12-year-old Maddison Gabriel was selected as the official ambassador of Gold Coast Fashion Week in Australia, a decision that does not sit well with Aussie Prime Minister John Howard. "There should be age limits, I mean...we do have to preserve some notion of innocence in our society," he said. Many in the fashion industry would actually agree with him--age recommendations have been made and enforced in both Europe and the U.S. (although girls are still no strangers to the runways.)
What does lil Maddison have to say about the controversy? "I believe that I can fit into women's clothes. I can model women's clothes, so I should be able to do it." Her mom, for the record, is of the opinion that "[The Prime Minister] does not know exactly what 13 and 14-year-old girls are like. I used to vote for him. We're trying to get our teenage daughters to act older. I am so happy that I've got a daughter who has got a good head on her shoulders." Yeah, except that your daughter is 12. Last time we checked that number comes before 13 and 14. [Daily Mail]
UPDATE: Happy Birthday, Maddison! She just celebrated the big 1-3, so I guess we should let her mom off the hook now that she's officially a mature teenager prepared to deal with all the insane pressures of the fashion industry. Riiight.