Entries in Body Image (20)


Anne Hathaway Reveals ‘Shame’ Over ‘Stress’ to Be Thin

Fred Duval/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Anne Hathaway grins on the latest issue of Glamour, beaming in a pair of hot pants and a tank top. But in an interview with the magazine, the Les Miserables star reveals that her obsession with being thin is a source of “shame.” and says she constantly worries about her body.

“I still feel the stress over, ‘Am I thin enough? Am I too thin? Is my body the right shape?’” she says. “There’s an obsessive quality to it that I thought I would’ve grown out of by now. It’s an ongoing source of shame for me.”

Hathaway lost 25 pounds for the film version of Les Miserables, which comes out December 25. In an interview with Allure earlier this year, the 29-year-old actress said she subsisted on a 500-calorie diet of radishes and hummus to play tuberculosis-ridden prostitute Fantine.

She also chopped off her hair, an act that left her “shaking like a leaf.” But she tells Glamour she now feels like the “coolest girl in the world,” and says “people are warmer to me” because of her pixie cut.

“Also, I’m a fairly shy person, and [in the past] on days when I didn’t want to deal with the world, I’d wear a hat and pull my hair around me and hide,” she says. “I can’t do that now. I have to be me all the time.”

Still, paparazzi and the potential for ridicule scare her, and she tells Glamour that she’d be “so much more eccentric” in her day-to-day life if it weren’t for all those prying eyes.

“I know it makes me sound weak, but rather than make myself happy and wear the silly hat and say, ‘Oh, I don’t care,’ I actually really don’t feel like getting made fun of,” she says. “So I put on something boring and navy and go out and try to disappear.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jennifer Lawrence 'Considered a Fat Actress'

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- She's Hollywood's new 'It' girl who, at age 21, nabbed the coveted lead heroine role in this year's blockbuster Hunger Games, but Jennifer Lawrence says that doesn't mean she fits into the typical Hollywood mold.

"In Hollywood, I'm obese," Lawrence, now 22, told Elle magazine in its December issue where she graces the cover in a skin-tight white dress under the headline, "From Indie Star to Hunger Games Bombshell."

"I'm considered a fat actress," she says. "I'm Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach."

To prepare for her career-making role as Katniss Everdeen, the movie's 16-year-old heroine who is forced to fight for her life, Lawrence underwent intense training, including learning how to run properly.

"I'm pigeon-footed…so I decided to learn how to run with my feet straight and then they ended up just taping my ankles to make my feet go out," she told Good Morning America last March.

The movie was a blockbuster hit but Lawrence drew criticism for her full, by Hollywood standards, figure from, among others, the movie critic for the New York Times who wrote, "A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit…"

Speaking to Elle, Lawrence is defiant against those critics, and any agents or casting directors who stand in her way.

"I'm never going to starve myself for a part," she says. "I don't want little girls to be like, 'Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I'm going to skip dinner'…I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong-not thin and underfed."

Fellow "It" girls Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis got slim for their ballet movie "Black Swan," and Anne Hathaway has described her "crazy" workout regimen for "Catwoman" and "living on hummus and radishes" to portray a prostitute in Les Miserables, but Lawrence says she'll never take her acting that far.

"I eat like a caveman," Lawrence says. "I'll be the only actress who doesn't have anorexia rumors."

The Oscar-nominated actress also lets her guard down about her boyfriend, Nicholas Hoult, a fellow actor she met on the set of X-Men, revealing she also doesn't watch her diet around him.

"We can eat Cheetos and watch beach volleyball and we turn into two perverted Homer Simpsons, like, 'Oh, she's got a nice ass,'" she says. "I never thought we'd have such different opinions on asses."

"[He] is honestly my best friend too," Lawrence tells Elle, turning more serious. "He's my favorite person to be around and makes me laugh harder than anybody."

The December issue of Elle hits newsstands Nov. 13.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Model’s Journey to Plus-Size and Back

JP Yim/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- After three years of hearing she was too fat, runway model Karolin Wolter rebranded herself as plus-size only to be told she was too skinny.

“Working in an industry that constantly judges you, your look and your body isn’t easy,” said Wolter, who was 18 when she started modeling in Hamburg, Germany.

Once a healthy 136 pounds, Wolter shed 11 pounds from her 5-foot, 11-inch frame to land runway jobs. But she was urged to lose more. And by her first fashion week in 2009, she was down to 116 pounds.

At the time, Wolter thought “it was totally fine,” she wrote in an essay for I Love You magazine. “Now, while writing this, I am shaking my head. I can’t quite believe it.”

Soon the pressure to be thin became overwhelming.

“I realized I couldn’t look in the mirror anymore,” she wrote. “I knew something was wrong.”

