I wonder if the women who made a fuss over the use of skinny mannequins will be equally upset at the use of oversized models on the catwalk.

I totally agree that the size and shape of most mannequins is totally unattainable to 99 per cent of the female population.

I also agree that watching painfully thin models walk down the catwalk gives young women the totally wrong idea of what a "normal" body looks like.

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Pressure to look slim and beautiful is everywhere we look. Whenever I hear a Karen Carpenter song I think of how much pressure she must have put on herself to look good when she performed.

And to her looking good must have meant being thin. The American drummer and singer was so talented and was huge during the 70s.

However, she suffered from anorexia nervosa and sadly died aged just 32 from heart failure caused by her eating disorder.

A lot more is known about anorexia and bulimia these days and men and women are more likely to talk about their eating problems.

Which brings me to one of the models featured on Television One's Sunday programme. Tess Holliday, is the world's first plus-size supermodel and she is certainly causing quite a stir, not only in the fashion industry but among health professional.
Tess is a size 22.

Dr Brad Frankum also appeared on the show. He was adamant that she was promoting obesity and it wasn't a healthy role model for young woman to aspire to.

He said it was fantastic to see such a confident young woman but "it's not healthy to be that size".

And "you wouldn't send a model down the catwalk with a cigarette in her hand".

Dr Frankum also said that "today's plus size people are tomorrow's disaster".

That's pretty scary. We all know how much our bodies can take when we are young but age catches up with us all. It a tough one.

Tess is full of confidence and says she "feels she represents all the women out there who don't feel comfortable in their own skin". Good on her. I'm happy she's happy.

But our bodies are not made to be supersized.

I think the fashion industry has been a lot better at representing curvy woman lately but surely if you go too far one way in weight by being too thin then you can go too far the other way. So really I think skinny and supersized are just as bad as each other.

In a society that is struggling with diabetes, heart disease and overweight children and adults it is so important to push the right message.

Why can't we have models who are neither skinny nor super-sized? Wouldn't that be sensible? What's wrong with having models who are anywhere between a size 12 and 18? Millions of woman worldwide fit into this category.

All of the woman on the programme had struggled with their weight and had been "fat shamed".

That's nasty people who instantly think that obese people are lazy. People are quick to judge, nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors, what struggles they are going through.

One thing is for sure — a smile goes a long way, it might just be the only one that person gets all day.

■Linda Hall is assistant editor of Hawke's Bay Today.