Friday - - Editor’s Letter - Natalie Long, ed­i­tor Reach me at nlong@gulfnews.com

You may have no­ticed some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent about Fri­day this edi­tion. (And no, I don’t mean that there are no pic­tures of fea­tures ed­i­tor Anand Raj OK dig­ging a car out of sand this week – but we can do more of that, if you liked it. I sure did.)

Of course I’m talk­ing about the cover. Bit of a change there, and did we have fun do­ing it! (Nearly as much fun as Anand in the sand.)

We get a kick out of think­ing of new ways to bring you sto­ries, but at the end of the day, it’s got to be a great, in­for­ma­tive, per­haps thought-pro­vok­ing and hope­fully lifechang­ing story. I think that’s ex­actly what Anand dug up (OK, I’ll stop) when he vis­ited the new eat­ing dis­or­ders unit in Dubai. The sto­ries from there were alarm­ing, but also carry a sense of hope that this is­sue can now be dealt with in time. Turn to page 32 to read why more men than ever, glob­ally and in the UAE, are strug­gling with their body im­age.

Of course, it’s not just men who are fac­ing this is­sue, and young peo­ple are prob­a­bly the most sus­cep­ti­ble to think­ing their bod­ies aren’t good enough, and that how you look makes a dif­fer­ence in how good your life will be. I had an email this week from a young woman who was ask­ing our ex­perts how she could grow two inches, be­cause she has been bul­lied about her height, and she thinks if she can be as tall as her fam­ily mem­bers, life will be bet­ter.

It re­ally broke my heart be­cause – full dis­clo­sure here – I am a short per­son, and I think it’s one of the best things in the world. Sure, I couldn’t be a flight at­ten­dant, I have to get things tai­lored, can’t see much at con­certs and get el­bowed in the face quite a lot, but I never let it get me down. It prob­a­bly makes me louder than nec­es­sary. Beyond telling my fel­low shortie to love her body, I can’t of­fer ad­vice, but our ex­perts on page 50 can and do ev­ery week. They are wait­ing for your queries.

There’s lots more for you to read in this edi­tion, and choos­ing a favourite is like ask­ing me to pick my favourite cheese, but our how-to-be-a-cow­boy tale on page 36 is a likely can­di­date for story of the week. Dana Kerns’ life herd­ing cat­tle across Wy­oming on horse­back is cer­tainly not easy, but then again, nei­ther is sit­ting for ages in Karama traf­fic. I’m not quite sure which one is tougher on the back­side, but at least his views are bet­ter.

Now, a spe­cial re­quest: we want to hear from you if you met your part­ner in the UAE. Yes, we love love sto­ries, the sop­pier the bet­ter – as long as it’s from here. Email us on fri­day@gulfnews.com.

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