Wolter decided to take some time off to rethink the business and relaunched her career as a plus-size model. Her agent said, “No way, you are not big enough,” she wrote. “But I didn’t give up. I made him measure my body, and I told him I could see what the plus-size agents had to say.”

New York plus-size agents quickly took her in, but she struggled to get work.

“And when I did, I needed to wear pads to make me look bigger,” she wrote.
"Suddenly, I was too slim.”

Now Wolter is back to being a “straight-size” model again, a reversion that saddens her.

“I was proud -- I actually loved being called plus-size,” she wrote. “I told everyone I was plus-size. I love the words ‘plus-size.’ To be given this label was most likely the happiest day I can remember.”

But Wolter said she no longer feels the pressure to be super-skinny, and as a result, sometimes opts for smaller projects.

“It’s not about how big you are, how small you are or what label you are given. It’s about how you carry yourself,” she wrote. “If you are comfortable with your body, you can sell pretty much anything.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fighting the 'Mom-Shell' Image: New Moms Struggle to Embrace Post-Baby Body

Beyonce performing in Atlantic City, a little less than 4 months after giving birth. Kevin Mazur/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- There is a new breed of mother on the playground.

Just weeks after giving birth, women dubbed "mom-shells," a hybrid of mommies and bombshells, are flaunting their post-baby bodies with skinny jeans and six-inch heels -- an image perpetuated by Hollywood. From Gwyneth Paltrow to Beyonce, celebrity moms have posed in glossy body-after-baby spreads.

Janice Min, the former editor of Us Weekly, says she helped create a celebrity culture of baby bumps with those spreads. Now, she says, those picture-perfect women have "infected our minds" so that "real" moms think they too have to look bodacious after childbirth.

"This crazy shift happened where suddenly it was cool to be pregnant and show off your body after you have the baby," she said. "That was a way for all these actresses to suddenly communicate to the world, 'I'm sexy, I'm still employable, and you want to be like me.'"

But not everyone can look like Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen shortly after childbirth.

"Gisele is a freak of nature," Min said. "These celebrities, a lot of them are just genetic aberrations."

Now there is a populist backlash. Alison Tate, a stay-at-home mom, had just given birth to her fourth child when she did something many women do every day: She resisted having a picture taken with her son at a birthday party because she said she knew she wouldn't like the way she looked.

"After I've had all my children, I felt like I had blown up like a balloon," she said. "It wasn't even a normal kind of being overweight. It's a deflated tire kind of being overweight. You can't fit into normal clothes right away. I felt dumpy, doubt-y, frustrated."

Tate had many reasons to be confident. She had an Ivy League education, she was happily married with four beautiful kids, but she still felt embarrassed by her body after giving birth. So she wrote a blog about the picture experience, and suddenly that moment became a movement.

Tate's website, "Mom Stays in the Picture," started a viral rallying cry and thousands of women submitted their own pictures, even if they didn't look their best.

"You're not looking at whether the mom is overweight, or did her hair, or did her makeup," Tate said. "All you see are moms and their kids, and all the love that are in those photos."

Tate said being a mom-shell is not what motherhood is all about.

"Our kids do not care what we look like," she said. "They only see their mother, and I just think that what women need to do is remember that. You don't ruin their pictures, you complete them."

Perhaps surprisingly, Janice Min can empathize. She too gave birth six months ago, to her third child, and said she also struggled when she saw herself in the mirror.

"It's sort of horrifying," she said. "Afterwards when the bump is gone, you're just kind of a fat lady, and it's really harsh."

Min's self-doubt helped inspire her to write a book called How to Look Hot in a Minivan, to reassure "real" moms that even starlets have a hard time living up to the Hollywood standard.

"We would have quotes from women saying, 'I cried, I work out so hard that I cry,' or, you know, 'I don't eat, I'm always hungry,' you know, crazy things that celebrities do," she said. "That at least puts a reality check on it. But Hollywood is fantasy and we have a hard time, at least when it comes to this area, of separating fantasy from reality because it's so personal for so many women."

In her book, Min shares what she learned about how the celebrities do it. Many famous women will wear a statement necklace, for instance, to draw the eye away from their figures.

"Motherhood and weight are the two most loaded issues for women ever," she said. "And so when you put those two together, it's like moths to the light, but it's also like kerosene to the fire, and women get really obsessed."

When Jessica Simpson battled with weight gain after having her daughter Maxwell, she turned to celebrity fitness trainer Harley Pasternak, who first helped Simpson fit into her Daisy Dukes. In fact, getting her body back has turned into a sponsored event, with her every move watched by her 5.7 million Twitter followers.

But Pasternak said the key to losing the baby weight for any new mom is lots of walking, not a personal trainer. He said women should not feel bad about not bouncing back to their pre-baby figures.

