PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 October, 1998, 12:00am

I AM FREQUENTLY inspired by women in the movies. Don't worry, it's nothing deep; I don't want to save gorillas like Sigourney Weaver. Nor will I be burning myself at a stake when Luc Besson releases Joan Of Arc. And I'm already regretting last week's decision to become a virgin again like Elizabeth I.

But I do recall losing my mind after T2: Judgement Day, in which Linda Hamilton flexed biceps to die for. If I had a figure like Hamilton's, I reasoned, I'd save a lot of money on clothing because I wouldn't be wearing much. So I joined the Conrad hotel gym, which a) cost a lot more than a few new frocks and b) ended up in a embarrassing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation sequence when I fell off the Lifecycle and had a phantom heart attack.

Following a screening of Ever After, in which Drew Barrymore as Cinderella nabs her Prince Charming, played by the oddly-named Dougray Scott, my life has changed again. Fat-bottomed girls, as Freddie Mercury once said, they make the rockin' world go round.

I know, it's not nice to call movie stars fat because then they go into a terminal creative decline like Batgirl Alicia Silverstone, cruelly dubbed 'Fatgirl' by the tabloids. And apparently Kate Winslet is upset because Arnold Schwarzenegger is insisting she lose four kilos before they appear together in a romantic comedy. (Think twice, Kate, about everything.) But let's just say that when Barrymore popped up on the screen, the words 'stick insect' didn't spring to mind.

Yet Barrymore, with limp brown hair and a wicked stepmother played by Anjelica Huston, manages to lead a very exciting life in Ever After, even wearing a set of gossamer angel wings to the ball. This, I believe, is part of a subtle move by Hollywood - and I know the words 'subtle' and 'Hollywood' aren't a natural match - to reassure normal women everywhere that Prince Charming likes something to hold onto.

It's definitely a trend. First we had Silverstone filling her leathers in Batman And Robin, then Winslet stretching her corset in Titanic, Barrymore in Ever After, and now Christina Ricci bursting forth into adulthood in a movie called The Opposite Of Sex.

And while you might think, 'Wow, flesh!' when you see Drew, Alicia or Kate, when you see Christina, you think, 'Wow, lots and lots of flesh!' But in The Opposite Of Sex, which is a good, funny movie, and also in Buffalo 66, which is a bad, boring movie, Ricci successfully plays curvaceous sex kittens.

Hah, I thought, as Ricci's natural breasts spilled out of her tank top, that'll show you, Ally McBeal! Take note, Courteney Cox! And as for you, Demi Moore, it could be time to trade in those grapefruits which have been mysteriously attached to your chest. To celebrate, I ate a Big Mac on the way home.

The issue of female weight has been debated thoroughly without Popcorn adding its tuppence'worth - although I particularly love it when the editors of glossy magazines like Vogue come over all fat-friendly while making out a huge cheque to Kate Moss. But despite the vociferous protests over heroin chic, women are still being encouraged to be so skinny that walking over a drain is a life-or-death decision. While I can't comment - not being in the end market - as to whether this look is sexually attractive, I can only say that, in the flesh, it can be scary to behold.

I've had difficulty concentrating during interviews with some female movie stars because I'm wondering whether they need to be hooked up to a drip. When one - and I won't name names because she might be seriously ill - recently spoke of her struggle with bulimia, it was obviously not a past-tense issue. That's not to mention the shock of meeting a five-foot actress (okay, it was Pamela Anderson) whose breasts might well have extended five foot from her tiny frame. If you filled her in, she'd be a ball.

Who on earth, I wondered, told these women they looked naturally beautiful? Maybe I should be taking interview tips from Fergie, whose TV show (Sarah ... Surviving Life) I have been watching avidly. 'How many times a day do you vomit, Mandy?' she barked last week. And turning to her bulimia expert, she added: 'Professor, why is it that Mandy's hair and teeth haven't fallen out?' The show took a further dip into the surreal when Uri Geller (famous spoon-bending person) turned up to announce he too was bulimic: 'I used to stick toothbrushes down my throat,' he confessed. It was at this point I realised that if Uri Geller has it, bulimia is boring.

Christina Ricci, Kate Winslet, Drew Barrymore, Alicia Silverstone ... healthy-looking girls who are the way forward for the millennium. They're certainly not huge, it's just that we're used to seeing skeletons on screen these days. They're just normal (remember Marilyn Monroe was a generous size 16, and I can't think of a sexier actress, ever). I think it's great and, more to the point, sexy. And like all hot chicks, they always get their man.

So order in the pizzas, girls, with a side order of French fries and non-diet soda, because I'm predicting the biggest look for spring '99 is going to be a large bottom. Any more hamburgers, and I'll be the first to wear it.