The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Harry portly row rages

London, May 12: J.K. Rowling, creator of Harry Potter, 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, while her hero is “slim and attractive”.

Writing on her website, Rowling responded the people in the Harry Potter books who are “on the plumper side” include “several of my most important, admirable and loveable characters”.

She approvingly included a link to a fan website ' ' that lists seven characters who are “fat and good”, three who are “fat and bad” and claims there are none who are “fat and evil”.

In her original statement, also posted on her Internet site,, 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 Harry Potter books.

He added: “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, 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.”

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