11/30/1998 at 01:00 AM EST
Society and the media bombard women like actress Calista Flockhart with the message that the thinner they are, the better they are. They then turn around and tell those same women they have become too thin! Tabloids run photos blasting actresses for putting on 15 pounds; they blast others for losing 15 pounds. Who exactly is in charge of making these rules? I'll just bet it isn't a room full of women.
Lisa Addison, Irvine, Calif.
Leave Calista alone. You are going to drive this perfectly healthy lady into an eating disorder.
Chris Leicht, Danville, Pa.
I am 5'5½" and once weighed 83 lbs. I landed in the hospital with a broken arm, broken ribs (because of brittle bones), a pulse rate of 37, severely low blood pressure and an electrolyte imbalance. When I was asked "Are you anorexic?" I too said, "No."
Mary Ann Porter, St. Stephen, N.B.
I am 40 years old, 5'6" and wear anywhere from a size 0 to a 4, depending on the designer. It amazes me that people I don't even know feel they can walk up and confront me about my "anorexia"—as if it's their right because I'm thin. The only time I ever gained weight was when I was pregnant. I gained 40 pounds and walked out of the maternity ward two days later in my pre-pregnancy Levi's, which I still wear. I eat whatever I want, when I want. I was born a skinny broad, I'm gonna die a skinny broad. Leave Calista alone!
Kris Denton, Boulder, Colo.
It is not Calista Flockhart's responsibility to gain weight because she is a role model; it is society's responsibility (including the media's) not to make her a role model. Children need to be told that being that thin is not healthy and—sorry, Calista—certainly not attractive!
Sara Gores, Brookfield, Wis.
Calista Flockhart says, "I don't know the exact definition of anorexia. But I eat.... I don't think of myself as too thin." Please inform Miss Flockhart that anorexia is defined by a distorted body image. Obviously she doesn't think she's too thin. The critical question is, does Miss Flockhart think that she's too fat?
Isaac Steven Herschkopf, M.D. New York City
Concerning Calista Flockhart's statement that she couldn't work if she were sick, let's take a look at people with known eating disorders. Gymnasts have performed the most skilled routines while using diuretics and, away from the arena, sticking fingers down their throats and living on an apple a day. People with eating disorders can give the appearance of living a normal life; however, the illusion doesn't last forever.
Angela Pacotti, Minneapolis
What I don't understand is why people think it is okay to say, "You're too skinny. You should eat more." Would you ever walk up to an overweight person and say, "You're too fat. You should eat less"?
Tiffany McCawley, La Plata, Md.
I had the pleasure of living next door to Calista in my freshman year at Rutgers. I knew her to be an honest, caring, fun and healthy person—not someone to obsess about her weight or her looks. She was always thin and doesn't look any different now than when I met her back in 1985.
Jennifer Lomench, Piscataway, N.J.
We naturally thin women may be an exception to the norm, but let me assure you, we are normal!
Pamela Gerhard, Huntington Beach, Calif.
The attacks against Calista Flockhart are atrocious. Why is it so difficult to accept that some people are naturally thin? I say mind your own weight!
Sonya E. Irving, Columbia, S.C.
Dr. Bart Slepian
I am saddened to read of the death of Dr. Bart Slepian, but even more so by the rejoicing some are expressing in his murder—especially Rev. Donald Spitz, who called the gunman a hero. You don't see us pro-choice people killing pro-life people because they don't agree with us.
Jennifer Beckner, Englewood, Colo.
I am very disappointed that you would run a slanted, libelous article blaming the pro-life movement for the murder of Dr. Slepian. Not only do police not have a suspect in the case, but no one who is truly pro-life would murder someone. I am surprised you haven't noticed the plethora of pro-life organizations that have condemned this heinous crime, and that you have chosen instead to stereotype the whole pro-life movement based on one obscure Web site and one supposedly pro-life person's callous remarks.
Theresa Pierce, Fort Royal, Va.
I've just finished reading the article on Dr. Slepian's murder. Not only did it infuriate me, but it made me realize that I am forever grateful for doctors like him because I am a much better mother now to my two young children than I would have been if I had decided not to terminate a pregnancy years ago at 19. It scares me to think what would have become of me.
I am just as horrified by the senseless murder of Dr. Slepian as I am by the horror of abortion itself. This murder is a shame to us all. I hope PEOPLE readers know that there are some pro-lifers who are just that—pro-life.
Elizabeth Nunes, Austin, Texas
What a wonderful idea Karen Loucks-Baker has! As soon as I finished with the article, I picked up my crocheting needle and began working on the first of many blankets I plan on making and donating to the local children's hospital. Thanks for the inspiration, Karen!
Debbe Cardoza, Chicago
I was so pleased to read about Project Linus. I do quite a bit of knitting, both blankets (as gifts) and hats and mufflers (as donations), and I would love to be able to contribute. Please let me know where I can send my warm fuzzies!
Carol Defenbau, Boonton Twp., N.J.
For information send a SASE to: Project Linus, 8223 South Quebec, Unit I, Box 121, Englewood, Colo. 80112—ED.
As a friend of Dominique's, I would like to thank you for your article. It was nice to see a piece that did not portray her parents as horrible people. Granted, they made some bad decisions financially, but it was a family problem, and I think blood proved thicker than water when they came to an agreement. I hope Dominique can carry on with the gymnastics she loves without negative attention brought to the sport.
Heath DuPree, Atlanta
All movie analyst Martin Grove has to do is look at the history of black films in America to see that it is indeed racial that Beloved is not doing well. It doesn't matter how big the star, how good the story, or how good the reviews; the fact of the matter is that white people do not support black films. I saw Beloved in a packed movie house in an integrated neighborhood, yet the only person not of African-American descent was one Asian man. There were plenty of white people in the movie complex, just at other movies.
P. Henderson, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Picks & Pans
In reviewing RFK, my biography of Robert F. Kennedy, in the Oct. 26 issue, Kyle Smith states that the RFK-Mary Jo Kopechne romance is unsourced and related only in a footnote. In fact the story is told in the book's epilogue, and its named source is the late journalist-socialite Doris Lilly.
C. David Heymann, New York City