A 15-year-old girl stood at a rally in Pennsylvania and asked Hillary Clinton about body image, wondering what she would do as the first female president to "help girls understand that they are so much more than what they look like".

The teenager, Brennan Leach, leaned into the microphone in front of a packed crowd at a Haverford community centre gymnasium on Tuesday and explained to the Democratic nominee that Donald Trump's view on women was having an increasing impact on body shaming at her high school.

"At my school, body image is a really big issue for girls my age," she told Clinton. "I see with my own eyes the damage Donald Trump does when he talks about women and how they look." Brennan then asked, "How would you undo some of that damage?"

The young girl's question was the first of the day and left the largely female crowd cheering loudly.


Clinton, who was seated beside her daughter, Chelsea, and actress Elizabeth Banks, thanked Brennan and said she was "so proud" of her for asking the question.

Then she began.

"You're right, my opponent has taken this concern to a new level of difficulty and meanness. And you know, it's shocking when women are called names and judged on the basis, solely on the basis of physical attributes," Clinton said.

"My opponent insulted Miss Universe, I mean how do you get more acclaimed than that?" she added, referring to Trump's recent disparaging remarks about the weight of the 1996 Miss Universe, Alicia Machado.

"But it wasn't good enough so we can't take any of this seriously anymore," Clinton continued. "We need to laugh at it, we need to refute it, we need to ignore it and we need to stand up to it.

"And especially the bullying, there are too many women online who are being bullied about how they look and are being shamed and mistreated and sometimes that leads to tragic outcomes.

"So we have got to be as clear as possible," Clinton told the crowd. "You are more than the way you look."

She finished: "We're not all going to end up being Miss Universe, I hate to tell you. So let's be the best we can be. Let's be proud of who we are."

The audience, filled with parents and their children, roared as she wrapped up her response.

After the event, the Clinton campaign said questions were not vetted beforehand, the New York Times reports.