Australia debate over overweight models in Sports Illustrated show

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The debate was prompted by a show featuring models of different body shapes

A debate has emerged in Australia about whether overweight models who appear on the catwalk are glorifying obesity.

The debate follows the appearance of plus-size models in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit catwalk show.

An opinion article in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph criticised the use of larger models as “irresponsible”, while a health expert said they promoted a “dangerous” message about health.

However, other experts say the catwalk should represent all body shapes.

The debate was ignited after columnist Soraiya Fuda wrote: “If the fashion industry decides to stop using models who appear to have starved themselves to skin and bones – as they should – they shouldn’t then choose to promote an equally unhealthy body shape.”

However, speaking on local television, Sports Illustrated editor MJ Day said: “We have made a very positive statement that beauty is not ‘one size fits all’.”

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“Beauty is not ‘one size fits all’,” says Sports Illustrated editor MJ Day

Health experts have also pitched in on the debate.

Dr Brad Frankum, president of the Australian Medical Association in New South Wales, has questioned why obese models do not cause a similar backlash to severely underweight models.

“If someone was walking down the catwalk smoking a cigarette there would be an outcry because that would be a very unhealthy message,” Dr Frankum told the BBC.

“Similarly if we send very overweight or obese people down the…

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