updated 02/12/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/12/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST

Learning how the stars fight fat (PEOPLE, Jan. 22) didn't make the day of many of our correspondents this week; instead, it just made them angry. Several argued that celebrity weight-loss strategies are impractical for the average person; others felt that publicizing such regimens encourages potentially dangerous eating disorders.

Oh, how wonderful. Gaggles of supermodels and superhunks who can afford personal trainers and their own live-in cooks telling me how to fight fat! How about doing it on a budget with a real job?
LISA BRANDT, Hamilton, Ontario

Let's see now—if I were rich, had my own trainer, nutritionist, dietitian, housekeeper, cook, etc. or even a stipend of $1,250 a month, as Princess Di does, to work on my body, even I would look as "perfect" as the celebrities you featured. Unfortunately, I have none of the above. Why don't you give us "normal" people a break and stop trying to set such unrealistic expectations by showcasing people who are anything but normal?

I am a 21-year-old who has been battling bulimia for four years. What disgusts me is that I'm sure 1 million vulnerable teenagers picked up your magazine to see how celebrities stay thin, if not healthy. Then they took all those eating do's and don'ts and carved them in stone. What is so frustrating is that you have the capability to reach people with healthy information and instead you're promoting garbage quick fixes like Donna Karan's notion that "juicing and fasting are the best things to do." There may be a large population that will laugh off those ridiculous eating habits, but there are too many eating-disorder victims who will take those diet tips to the grave.

Suzanne Somers and Cindy Crawford are beautiful women, but to suggest that they represent some reasonably achievable ideal is shameful. It may be fashionable to be extraordinarily thin, but it can also be life-threatening. Distorted body image, anorexia and bulimia are real problems suffered by real people—even by those who have graced the cover of PEOPLE.
The Vanderbilt Clinic, Nashville

It was a pleasure to read your article on Chris Van Allsburg, author of Jumanji and one of our famous native sons. Unfortunately, the article stated Chris was born in "east Grand Rapids" rather than East Grand Rapids. We are a separate community from Grand Rapids, established over 100 years ago.
East Grand Rapids, Mich.

Let me see if I have this right. Ben Wright makes bigoted comments about women golfers to a female reporter (Valerie Helmbeck), and because he denies it, CBS takes his side. But when he was later quoted by a male writer (Dan Jenkins) as having fessed up to making the comments, CBS takes action. Is there something wrong with this picture or does CBS really stand for Caught Being Sexist?
P. MITCHELL, Atlanta

It's funny that Stanley Tucci of Murder One comments about playing heavies and says, "It would be nice to play leading men, but they're not ethnic and bald in this country." What about the leading man on his own show, the excellent Daniel Benzali, who is Brazilian, Jewish and bald as a coot?
ANDY GORDON, Federal Way, Wash.

Elaine Showalter writes of Beverly Hills, 90210, "we expected greater social awareness from these kids." She needs to speak for herself. I don't expect anything profound from the show. I watch it for its entertainment value, and that's all. It's a soap opera, just like Days of Our Lives and All My Children. It's ridiculous to assume any of these are believable and representative of real life. Not every show has to speak for a generation.
SUE CONARD, Spokane, Wash.

Elaine Showalter's review of 90210 misrepresents college life just as much as she claims the show does. As a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, I am proud to say that in my experience students do not argue about O.J. or mourn Kurt Cobain. We have more important things to discuss, like our futures, politics, our education and the direction this nation is headed.
MOLLY B. FUHR, Philadelphia

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