Bravo! You have taken a giant step in the right direction. By recognizing the talents and beauty of some successful women who don't look like twigs, you have called into question our unrealistic cultural ideal of thinness. On any given day, one-half of all American women are on a diet and 75 percent are dissatisfied with their appearance. We resort to self-destructive yo-yo dieting and life-threatening eating disorders to achieve weight loss, and these unhealthy attitudes are passed on to our children. You have provided us with examples of women who refuse to starve themselves. Thank you for giving this article the visibility it deserves.
CLAIRE MYSKO, American Anorexia Bulimia Association, New York City
Kudos to you for praising those of us who don't resemble the supermodels who grace our television screens and magazine covers. Having just delivered a beautiful baby girl, I was feeling less than confident about my weight and appearance. How nice to see you glorify real women, allowing the majority of American women to realize that we are the norm.
AS a healthy, red-blooded all-American male (with a very discriminating eye), I believe a woman like Wynonna or Emme has more sex appeal in her little finger than any 10 waif-thin supermodels laid end to end.
ED FELSTEIN, via e-mail
So, what was your point? That it's a miracle these women made it because of their size? Never mind that each of the women you mentioned is beautiful and talented in her own right, you're just amazed that they squeezed through the filter that doesn't let people "their size" in? The issue of fat is the last allowable prejudice in the U.S. As with all prejudices, you cancel out everything a person is, was or will ever be with a label—in this case, fat. You just sold this intelligent, successful and beautiful fat woman her last-ever issue of PEOPLE.
ELLEN WOLF, Knoxville, Tenn.
I would commend you on your recent declaration that size doesn't count, but I'm having a hard time forgetting headlines such as "Sexy Moms" and "How Hollywood Stays Thin."
KRISTIN STECKBECK, via e-mail
I am more than a little annoyed by your article on women of "size." Your idea of a big and beautiful woman is a size-8 Oprah Winfrey? Why doesn't PEOPLE try to break the rules for once? Show someone on your cover who's a size 22 or 24 or 26. We are beautiful people too!
TINA L. ROSSI, Naperville, Ill.
I read with interest the paragraph about designers who do and do not design for plus sizes. When I was heavier, I enjoyed the plus-sized lines by Ellen Tracy, Anne Klein and Eileen Fisher. Now that I can squeeze into misses' sizes, guess what lines I continue to buy? Since Calvin Klein and Donna Karan didn't want my clothing dollars 30 pounds ago, I choose not to give them my clothing dollars now. ELISABETH LOWERY EGAN Oak Park, Ill.
I am disgusted at the lack of respect you gave Mother Teresa. She and Princess Diana died in the same week, and you put Diana on the cover. Yet three weeks later I would not have known that an article on Mother Teresa was in the issue if I didn't read the magazine.
TRACEY RHODEN, Brandon, Fla.
"Di's Driver" gets a blurb on the cover, Diana gets a cover, and Mother Teresa gets a few pages gratuitously smashed in between after-hours celeb photos and a birth-control ad. Nice tribute. I doubt that the people she loved cared that she wasn't tall, blonde and designer-clad.
JILL OWENS, Columbus, Neb.
PICKS & PANS
In Tom Gliatto's review of A Thousand Acres, he comments that Michelle Pfeiffer's "exquisite beauty doesn't go with this rural landscape." Does Mr. Gliatto think beautiful women only come from California and New York? I've lived in the Midwest for 20 years, and there are stunning women here also. Maybe Tom needs to take a trip and see that we are not all ugly farmhands.
KRIS CHAVEZ, Sioux City, Iowa