I got into a scuffle this morning with HE reader “Bob Violence” over a remark I made about Vince Vaughn needing to lose 30 pounds. Violence took the remark as another expression of what he and others regard as a longstanding HE prejudice against people of girth. As this incorrect and fat-headed observation keeps coming up, I thought I’d try to damper it down.

I’ve never said there’s anything inherently distatsteful about fat people per se. Ever. Millions of people are simply built that way through genetic inheritance. What I’ve said is that there’s something inherently gross about morbidly obese people. I also have a slight side-issue thing with adolescents and teens and 20somethings who are fat because they’ll eventually turn into out-of-control Jabbas when their metabolisms start slowing down in their 30s.

Vaughn isn’t obese (yet) but for an actor with pretensions toward being an attractive lead male type, he’s getting too fat to pull it off. Especially if he’s going to be in a Ron Howard movie about infidelity, which means he has to look like a guy who has the ability to score every so often. It’s an Absolute Hollywood Law that if you’re going to play someone involved in sexual-romantic activity, you can’t look like a beast.

One look at Vaughn’s appearance at the Couples Retreat junket and you thought, “Jesus Christ, this guy needs to lay off the pizza and the pasta and work out more.” He’s not pulling in the big bucks in order to play motor-mouthed water buffaloes — he’s being paid the big bucks to play hyper, motor-mouthed, ESPN-loving, video-game-playing guys who are fit and semi-attractive enough to pair up with women like Jennifer Aniston (Teh Kreak-up), Isla Fisher (The Wedding Crashers) and Malin Akerman (Couples Retreat).

Do you remember what Vaughn looked like in Swingers in the mid ’90s? He was Jimmy Stewart in Destry Rides Again. Then he became the bulky but still appealing Wedding Crashers guy. Now he’s on the verge of a third incarnation — total Jabba/sea lion/Orson Welles.

Large-boned, barrel-chested, man-boob guys hook up with perky, small-framed, button-chested women all the time in real life, but flatulent wildebeests generally don’t do as well in this department.