Is Julia Montes 'too young' for Cosmo debut?

Posted at 10/03/2012 1:21 AM | Updated as of 10/03/2012 1:21 AM

Julia Montes

MANILA, Philippines -- Former "tween" star Julia Montes certainly "bloomed" into a woman, going by her debut appearance on women's magazine Cosmopolitan.

But not a few eyebrows were raised over the teen star's "premature" outing in the magazine.

Montes was recently welcomed to her "Cosmo years" by the Philippine edition of Cosmopolitan by having her as its cover girl for its October 2012 issue.

While some followers of Montes lauded her "blooming" appearance on the cover, where she is seen donning a figure-hugging pink dress, others raised red flags over the 17-year-old actress' "premature" outing on Cosmo's pages.

"She's stunning, but too young to be Cosmo's cover girl. [She] should have waited till she turns 18 or 19. She's a star and a role model to many young girls," said netizen Mitchi Kung in a post on the magazine's official Facebook page.

Marielle Arcala, meanwhile, noted a "mature" topic covered in the same issue where Montes appears: "OMG! Cosmopolitan Philippines just put a 17-year-old model with a headline about orgasm!"

Echoing the same sentiment, Endz Kim exclaimed on Facebook: "Wait?! She's just 17, right? Bakit nasa cover siya ng isang magazine na may word na 'orgasm' sa cover?"

Another Facebook commenter, Chriselle Guno, compared Montes' debut Cosmo appearance to an outing in Candy magazine, a publication targeted at female teens: "Parang Candy magazine. No offense, pero she's turning 18 pa lang. Youngest cover girl ng Cosmopolitan."

A few netizens, however, praised the magazine for finally finding a "fresh" cover girl who has yet to appear in any issue of Cosmopolitan.

"I thought it was Scarlett Johannson (Hollywood actress). Gosh, can't believe it's Julia. I'll definitely grab a copy ASAP," said CJ Baodo.

For netizen Kean Rodrigueza, Montes' "transformation" over time is nothing short of "amazing": "Blooming! It's a shock to see her now cover Cosmo, before it was at Total Girl, Chalk, Preview, Mega. Oh well that's what I call 'Beautiful Milestones'. The styling is truly beyond her real age."

Montes' "beautiful milestones" and transition into a "mature" actress is not only chronicled in the pages of fashion and lifestyle magazines.

An alumnus of kiddie gag show "Goin' Bulilit," Montes portrayed angsty teenager Clara in the 2010 remake of the 90's hit soap, and in 2011, carried over her tween team-up with actor Diego Loyzaga in the teen drama series "Growing Up."

In the same year, she reprised her on-screen rivalry with actress Kathryn Bernardo in the film "Way Back Home," where, for a third time in a row, she donned a high school uniform for a leading role.

Now, at 17 years old, Montes portrays a married woman in the top-rating series "Walang Hanggan."

Proving she's done her role justice-- that is, shedding her tween star image--Montes recently debuted at number 68 in the "Sexiest Women in the World" list of men's magazine FHM.

The list, which ranks actress Sam Pinto at number 1, is the result of polling 17 million votes cast online.

At her age, Montes has achieved more than being hailed "sexiest." For her birthday last March, the young actress purchased a new house for her family, and in June, opened a salon business with her grandmother.

Montes continues to portray Katerina in "Walang Hanggan," which airs weeknights during ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida block.