"I've never weighed a client," he said. "I would be upset at someone for not taking care of their health, because as a mom you're setting an example for your child."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Karl Lagerfeld Says Models Are ‘Not That Skinny’

Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage(LONDON) -- Karl Lagerfeld, the Chanel honcho who called Adele “a little too fat” and complained about “fat mummies” ruining fashion, is at it again. In an interview this week with the U.K.’s Channel 4 News, Lagerfeld was asked about the fashion industry’s influence on women’s body image. There was this exchange:

Reporter: “You think it’ll be O.K. for women to be fat in the future?”

Lagerfeld: “Unfortunately, yes.”

Reporter: “But not O.K. now?”

Lagerfeld: “No.”

He then called the subject “ridiculous” and said, “The story with anorexic girls -- nobody works with anorexic girls. That has nothing to do with fashion. People who have that, they have problem with family and things like this. There are less than one percent of anorexic girls, but there are over -- in France, I don’t know about England -- over 30 percent of girls who are big, big, overweight.”

Eating disorders were long ago proven to be complex issues. In terms of the statistics, Lagerfeld actually isn’t that far off, if you apply his numbers to the U.S. Sixty percent of adult women in the U.S. are considered overweight, and just over one-third of those are obese, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the likelihood of an American woman becoming anorexic or bulimic during her lifetime is 0.9 and 1.5 percent, respectively, according to the National Institutes of Health.

But then he went on to say, “The models are skinny but they’re not that skinny. All the new girls are not that skinny. You know, there’s a new evolution.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is Shapewear a Risky Trend for Teen Girls?

Rebecca Sapp/WireImage for Kari Feinstein PR(NEW YORK) -- What do stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey all have in common?

Each is among the celebrities who have admitted to wearing Spanx and Spanx-like products, otherwise known as shapewear, to help flatten their tummies on walks down the red carpet.

The tight-fitting undergarments, which use Lycra and other form-fitting materials to cinch in the waist, are must-haves for millions of women longing to look more svelte.

But now the types of shapewear products that were developed with grown women in mind are attracting a much younger audience: teenagers.

"You get the training bra. You get the Spanx. Everyone wears them," 17-year-old Lindsey Luposello told Good Morning America.

Teenage popstar Miley Cyrus wears them, and so do other teens as young as 13, all to make their waists look smaller and their bodies slimmer.

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Jill Zarin, a former cast member on the Bravo reality show The Real Housewives of New York who owns her own shapewear line, says she is not surprised by the growing interest of teens in shapewear. Zarin's 19-year-old daughter, Ally, started wearing shapewear at age 13.

"I'll probably be wearing it until I'm 63," said Ally. "Shapewear is the must-have accessory for every teenager starting in middle school, high school and throughout college."

Zarin developed her shapewear line, Skweez Couture, with teenagers in mind. The line features both grown-up pieces for moms -- including luxe bustiers -- and lacy biker shorts and camisole tops ideal for teens. Many of the teen-oriented pieces come in colors other than the traditional shapewear tones of nude and black tones -- including pretty pastels, trimmed with lace.

"They have been selling like wildfire. I can't keep them in stock," she said of the line's pieces, which Zarin says has something for everyone. "Nobody wants to see anybody's body parts rippling. It's just not attractive."

The notion of teens wearing shapewear worries Dr. Orly Avitzur, a practicing neurologist and medical adviser to Consumer Reports.

"You are just squeezing the body too much so you are placing either direct pressure onto a nerve or squeezing internal organs," she said. "The tighter the fabric is or the more uncomfortable it is, the more likely you are to suffer damage."

Avitzur says she has treated 15-year-olds for shapewear-related problems which can include bladder infections, gastrointestinal problems and nerve damage that includes symptoms of numbness and burning in the thighs.

A spokesperson for Spanx told Good Morning America that, in the 12 years of doing business, Spanx has been unaware of customers suffering from nerve damage. "Our mission is to help women feel great about themselves and their potential," the spokesperson added.

But child psychiatrists like Dr. Ned Hallowell worries that teenagers obsessed with creating the illusion of a flat stomach are doing anything but feeling better about themselves -- and are potentially setting themselves up for a host of psychological problems.

"The damage is eating disorders," said Dr. Hallowell, the founder of the Hallowell Centers in New York City and Sudbury, Mass. "The damage is never being happy with your body well into adulthood."

Zarin contends that teens who wear shapewear are being helped, not hurt, by their fashion choice. Shapewear, she says, can boost a young woman's self esteem and make a girl feel better about her figure.

"I think what shapewear does is sort of normalizes the girls' figures and evens everybody out," she said.

