MOUNT ISA, Australia, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The mayor of an Australian mining town says "beauty-disadvantaged" women who see themselves as ugly ducklings could turn into swans in his town.
"May I suggest 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," Mayor John Molony told The Australian.
The town's population of women ages 20 to 24 dropped from 994 in 1996 to 819 10 years later.
Molony said women who come to Mount Isa might develop other qualities that would bring them -- and their men folk -- happiness. As he said, "beauty is only skin deep."
Some young men in the town seemed dubious. Paul Woodlands, a 25-year-old construction worker, said the problem is that traditional women's jobs in the town, like hairdressing, do not pay as well as the men's jobs -- or as well as they do in the big cities.
"I know a few women who have come out here to do hairdressing, but they left to go back to the coast because the pay was bad and there's not much to do," Woodlands said.