Bootylicious and proud of it

In the weight-obsessed world of show business, it seems critics have been able to mock and ridicule celebrities' body shapes with impunity.

Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai was slammed in May for not shedding her baby fat after delivering a girl in November last year.

In April, British television presenter Alexa Chung was forced to shut down her Instagram account after one of her photos drew harsh comments about how she was too thin.

Lady Gaga, however, has had enough.

Last week, the American pop star made headlines for firing back at critics who commented on her weight gain after she appeared on stage in Amsterdam in the middle of last month looking a little curvier.

In a show of defiance, the 26-year-old responded by stepping out in an oversized pink and blue Comme des Garcons dress with exaggerated body proportions.

A few days later, she posted photos of herself in her underwear on her official website, Ladygaga.com, accompanied by the statement: "Today I join the Body Revolution. To inspire bravery. And breed some m***********g compassion."

The singer also encouraged her fans to join her "Body Revolution" by adding: "Be brave and celebrate with us your 'perceived flaws', as society tells us. May we make our flaws famous, and thus redefine the heinous."

Thousands of fans promptly responded, with many of them uploading images of themselves and their physical "imperfections", such as scars and prosthetic limbs, onto Lady Gaga's fan page, Littlemonsters.com.

These come with captions detailing their personal struggles and thanking the pop star for being an inspiration.

Health experts are applauding the efforts of celebrities with a healthy body image who encourage their fans to embrace their own body shape too.

In an article published on MTV.com last week, Ms Susie Roman, director of programmes at the National Eating Disorders Association in the United States, praised Lady Gaga's Body Revolution movement: "It's really a step in the right direction when a celebrity like Lady Gaga is willing to do something like launch her Body Revolution campaign and really make statements to advocate overall health."

Urban rounds up five other women who proudly embrace their curves.

Curvy and proud of it

Adele

The Grammy award-winning British songstress may have one of the best voices in the business, but that is not enough to satisfy critics, who have disparaged her weight.

In February, when asked by Paris newspaper Metro for his views on female pop stars, fashion maestro Karl Lagerfeld said of Adele: "She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice."

But the curvy 24-year-old, who is expecting her first child any day now, has not caved in to the pressure. She famously told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview last year: "I don't make music for eyes. I make music for ears."

In any case, Lagerfeld's comments drew flak from Adele's fans, and the German designer quickly issued an apology a few days later and clarified that he was a fan of the singer.

According to British tabloid The Sun, Lagerfeld even sent Adele a range of Chanel handbags to prove his sincerity.

Christina Aguilera

Although she was criticised early in her career for being too thin, Christina Aguilera has been attacked for just the opposite since the birth of her son in 2007.

But the 31-year-old American singer is unfazed and often flaunts her curvy figure in tight, revealing outfits on the red carpet as well as the reality singing competition, The Voice, of which she is a judge.

Aguilera, who is releasing an album next month, spoke to Lucky magazine last month about criticisms of her body: "Actually, the challenge I've always had is being too thin, so I love that now I have a booty, and obviously I love showing my cleavage."

Demi Lovato

The 20-year-old American singer-actress has been actively speaking out about body image issues, thanks to her personal struggles.

She entered rehab in 2010 for self-injury and bulimia, having suffered from the eating disorder since she was 12.

After being taunted online for gaining weight following her two-month stint in rehab, the former Disney star responded on her Twitter account: "I've gained weight. Get over it. That's what happens when you get out of treatment for AN EATING DISORDER."

Last month, the X Factor judge took to Twitter again to defend Kate Middleton after a tabloid claimed the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant because one of her outfits seemed to suggest an expanding waistline.

Lovato said of the royal pregnancy claim: "And people wonder why girls/guys have body image issues. Whether she is (pregnant) or not, she still has a beautiful body. Shame on you, Star magazine."

Kate Upton

Despite landing on the covers of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue in January and in July's edition of GQ wearing next to nothing, the blonde bombshell was still not spared cruel comments about her 36-25-34 figure.

American website Skinnygossip.com, which bills itself as an opponent to the culture of excess consumption, posted a harshly worded rant in June titled "Kate Upton Is Well-Marbled".

The post likened Upton to a cow and described her as being a "squishy brick" and "vulgar".

The 20-year-old American model was, however, unperturbed.

Britain's The Sun quoted her as saying: "I'm not going to starve just to be thin. I want to enjoy life and I can't if I'm not eating and miserable."

Kate Winslet

The English actress, 37, is known as much for not bowing to Hollywood's standards of beauty as she is for her starring role in the hit movie Titanic.

In 2003, GQ infamously published a dramatically altered image of her on a cover which made the star look at least 10kg lighter.

The magazine promptly issued an apology after the mother of two hit out at the retouching, which was done without her consent.

Last year, together with fellow British actresses Emma Thompson and Rachel Weisz, Winslet formed the British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League, a movement aimed at discouraging women from going under the knife and to embrace their natural beauty instead.

Proud of her curves, she told Vanity Fair Italia in May: "I am sincerely grateful for my buttocks."


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