than I don't see why they can't be models. I think the Australian Prime Minister is over exaggerating and needs to take a chill pill. He's probably just jealous because he isn't a model. I should be a model and an actress and a singer. I'll probably win the X Factor when I'm 14."

Millie, 11, Exeter, England