Australia's Miss Universe contest, which bills itself as an event that promotes "healthy, proportioned bodies", has been accused of allowing a finalist who doctors complain is "skin and bones" and dangerously underweight.
The annual national beauty competition has been criticised for picking Stephanie Naumoska, 19-year-old Sydney model, from more than 7,000 hopefuls to make it into the final.
But instead of the accolades and attention lavished on most finalists, Miss Naumoska's skinny frame drew murmurs of concern from heath professionals when she appeared on stage during the swimwear category on Wednesday night.
Dietitians, shocked by her skinny frame, warned Miss Naumoska, who is 5 ft 11in tall, weighs just 108lbs and has a body mass index of just 15.1, was too thin to be held up as an example of a healthy body type and may need medical attention.
Melanie McGrice told the Sydney Daily Telegraph that Miss Naumoska was well under the official World Health Authority 18 benchmark for malnutrition.
"She would be categorised as underweight and I would certainly want to be doing an assessment of her diet to make sure she doesn't have some type of eating disorder," she said.
"She needs blood tests, diet analysis and an overall assessment."
The debate quickly spread to the Australian media, and pictures of the gaunt teenager posing in a red string bikini, her rib cage and hip bones clearly visible under her skin, were published in the local press beneath the headline: Bony or beautiful?
Australian politicians have even been drawn into the issue. Carmel Tebbutt, the New South Wales acting premier said celebrating Miss Naumoska's body type in a glamorous competition sent the wrong message to young women.
"What we just need to work on is making sure that in the media we have a broad representation of women of different ages, different body types," she said.
"And we encourage girls – and young women – to aspire to be healthy, rather than look toward fitting one particular body image." But the claims Miss Naumoska was too thin for the contest were rejected by pageant organisers.
Deborah Miller, director of the Miss Australia contest said Miss Naumoska, who was eventually beaten in the final by Rachel Finch, a 21-year-old television presenter and model, blamed "Macedonian heritage" for her extreme thinness.
"They have long, lithe bodies and small bones. It is their body type, just like Asian girls tend to be small," Ms Miller said.
"So she does not have an eating disorder, there is nothing wrong with her."
However, nutritionist Susie Burrell said there was no such Macedonian body type.
"There is no evidence published anywhere to back up that assertion," she told the paper.
"From examining photographs there does appear to be significant muscle wasting on the upper arm and legs.
The Australian Medical Association, which represents Australian doctors, has called on contest organisers to impose a minimum BMI cut-off of 20.
Miss Naumoska has so far refused to speak to media. She was beaten in the final by Rachel Finch. who won over the judges despite getting tongue-tied during the Q&A section of the contest.
Asked to name the greatest challenges facing the government, she said "a variety of things" before settling on healthy living.