No stranger to controversy, beach babe Lara Bingle says she is used to copping criticism - just don't call her fat.
The 24-year-old swimsuit model has added 5kg to her petite 168cm frame, but last week said she was happy to have accentuated her famous curves.
And while her weight gain has been hotly debated, Bingle said the extra kilos were actually the result of her healthier diet.
"I used to eat so badly when I was younger - lots of hot chips and pies - and I think it's all caught up with me," she said during a photo shoot for Who magazine's annual Sexiest People issue out Friday.
"I eat so much better now, and stick to a high-protein, low-carb diet, but it's like the healthier I am the bigger I am.
"Without a doubt it gets harder as you get older. I'm just trying to embrace my curves and make sure I stay fit and well."
Posing in a revealing black lace number, Bingle said she hoped the image would silence her critics once and for all.
"I'm proud of my body and how I look and this image is testament to that," Bingle told The Sunday Telegraph.
Despite her defiant attitude, sources close to the model said she was upset by the constant scrutiny over her weight and that she had shown great strength during scandals involving Aussie Rules footballer Brendan Fevola and her high-profile break-up from Test captain Michael Clarke.
"Lara is emotionally strong and physically healthy," one friend said. "She works out, eats well and looks good. How skinny do people want her to be?
"This is why women turn anorexic, because society places too much emphasis on how they look and what size they should be."
Date: 6th November 2011