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" My parents' generation's benchmark was simple: Fat Equals Bad. "
" Success, in whatever form it takes, is a tricky thing - once you've achieved your goal, then what? Where do you aim? "
" Look, I want what's good for everybody. I want to promote good state education for all. I want to raise standards for all kids, irrespective of race and class but why can't they all just do what I say when I know I'm right? "
" I know a lot of people fear the rougher types who might be at a state school, but surely it is better to know who they are and how to deal with them than for that kind of child to appear as a completely different species to yours. "
" Sticking to a diet required me to have a permanently low self-esteem. But happily, I developed other skills beyond a fluctuating weight, eventually building up a different source of self-worth. "
" Despotism isn't nearly as bad as it's cracked up to be. "
" Society prizes a girl for being thin more than anything else she might bring to the table. "
" There is so much that is positive, wonderful even, about state schools. At a state school your kids will learn to live alongside and appreciate other kids from many diverse and different cultures. "
" The crushing, pitiful, and frequently just plain risible pathos of an unsuccessful actor/performer's life is well charted. "
" Statistically, if you have ever dieted you are extremely likely not only to regain any weight you lose, but to go on to gain even more. Dieting makes you fat. "
" I wish my parents hadn't made me feel that how I looked was linked to how much they loved me. But I do also see how hard it must be to see your child pile on the pounds and trust they'll find their own way back to a healthy weight. "
" I can't write about my greatest mistakes because I've slept with most of them. "
" When popularity is your only goal, doing well in class is going to feature very low, if at all, on your priority list. "
" If, however, you have richer pursuits in mind and know that no woman should be judged by how she looks - that everything she brings to the party is more important than the size of her arse - then refuse to be sucked into the never ending whirligig of self-doubting, self-hating madness that is stop-start dieting and crazy new exercise regimes. "
" With a diplomat father, for whom foreign postings were a fact of life, my siblings and I were expected to attend boarding schools in Britain. "
" I was accorded the opportunity to learn by failing - albeit at the cost of a few honourable teachers' sanity - and now I realise what a rare and incredible luxury that is. "
" Sending your child off to school for the first time in their life is terrifying. "
" Why has everything got to be about feelings these days? In the old days, no one knew what anyone was feeling and, what's more, they weren't expected to. "
" There is an inherent tolerance and kindness in the state school teenagers I know. "
" I'm the co-chair of the PTA at my kids' school, Ashmount Primary, in north Islington, London. "
" I spent my entire childhood living abroad because of my father's occupation, so we were on long-haul flights all the time. "
" My dad was a diplomat and after living in America, where I was born, he was posted to Cairo. "
I Was Born
" In the 20 long, hungry years between my late teens and late 30s I bought in to virtually every new diet and/or exercise regime that hoved into view, particularly at this most vulnerable time for those of us prone to poor body image - a new year. "
" I have never done a package tour in my life. It appeals in a way, but then I remind myself that you can't control the other people with you, which could turn out to be ghastly. "
" As I was growing up, it was made clear that the fat me wasn't welcome, that a thin person was expected and awaited, and impatiently so. "