I am writing in reference to Gene Weingarten's essay titled "Hubby's Perfect Gift for the Little Woman" [Style, Jan. 4]. I can certainly sympathize with men who are trying to choose a garment for the woman in their lives--often armed with only a numbered size. In addition, I can see the humor in receiving such an inappropriate gift. But I object to the columnist's use of insults to describe large women and their clothing. Phrases such as "Fat Women's Section," "behemoth" and "tea cozy for your average garbage can" indicate a marked insensitivity bordering on contempt toward large women. By the way, is any size larger than a misses' 4 too large? No wonder some teenage girls go to anorexic extremes to be fashionably thin. Who would want to be insulted by the morning paper as well as by one's peers? I am very disappointed to see such insults in today's changing social climate.

--Nanette Wahnish

I wonder if Gene Weingarten has any idea how offensive his "humorous" essay was to a majority of the female population of this country.

His remarks were all the more insulting and demoralizing because they apparently were spoon-fed to him by his "size 2" wife. That's just what every size-14-plus woman needs to start off the new year--a swizzle stick of a woman (and her undoubtedly thin daughter) having a good laugh at the expense of the rest of us.

Kindly inform the Weingartens that by today's dress-size standards, Marilyn Monroe would be a size 16, and she was neither a "behemoth" nor a "linebacker."

--Karen Schwartz

Is it really newsworthy to report that Elizabeth Hurley thinks that Marilyn Monroe was fat and that if Hurley were ever that fat, she would kill herself [Names and Faces, Dec. 31]?

Shame on you for reporting such rubbish. As someone who has witnessed the devastation of eating disorders perpetuated by comments such as this, I believe it is irresponsible for your paper to report such moronic and damaging news items. Our culture already has a narrow beauty ideal, and it's enough that societal pressures dictate a woman be thin in order to be be beautiful. We don't need your paper contributing to the negative self-image that so many of our young girls are facing.

--Eva M. Lucero

So fat women are fair game at your paper? Well, Gene Weingarten et al., here's a little food for thought:

More American women are size 14 or larger than are size 4 or smaller. Therefore, larger women are in fact average-sized--not fat.

It's ironic that your newspaper shoves political correctness down our throats each and every morning and then in the same breath bashes women who aren't a size 2 or 4.

How dare you imply that large-size women don't have good fashion sense, either. It was an appalling finishing touch for Weingarten to remark that his wife returned the repulsive garment and bought herself "something pretty."

In one article you single-handedly slammed at least 50 percent of the female population of the United States. But far be it from me, a lowly fat homemaker, fat mother, fat taxpayer, fat Republican, to tell you how to write your newspaper.

--Kelly Carpenter