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Amidst controversy, pregnant model walks the runway

Sep. 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM ET

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Sexy mama: Italian model Raffaella Fico presents a creation by Pin-Up Stars during Milan Fashion Week on Sept. 22.

The unique model trend continues! First there were senior citizens, then inspiring acne-faced YouTube stars, and now a pregnant Italian model — currently in the middle of a paternity battle with her ex-boyfriend— walked the runway at Milan Fashion Week on Saturday.

Six-months-pregnant Raffaella Fico, 24, braced the catwalk in a teensy bikini for Italian swimwear line Pin-Up Stars. Her bold modeling move inspired a wide range of reactions: Some applauded her bravery to show off a pregnant body, while others found it distasteful.

“That just screams ‘I'm desperate to stay relevant under any circumstance’” wrote one commenter on the Huffington Post, while others chimed in that she looked “glorious” and  “incredibly beautiful.” 

Some, interestingly, appreciated that she wasn’t just sitting at home throughout her pregnancy:

“Hey, it was Fashion Week and she is a model, which means she is a working mom, and she looks great.”

While I have no problem with a future mama shaking what her mama gave her, I do take issue with that bikini. The top’s nipple-centric design ain’t all that subtle, is it?

As for Fico, the model has been quite the tabloid fixture of late as her ex-boyfriend, Manchester City soccer star Mario Balotelli, demanded a paternity test after she announced her pregnancy earlier this summer. The couple had broken up in April. In a statement this June, Balotelli didn’t soften the blow, as he accused the model of hiding and then trying to make moneyoff her pregnancy news:

"Raffaella knows well that since we parted company with one another that I had, and have, no intention of returning to her… A few days ago I came to learn from others that Raffaella was pregnant… I am very disappointed. I do not think it's normal not to know anything until the fourth month [of the pregnancy].

I do not understand why she did not contact me immediately to tell me something of such importance.”

In response, Fico told Italy’s Chi magazine that she was “deeply hurt” by her ex’s accusations.

“This child I desire with all my heart and I want it because it is not a child that arrived by chance but instead it is the fruit of love between two people and you know well what I am talking about... I find it unfair on your part that you wrote (if you indeed did write it) the insinuation that I was cashing in on the birth of our child.”

What do you think of Fico's modeling move? Let us know!

Rina Raphael is a TODAY editor who still prefers the safety of a one-piece bathing suit.

Image: Celebrity Sightings In New York City - June 21, 2011
Ray Tamarra
They may be some of the world’s most beautiful women, but at home they are known more as moms than models. Check out how these busy women spend their time when they are not busy posing in front of the cameras.

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