Topless teen's mum 'thrilled' with photos

By Carolyne Meng-yee

The mother of a 16-year-old Kiwi model photographed topless in a bath said she was thrilled with the pictures that appeared in an Australian fashion magazine.

Ursula Dixon said the creative team who shot her daughter Zippora Seven with 16-year-old male model Levi Clarke got "beautiful results".

The magazine, Russh Australia, is in hot water with the Australian Classifications Board because the Australian Classifications Act prohibits the depiction of nudity and sexual activity of people under 18.

Russh editor Natalie Shukur claimed the shoot was a homage to supermodel Kate Moss and former boyfriend Johnny Depp.

But Zippora's Australian agent, Priscilla Leighton-Clark said she thought it went too far.

And Mandy Jacobson, the director of Zippora's Auckland agency, Red Eleven, said she was "shocked" and "disappointed in the pictures".

Dixon, who was not at the shoot, interrupted her holiday in Egypt to tell the Herald on Sunday that she was happy to place her faith in Russh.

"As a parent, model or agent you don't get picture approval. When a shoot is offered you look at the team, photographer, stylist and magazine. If you trust them, you go with it and trust the creative outcome."

World designer Denise L'Estrange Corbet said she wouldn't use 16-year-old topless models, a practice she described as "soft porn".

"The topless thing is up to the girl if she's comfortable with it and I can't really imagine any 16-year-old being comfortable having to take their clothes off in front of men and a crew they don't even know."

New Zealand magazine Pavement was criticised in 2006 after featuring shots of a semi-naked girl sprawling among toys, and pre-teens posing provocatively.

New Zealand Fashion Week managing director Pieter Stewart said there was no minimum age limit at her event and models aged 14 and 15 had appeared.

She wanted to introduce guidelines for a minimum age but had to discuss it with modelling agencies.

Zippora is on a shoot in Japan. Dixon said she was a role model and anyone would want a child like her.

"She is funny and kind ... a good, loyal and lovely friend to her friends ... free of vanity of pretentiousness, the nicest, most generous daughter."

Dixon said modelling was an "unexpected life turning" for Zippora.

"She still wants to go to uni, but at this stage she is happy travelling the world working with amazing, talented people."

- Herald on Sunday

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