BEAUTY is a job Caity Sanderson learned from a young age.
At just 14, she was a finalist in one of Australia's largest teen magazines and for the two years since has starred on countless runways and in magazines Australia-wide.
Now the 16-year-old Buderim sensation has won a contract to model with internationally acclaimed agency Wilhelmina Models in New York.
"I am so excited for the chance to learn and grow overseas, meet with the different designers and agents and really make a go of modelling as a career," an excited Caity said.
"It is a little scary, but I think I am ready for what is to come and I have been preparing for this for a long time."
Caity will be accompanied by a guardian but knows well the controversy over teenage models.
An outcry was sparked last week when 13-year-old Brisbane schoolgirl Kirsty Thatcher won the 2012 Dolly magazine search contest.
The competition was axed by former editor Mia Freedman just years after the discovery of Miranda Kerr in 1997, because she thought 13-year-olds were too young to enter.
But for Miss Sanderson, who was 14 when she first wore a bikini on the catwalk, 13 was the right age to begin a modelling career.
"I did my first photo shoot at 13. It was very beautiful in a field of flowers. The photographer was great and talked me through the shoot and I felt very comfortable," she said.
"From there I continued with the photo shoots and when I was asked to model in a bikini they were very considerate and never pressured me into anything. I was ready to model at 13. I was tall and I had very adult bone structure, which is the same for Kirsty."
However USC child psychologist Rachael Sharman said 13 was far too young to launch a career.
"This is an adult industry. We don't ask young men to start apprenticeships as a mechanic or plumber at 13 and that is because they are not ready," Dr Sharman said.
"I cannot think of any other profession where 13 is considered an appropriate age to start working in an adult industry and why some people think this is, is ridiculous."