A majority of correspondents agreed that the waif look (PEOPLE, Sep. 20) is sending the wrong message to weight-obsessed teens. Others felt we were wrong to run a (discreetly) nude photo of kale Moss on the cover.

  • As a 17-year-old has spent the past two years battling bulimia and anorexia, I become sickened every time I look through magazines and see models like Kate Moss. No, seeing Kate Moss and others didn’t force me to develop eating disorders. But at a time when I was awkward and had low self-esteem, seeing them in every magazine made me realize that, to society, frail and bone-thin is beautiful. Maybe it is, but I’ve stopped trying to please society.

I happen to be naturally skinny, as Kale Moss is, and I constantly find myself apologizing for it. I will never be “voluptuous” or “built.” I use what I have, just as Ms. Moss does, and if people want to deny me that just because I am unusually small-boned and possess a high metabolism, they can kiss my small, cellulite-free butt.

SHERI SOX, Hoover, Ala.

The heated denials from the fashion industry that chain-smoking skeletal models contribute to the rise of eating disorders is contradicted by statistics showing that reports of anorexia and bulimia skyrocketed when Twiggy was touted as the ideal woman in the late 1960s. My mail convinces me that this wave is about to surge again.

CAKOLINK ADAMS MILLER, President, Foundation for Education about Eating Disorders, Bethesda, Md.

You starving young women want some advice from a recovering bulimic? Eat, get up some strength, and throw out all of your fashion magazines, Fashion should he fun, and these magazines should cater to the image of real women. But since the irresponsible idiots running the fashion industry are willing to pay a skeleton $10,000 a day, it is up to us to get the message across. How? Don’t bin the magazines until they put strong, healthy women on the pages. What’s my idea of a beautiful woman? Whoopi Goldberg, k.d. lang, Tina Turner—and me in my new 130-plus-lb. body. You won’t catch the four of us splitting a single burger.

NICOLE VALOIS, Hartford, Conn.

Please! I am 41 years old and for the past 25 years have tried without success to look like Christie Brinkley. I am 5’5″ and weigh 110 lbs. Until I quit smoking, I weighed a consistent 105 lbs. I tried all kinds of approaches to gain weight to no avail. Until I finally accepted the fact that I am going to be thin, I was extremely self-conscious. As a registered nurse, I acknowledge anorexia as a health problem, but I think it’s wrong to assume that just because someone is thin they are automatically anorexic. It feels good to have someone representing the naturally thin in the modeling field. Let’s stop placing the blame for anorexia on models and look in the right place for solutions.

CHERYL VAN LUVEN, Warrenton, Va.

  • If PEOPLE is so concerned about Kate Moss‘ “skin-and-bones” look and whether it is detrimental to the self-image of teenagers, why did you name her one of the World’s Most Beautiful People?
  • MARGARET SMITH, Lowell, Mass.
  • Perhaps critics of the “waifs,” such as Kate Moss, should consider the number of women today suffering from the ill effects of silicone breast implants. Certainly the “supermodels” of the past decade are in some pari responsible by promoting the idea that small breasts are unattractive and unfashionable.

I’ve always considered PEOPLE a magazine with taste and discretion and never hesitated to leave it where my children could read it. Do I have to start hiding it? Your Sept. 20 cover was appalling! Was it really necessary to put a nude model on the cover? Leave that to Playboy.

DEBORAH CANNON, Colleyville, Tex.


Ralph Novak’s review of Boxing Helena provided just another example of how thinness equals beauty in this society: “The chunky [Sherilyn] Fenn never seems gorgeous enough to inspire [Julian] Sands’ passion.” Your magazine placed this insult right before an “enlightening” cover story, “How Thin Is Too Thin?” Congratulations. PEOPLE succeeded in exposing the “dangerous message being sent to weight-obsessed teens” in a way it never intended.


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