THE fashion industry, media and retailers all have a responsibility to portray positive images of diverse body shapes, an MSP who lost his daughter to anorexia has told Holyrood.

Dennis Robertson, SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire West, led a member's debate on the issue, calling on all fashion retailers to follow the lead of Debenhams, which recently announced that it would be using size 16 mannequins to reflect the shape of many of its customers.

Mr Robertson believes that the exclusive use of size 8 and 10 dummies, reflecting the fashion industry's practice of employing dangerously thin models and the media's promotion of images of them, is a major contributor to self-image problems of young women.

He lost his 18-year-old daughter Caroline to a severe eating disorder in 2011 and his powerful, emotional speech on the subject last year saw him honoured in the debater category in The Herald Scottish Politician of the Year Awards a year ago this week.

Mr Robertson, winning cross-party praise in the Chamber, said: "I am proud to be bringing the issue of eating disorders back to the Scottish Parliament today with the specific aim of changing common practice in the fashion industry.

"It is vital that action is taken on the way we promote clothes and I feel that it is important to look at the consequences of the reinforcement of an unrealistic ideal, which skinny mannequins and models portray, which has continued to dominate the fashion industry.

"Debenhams, through their flagship store in London, are leading the way in the UK on different size mannequins and their summer catalogue also made a display of the diversity in our society."

He added: "It is important to celebrate that diversity because young people can be influenced by what they see in shop windows, magazines or adverts and I hope that many more fashion retailers can follow in their footsteps.

"I do not feel the sole responsibility lies with medical professionals to tackle the issue of eating disorders, and the media and fashion industry must show some action to ensure that young people especially have positive images of the diverse body shapes and sizes in our society."

Labour's Jackie Baillie said that tiny mannequins, catwalks and media coverage all "played into the gender stereotype of the so-called perfect woman, the air-brushed pre-teen body type and unattainable body ideals".

For the Conservatives, Nanette Milne backed the view of Mr Robertson, adding: "Sadly, many young women feel the need to aspire to this mode of so-called beauty."

Health Secretary Alex Neil praised moves by the editors of the Vogue magazine across the world, who are acting on the issue, saying: "The fashion industry can no longer be in denial about the link."