She admits it is as much a learning process for her."I am aware that there are aspects of modelling that are unsavoury," she says.She never misses volleyball practice or church meetings."If modelling goes pearshaped," she says, "I want to be a vet." And, like many pre-teens, she eats junk food by the bucketful.She is the youngest person ever to be signed with the LA Models agency and is being fêted as the next Naomi Campbell.
The agency protects her to make sure she is not exposed to that side of things."As a single mother - "I am not separated or divorced from Gerren's father, let's just say he is absent" - with no other children, Michele laughs off accusations that she is a gold digger.Her steep rise to success began last year when she was handed a flyer for a modelling competition while out shopping with her mother, Michele, near their West LA home. It offered a 0,000 contract prize," says Michele."I told her she was too young to enter but that, if she was really keen, we would visit an agency.Her agent has been told on numerous occasions that she has the presence of Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen and Jerry Hall on the catwalk - all models who achieved their first international success before they hit 16. If anything, we try to keep the focus away from it because people expect some immature schoolgirl." Not all the publicity has been positive.
The fact that a 12-year-old model is in regular work has renewed the argument about whether using very young girls in advertising campaigns or on the catwalk is ethical.
"The girls are often semi-naked, frequently smoking and drinking." The fashion world has begun to take steps to protect young girls.