The Shape Debate: In Praise of Curves

09/22/2006 at 01:27 PM ET

There has been a lot of buzz this week about ever-shrinking starlets and too-skinny models. So we’d like to give props to a few women who always look great. Seeing Kate Winslet at the Toronto Film Festival reminded us how beautiful she is, and how she has never shied away from having a real body (and a great body, at that.) Gwyneth Paltrow, who in younger days was reed-thin, is now one hot mama with her voluptous post-baby body. Is it just us or does she seem to be glowing everytime you see her now? And in the younger generation, Scarlett Johansson makes a break with the stick-thin figures and celebrates her curves, bringing to mind screen sirens of days gone by. And yes, these women are still slim and have very enviable bodies (we’ll take looking like that in a dress any day!), but we applaud them for being comfortable in their own skin and hourglass figures. Marilyn would be proud.

If you’d like to let us know what you think about the shape debate, take PEOPLE’s Stars’ Bodies: Too Thin? poll, and if you like, leave a comment here.

CH/AAD/Star Max; Dennis Van Tine/Abaca; Fernando Allende/Splash News

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Jaime on

I think it’s great that the media and entertainment industry are taking a step in the right direction by praising women like these 3 for being healthy….I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are “curvy” but they definitely aren’t Nicole Richie or Kate Bosworth. Just eat and exercise and LIVE LIFE! That’s what matters!

cate on

yay! i love seeing women who ARENT a size 0 or smaller….its great to see woman who are healthy. haha i wouldnt exactly call them curvy…because theyre still pretty slim. but they are most definitely healthy and thats all that matters. stars like kate and nicole are just TOO thin. its soooo unhealthy.

Doggy on

Dogs like bones. I like women that can give it to me a big hug and I can hug the curves, not get hurt or stabbed by a bone.

Jennifer on

They are the most beautiful celebrities in the world.

tuty fruity on

curves are the most beautiful feature of a women’s body!

if you go to far u could end up looking like a stick or fat albert

Jessica Creel on

I think that it is very sad that so much attention is put on weight and body shape of celebrity women these days. Why can’t we just look to them for there acting, singing or whatever their talent may be. Yes, the women above look great, although still very slim in comparison to all the other women of the world today, but most importantly they look healthy and happy. I completely agree with all that matters is that you are happy with yourself, but when you look at women like Nicole Richie and Kate Bosworth, you cannot help but to think that they are putting their lives in great danger for being so extremely thin. And honestly, what is considered the normal size today? The Hollywood average size is getting smaller and smaller, but in the normal world the average size is a 12, does that mean that a 12 is grossly obese. Give me a break! I had a baby 9 months ago and I am sill working hard to lose the baby weight. I am down to a 12 and I am very proud of myself. I don’t have trainers and nutritionists to help me lose the 30lbs in 30 days. Is that really safe anyway? Who are we kidding and what are we teaching the little girls of he future…..

Julia Garlington on

Since when is being a size 4-6 considered “curvy”?

Natalie on

Who cares what these women look like. They can be ‘thick’ or a ‘stick’, it really doesn’t matter. These people are human beings, if they choose to look a certain way, let ‘em. These women are in the spotlight, but since when did these women sign up to be role models? Do people in everyday life really have to open a magazine to determine the way they themselves should look? We all have our own minds, even though women have a certain way of thinking, especially about our bodies, but all women should be confident with themselves. If you can’t think for yourself, and you honestly think Nicole Richie is a role model? Please. If you can’t think for yourself and you have to be some robot to these women who are celebrities, then you’re the one with the issues. I’m thin, and on most occasions my mom does ask me if I eat. Why would she do that? I’m just naturally skinny, but I’m healthy and I exercise. I do not open a magazine and say “I wanna look like her.” I am my own person, I will look the way I wanna look, regardless of what people think. Since when is it nice to pass judgement on others. We are not put here to pass judgement. The focus needs to be refocused on a celebrities hair or dress and stop talking about their bodies. It’s not nice to say things about an overweight person, so since when is it nice to make fun of someone who’s skinny or too skinny? YES, Hollywood has become too obsessive about a woman’s physique, and I agree they shouldn’t be the one’s telling us we need to loose weight, if a woman can act, she can act, if she can sing, she can sing. There IS too much pressure, but please, lets STOP focusing on these women as role models.

Amy on

I do remember reading somewhere once that Kate Winslet is a size 8…

Victoria on

It’s wonderful that women can look at images of painfully thin starlets and say, “That doesn’t affect me.” But the fact remains that there are countless women out there — and worse, young girls — that see Kate Bosworth and Nicole Ritchie and tell themselves that THAT is what they should aspire to. The Kates and the Nicoles are in the public eye, in the magazines. What is the message if their images are photographed and printed without commentary?

That that is OK. That is desirable. And no matter how confident a woman can be in her body and self-image, there are times that she will compare herself to that image and wonder what she has done wrong. Why she doesn’t match that.

Kate, Nicole and others in that “super skinny” range do not have pretty faces with pretty frames for fashion right now. I’m sorry, but it’s true. The skin is stretched over their gaunt faces, and the clothes hang off their bodies. In that mindset, one tends to see fat that is not present — not that their skeletons are visible. Like anyone else who appears in that state, they should have people trying to tell them they need help. Simply put, they’re not seeing the version of themselves that we are seeing.

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