updated 02/04/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/04/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

Oprah may have lost her battle to stay a size 10 (PEOPLE, Jan. 14), but she seems to have won a slender victory in the war for America's hearts, minds and waistlines. Among our correspondents, a small majority—if that is the appropriate description—applauded Oprah's decision to swear off diets forever, while a disapproving minority scolded her for setting a bad example.

Hurray for Oprah Winfrey! She is a perfect example of the fact that you don't have to be a size 4 to please everyone. I am a 22-year-old college student with a weight problem, and I take great comfort in knowing that her attitude is the same as mine. Deal with what you've got, and make the best of it. I couldn't wish for a better life than my own.
Andrea Dalzell
Rochester, Mich.

Three cheers for your excellent story. As a woman recovered from a long bout with eating disorders, it did my heart good to see the issue handled so delicately and empathetically.
Jennifer Netzer

Although I admire Oprah Winfrey immensely, I adamantly disagree with her when she says that "when you lose weight on a diet, you will regain it." There are millions of people (myself included) who have lost weight successfully and have not gained an ounce of it back. We are committed to ourselves and our health, and yes, some of us have problems from the past. Ms. Winfrey, hire a nutritionist and a personal trainer, get off your big butt and do some serious thinking about your health, your life and your well-being.
Almasone Jones

Hats off to Oprah! I know that when I ask men what they want—a yacht or a canoe—they all say a yacht. I rest my case.
Nancy Kasecamp
Frostburg, Md.

Every reputable weight-loss program counsels that diets don't work in the long run and that what is needed is a changed lifestyle. Oprah has chosen not to make those changes, and that's her business, but she needs to know that every day many of us involved in the same painful struggle are making those changes. We can't imagine trading "the greatest accomplishment" of our lives for unlimited buttered mashed potatoes—even with horseradish.
Patricia Haley
Bennington, Vt.

Oprah is an inspiration to all women big and small. Why did the reporter feel compelled to take exception to her nickname, Taters? The reporting was more about her faults in dieting than her vow to "never diet again." May the writers of this article carry the weight gain from their firstborn children for eternity and be endowed with fitting nicknames.
Kim M. Dubuisson
Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.

To put Roseanne Barr in the same category as Delta Burke and Oprah Winfrey is an insult to Oprah and Delta. It is like comparing roses to a dandelion.
Lois Andringa
Hudsonville, Mich.

Gawd! I am so sick and tired of all these articles about the larger female celebrity, and hardly any on the larger male celebrity, i.e., John Goodman, Charles Durning, John Candy, Louie Anderson, Raymond Burr, Marlon Brando. Let's be fair. Fat men should be talked about just as much as fat women. What makes them special?
A.G. Shehin
Madison Heights, Mich.

Thank you for the story on Emmylou Harris. In the article she says, "I decided at one point that all of my fans died of a mysterious disease all at once." I am not dead; in fact I am at home recovering from gall bladder surgery. Believe me, on these cold, gray January days, Ms. Harris's new release, Brand New Dance, brings warmth to my living room.
Gregory Lisenbee
Mars Hill, N.C.

I have just finished reading about the "pack of dogs" who are suspected of murdering Kimberly Harbour. The article mentioned that Kimberly was a frequent hooker and drug abuser, as if those facts make this any less a crime. Then, in keeping with the law, the names of those suspects under 18 cannot be released. Who's to say it wasn't one of the 15-year-olds who was "running up in the air and jumping on her"? Why do our laws protect the criminals and refuse to protect the memory and rights of the victim?
Patricia Lamb
Las Vegas

I found your article about teaching children Japanese ludicrous. I am all for children being bilingual, but let's teach our children to speak proper English before we bring in another language. I am tired of hearing "youse," "yez," and "I don't got none." Let's put English back in the schools and let children learn their second language at their grandmother's knee.
Jacqueline C. Moore
Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

I disagree with James R. Hart's assessment that your article on campus rape was slanted and prejudicial. I think Mr. Hart and other fathers should be concerned with the message their sons get from the article and from our society. Tell them that any kind of persuasion, duress or force used on anyone for sexual contact constitutes molestation or rape. Show your sons how destructive rape is. And teach all your children to act if they hear anyone's call for help.
Susan E. Hunnicutt
Fayetteville, Ark.

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