SYDNEY (AFP) - Scores of angry women have protested against the mayor of their outback Australian town after he said fat and unattractive females often found love and happiness in the remote mining community.
Up to 200 people rallied against Mount Isa mayor John Molony late Tuesday, with many demanding his resignation over his call for "beauty-disadvantaged" women to move there to make the most of a gender imbalance.
Molony won the wrath of many over the weekend when he suggested that "if there are five blokes to every girl, we should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa."
He said he often saw unattractive women in Mount Isa who looked like they were enjoying life in the northwestern Queensland town.
"Quite often you will see walking down the street a lass who is not so attractive with a wide smile on her face," he said.
"Whether it is recollection of something previous or anticipation for the next evening, there is a degree of happiness."
He later told national radio that obese women could even lose weight under the gaze of Mount Isa males.
"There's a great incentive because there's that much attention focused on them and they become interested in looking better -- and in no time they just shed it," he said.
Mount Isa woman Rikki Loccisano, who attended Tuesday's protest, said the comments were offensive.
"It paints the women here as second rate and suggests that the men will settle for anything. He has put everyone down," she said.
Molony was unmoved by the protest, which he did not attend because "no one would listen to me."
"I think the women who turned up at that protest rally tonight are beauty disadvantaged themselves and they can't get over it so they attack me," he told Mount Isa's North West Star.
He said while some people were offended by his comments, they were intended as a compliment.
A woman could come to Mount Isa and transform herself "with love and devotion in marriage from an ugly ducking to a beautiful swan," he said.
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