IT'S bittersweet news on page three this week.

How troubling to hear that bullies targeted beauty queen Alisha Cesa for her weight at school.

But how terrific she has gained the confidence to step into the limelight for who she is.

Now the winner of the Miss England Curve beauty contest, Alisha said that from the age of 12 she was “relentlessly” bullied because of her size.

Society’s beauty standards must be far-reaching if children are willing to torment a young girl because of the way she looks.

But they are also flexible. Look at the 1950s, when fuller figures were in fashion. Or the ultra-trim physique of the male ‘Macaronis’, the a la mode aristocrats of the 1700s.

Around the world, people have different ideas about what constitutes beauty.

In some parts of Afghanistan, cosmetic surgery is in high demand because woman prize bigger noses.

The Wodaabe tribesmen in Niger are given mirrors as children: the attention these men devote to their appearance might be dismissed as vanity in other cultures.

All this shows that loathing someone for their size isn’t automatic. It’s the way we pressure people to look a certain way in our society – especially women – that fails children like Alisha at school.

The way beauty standards have changed also shows we can do something about them. We need to call out those who pick on others because of their appearance, and teach our children that beauty comes in many forms.

People like Alisha are doing the hard work for us. If we challenge cruel prejudices wherever we see them, we can all triumph.