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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Jen on

This issue is infuriating so many people, however, in reality I don’t see it as a huge problem.
1. Designer’s love skinny models not because of “our society” but because their clothes do not flatter what I might call everyday women (come on, no one with hips can wear a “frock”). The problem then comes when vanity obsessed people, whether stars or teens or apparently some people on this message board, take these styles as a way to live by. That’s sad: grow up, think about who you ARE before dressing, and get some cake.
2. If anyone has expierenced depressed or anxiety, then you know you lose weight. And those expierences become heightened when you are a celebrity, but that is their profession. And I certainly don’t think Kate or Nicole actively think of not eating.
3. In response to the last post, this isn’t the attack of the fat women, in fact, the people writing this or any other entertainment news article are probably extremely thin as well. This is getting so much attention because of fashion week, it has been a topic since twiggy (another example of fashion choosing thin women because of what they were making, not their preferences). And on a personal note, anyone who believes that others are jealous of them probably have no qualities wanted by others.

Michelle on

Did anyone stop to think that these women are thin because THEY ARE BUSY and lead very active lives? Looking at “then” and “now” pictures is misleading – you bet Kate B looks thinner these days, she works 5 times as much on movie shoots, publicity tours, and can now afford a personal trainer and a personal chef.
As far as it being a “shame” for the young girls looking up to these women; Would you prefer they look up to Carnie Wilson? She was morbidly obese, had it surgically remedied, only to gain the weight back because she was too lazy to exercise before and after – what a role model, but I suppose she’s a “Real Woman”.
Yeah, let’s get the word out to the young girls out there. The word being: “REAL WOMEN” are fat so embrace it because it’s a fairytale for you to believe you can eat something other than a big mac thrice daily, do pyhysical exercise, and be thin. Only people with anorexia can be thin, so hug your cellulite and early death youth of america!
These women aren’t the norm (curvy Beyonce isn’t either), the norm is my 17 year old, 185 pound, five foot three neighbor that drives to school 3 blocks away because
(1)she’s too lazy to walk and(2)she can swing thru the McDonald’s drive thru to get a 3000 calorie breakfast.
It’s like everyone wants us to pretend that it’s ok not to be conscious of your own body. Be conscious of your hair and bad breathe, but forget the rest of your body that would just be vein…

Amber on

Ok. These women are gorgeous. And yet, so are all the other actresses (i.e. Kate Bosworth, Nichole Richie etc.)that have been considered too thin. Maybe they are a little thin; but don’t you think that if THEY thought they were to thin, they would do something about it? Honestly, I’m getting tired of people saying stuff about other people, be it a celebrity or every-day people in general. Isn’t the point that we are trying to get across to the kids of our society that they don’t have to follow the trends; that the only opinion that matters is theirs. And yet, the adults are still discussing other peoples weight? We are the role models here.

bel on

Isn’t it sad how much influence the media has over what we concentrate our thoughts on… Hollywood, beauty, fashion, etc etc.
Imagine if we concentrated all those thoughts and energy on political and economic education so we could have more active roles in government and fix more important world issues like poverty and war.

Amber on

They ARE NOT “embrassing theirs curves” they are what the other women in Hollywood would look like if they would EAT. These women are skinny women who EAT and good for them! That is why Scarlet was named the MOST atrative women of the year. 98lbs is NOT normally and it is gross!

JO on

~All I can say is thank god for Kate Winslet, an actress with so much self integrity and beauty, who doesn’t ‘give in’ to soceity’s obseesion with the ‘thin is beautiful’ moto. Hats off to you Winslet, a real woman.

night on

These three women are THIN. They are not skinny, but they are thin in a healthy way. Curvy by far, they are just normal woman with thin bodies. Hollywood has us all so brainwashed that we think thin people are curvy now? Look at Johanson’s waste for pete sake. She is TINY. She probably wears a size 4. If a size 4 woman is “curvy” then I must be morbidy obese at 5’11” and wearing a size 10. what are we doing the the sub-consious minds of women today people?

a on

Try living in Asia for a day where you’re attacked for being horridly obese b/c you wear sizes 6-8 as opposed to the 0-2 most other people wear here.

And as for the skinny people who have a problem with us “curvy” women standing up for ourselves, deal. It’s about time we were given the opportunity to defend ourselves. Media has taught me to hate myself for being 5’5 and 140 pounds, despite the fact that I’m healthy and toned. But I’ve come to realize that my body’s much more alluring than any bag of bones is ever going to be.

jen on

Yes, Scarlett Johansson is beautiful- and so are curves- but what if you just are skinny? I mean, I’ve been skinny all my life- in school I would be made fun of and called the “skeleton” and “stick” but if I had a choice I would want a body like Scarlett or Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez-but unfortuneatley I just can’t gain weight. I also detest guys who are only after a womens body or “curves”. Guys have always told me that I would be “hot with a different body” but that is just shallow and rude. But I do agree with jezabel and beth. You girls are so right.

Kate on

Kate Winslet looks fit and toned. Apparently she weighs about 62 kgs and is perhaps 5’5. That’s quite slim – at the lower end of the healthy weight range. I read an article that said that her BMI is scientifically ideal and considered to be the most attractive. I am 20 kilos over this weight and am 5’7, and still get noticed by guys quite alot, no less than when I was smaller, so I think it really is a fallacy that more voluptuous women are less attractive. I went to see a movie with Queen Latifah in it and it also starred Giselle Bundchen and some other model chicks. My male friend turned to me and said-that Queen Latifah chick is curvy like you. Much more attractive than that other chick (meaning Giselle). SO there are more factors involved than just body weight which make a woman beautiful, and nature is so amazing that we all come in different shapes and sizes. Embrace it!! I feel more beautiful than I did as a younger woman (I was bulimic for 8 years) and I was 20 kilos smaller. It’s all about attitude.

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