With the comments about Beatrice, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, I find myself on the side of Sarah Ferguson (though that dress does nothing for Bea). This is not because I'm a royalist (I'm not), or because I have any great affection for the people concerned (I don't, but then I don't have any disaffection either, I'm neutral on the matter).

Nevertheless, in this case I'm on the side of Sarah Ferguson because of the example it sets.

What do I mean by that?

In the media, healthy is portrayed as chunky and overweight. It's unrealistic and leads to a rise in eating disorders (amongst girls in particular).

Though I don't read these magzines myself (I can't imagine anything more tedious than 'celebrity' gossip) it's hard not to notice the general environment created. we can hear people saying things like 'oooh, hasn't so-and-so got big'. With a constant bombardment one can understand how girls in particular get a poor self-image (stop paying for these magazines, people!)

If I were a parent with a daughter, I would not allow these rags over the threshold. To be honest, I wouldn't want to give these pieces of junk house-room in any event!

Natalie Cassidy (known for playing Sonia on Eastenders) recently did a good documentary on the issue.

By all means, promote being healthy. Promote activity, good eating and so on. However, skinny isn't the same as healthy (nor, obviously, is chunky).

If Beatrice is unacceptably over-weight, then what hope is there for the rest of society?

.... and yes, I realise I'm not a poster-boy for this issue. I don't really want reminding of that, especially when I decided not to cycle to work this morning and wrote this instead - so I'll shut up now.