Author says: I'm not a hypocrite

Harry Potter creator JK Rowling has hit back at critics who accused her of hypocrisy for attacking skinny models.

Harry Potter creator JK Rowling has hit back at critics who accused her of hypocrisy for attacking skinny models.

Last month, the best-selling author revealed that she feared her two daughters would grow up to be "empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones" in a world where waif-life women make the covers of fashion magazines.

In response, one journalist pointed out that in her books, Dudley Dursley, a bully who makes Harry's life a misery, is fat, but her hero is "slim and attractive".

Writing on her website, Rowling responded by saying the people in the Harry Potter books who were "on the plumper side" included "several of my most important, admirable and lovable characters".

She approvingly included a link to a fan website - www.mugglenet.com - that lists seven characters who are "fat and good", three who are "fat and bad" and says there is none who is "fat and evil".

In her original statement, also posted on her internet site, www.jkrowling.com, Edinburgh-based Rowling wrote: "Is `fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is `fat' worse than `vindictive', `jealous', `shallow', `vain', `boring' or `cruel'?

"Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I'm not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain."

Writing in the Mail on Sunday in response, Simon Walters said Dudley was "disgustingly fat" and argued he was "not the only fat boy who is a figure of fun" in the Harry Potter books.

He said: "Harry often said Dudley looked like a pig in a wig. For every schoolboy with black hair and glasses who has been called Harry Potter in the playground, there is another fat boy who has been called Dudley, fat, stupid, nasty Dudley. Maybe it is time for Rowling to create a new hero, male or even better female, who is fat."

In the note posted on her website yesterday under the "rubbish bin" section where she debunks myths about herself and her books, Rowling insisted: "`Overweight' in no way equates to `bad' in my fictional world."

In a separate website posting, she also revealed she had solved the problem of a lack of paper to write the seventh and last book in her wizarding saga.

Last month, Rowling complained on her website that progress with the book was going well but she was finding it hard to find somewhere to buy any paper. But fans now appear to have come to her rescue.

She wrote on the site: "Be careful what you wish for, it might come true. Since complaining that I had difficulty finding anything to write on after running out of paper while working in town, I have been deluged with paper.

"Some of you sent single sheets, others entire pads, one enterprising paper merchants sent a large stack of notebooks embossed boldly with JK ROWLING, which I might not use in public, but which are very lovely all the same."

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