Megan Gale's wise words for new class of the catwalk
MEGAN Gale will shed more than a few tears during the new season of Australia's Next Top Model.
The 41-year-old former catwalk queen turned designer and actress joins the show, now in its 10th season, as a permanent judge alongside host Jennifer Hawkins and fashion designer Alex Perry after a guest appearance last year.
The model and new mum offered hugs and a shoulder to cry on for the show's 13 contestants and admits she often cried when it came to sending one of the girls home.
"I get quite emotional at elimination," Gale told APN's The Guide. "I just hate seeing people cry, especially young girls. It tugs at my heart.
"I would often go up and say to them 'I know you're upset because you haven't won but this doesn't mean you won't have a great career'. Winning isn't the be all and end all."
Gale formed a particularly close bond with Jordan Simek, who reminded her of her own early struggles as a 'curvy' teen trying to break into the industry.
"In the first episode I asked her 'why do you want to be a model?' and she said everyone's told me I'm too big; I'm too curvy to model'," Gale said. "She was made to feel she wasn't good enough and I just started sobbing.
"I could feel her pain because I've been told that before. I didn't expect it to happen, but it was just a moment where I felt I can so understand this girl's head space right now. It took me back a couple decades."
Gale hopes she can be a healthy role model for girls who, for better or worse, are judged on their looks at castings and job interviews.
"It's not like I succumbed and lost all this weight and got all this work," she said.
"I'm pretty much the same body shape I was when my career took off.
"No one ever said to me 'you're fat' or 'you're not good enough'. It was more implied to me - if you lost a bit more weight you'd get a bit more work. Something in me thought 'no, I'm sure someone will appreciate my look at some point' and it turns out Italy did. That persistence paid off and that was very much the message I was sending to Jordan."
Gale isn't the only new face on the show this year; twins Jordan and Zac Stenmark also join the cast as model mentors alongside Cheyenne Tozzi.
To celebrate Top Model's milestone 10th season, iconic Australian supermodels Elle Macpherson, Gemma Ward and Miranda Kerr have all been enlisted to guest star throughout the series.
"Being 41, I was more of the generation of Elle Macpherson; she was a role model for me," Gale said.
"Quite often say to them 'my God, if I had this opportunity when I was your age'."
The 10th season of Australia's Next Top Model debuts tomorrow at 7.30pm on Fox8.