Zarin urges girls who find shapewear too tight or uncomfortable to try a looser style or to not wear it at all.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Kate Upton Fires Back Against Body Critics

Tony Barson/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- In the midst of a very public battle over her body image, model Kate Upton has fired back against those who have been attacking her weight.

A pro-anorexia website called Upton “thick” and “vulgar” while criticizing her appearance in raunchy burger commercials.

But 20-year-old Upton has had enough and finally fired back.

Upton said, “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,” The Sun reported Monday.   

A spokesman for the model added, “It’s absurd. Kate is gorgeous and very healthy.”

The unnamed female blogger who sparked the Upton uproar acknowledges preferring the “skinny aesthetic,” wrote in a July 8 post on the website “Skinny Gurl” that she has been deluged with angry emails and threatened with rape and death.

The controversy first began back in June when the blogger wrote that Upton was, “confidently lumbering up the runway like there’s a buffet at the end of it,” and also called her a “little piggie” with “huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition….”

She continued: “Did you know that humans are 80% genetically identical to cows? Well, allow me to prove it to you….” That line was followed by an unflattering photo of the back of Upton’s lingerie-clad body on the runway.

Since then, the fashion world’s most influential insiders have denounced the blogger and risen to Upton’s defense.

“Running this site where you actually praise women for staying emaciated and skinny and then to go out there and then track someone who has a normal body, I mean, she’s got issues,” said Lesley Jane Seymour, editor-in-chief of MORE magazine.

“She’s laughing all the way to the bank,” supermodel and author Carol Alt said of Upton. “I would just say keep your end up and keep moving forward.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Teen Crusaders Taking on "Teen Vogue" Over Models

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After teens had success getting Seventeen magazine to stop digitally altering their models, they have now turned their attention to a new target: Teen Vogue. To get that message across, they took their protest right to the magazine’s headquarters in Times Square on Wednesday and held a mock runway show to give Teen Vogue executives a look at what they say real girls look like.

“I just remember leafing through the mag every month thinking ‘I wish I had her waist… I wish I had her hair,’” said 17-year-old Emma Stydahar.

That’s when Stydahar and her friend Carina Cruz, 16, decided to take action and follow in the footsteps of fellow activist, 14-year-old Julia Bluhm, who last week convinced Seventeen magazine to stop airbrushing its models.

In the August issue of Seventeen magazine, editor Ann Shoket included a letter and body peace treaty that states Seventeen will “never change girls’ body or face shapes,” and “celebrate every kind of beauty in our pages.”

“We’re really hoping to try and get magazines to realize that they should have a diverse array of models,” said Cruz.

They also started a successful online petition that has already garnered over 28,000 signatures. In the petition, they ask Teen Vogue to “follow Seventeen’s example.”

Unlike Bluhm’s positive meeting with Seventeen executives, Stydahar and Cruz say they felt bullied when they came face-to-face with Teen Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Amy Astley.

Stydahar says the meeting was “a lot of telling us we hadn’t done our homework, and that Teen Vogue is a great magazine, who is being unfairly accused.”

In a statement to ABC News, Teen Vogue says they “were receptive to meeting with Emma and Carina to give them an opportunity to discuss their concerns… We feature dozens of non-models and readers every year and do not retouch them to alter their body size.”

Teen Vogue added that they use healthy models on the pages of their magazine. ABC News asked the magazine if they airbrush and Photoshop these models, but they didn’t reply to the inquiry.

Stydahar and Cruz aren’t accusing Teen Vogue of airbrushing their models; they’re just looking for a public pledge from the magazine that they won’t Photoshop and will only use healthy models.

Even though the meeting with Teen Vogue’s editor didn’t go as the girls hoped it would, they are vowing not to give up.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Real Moms on the Realities of Losing the Baby Weight

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Earlier this month, a group of moms gave birth to a radical idea. Instead of focusing on the perhaps unrealistic pressures celebrities set to lose the baby weight, they decided to embrace their bodies to try to change the face of post-baby body expectations.

Heidi Klum hit the Victoria's Secret runway in next to nothing just six weeks after giving birth. Fellow angel, Alessandra Ambrosio, basically bared it all a mere 12 weeks after delivering her bundle of joy. And who could forget Kourtney Kardashian posing for covers of magazines rocking a red-hot bikini just three months after becoming mother to baby boy, Mason.

"I think it's great that they can get their body back, because they have the time," mother Katie Schunk said. "They're being paid to look good, but we're all working mommies. Jessica Alba was back to her pre-baby weight in like four weeks. At four weeks I was up every three hours and not able to function."

Marie Schweitzer agreed, "We love them all. We're all celebrity worshipers. But at the same time, that's them maybe two months after having a baby, and this," she said while pointing to herself up and down, "a year and four months after having a baby."

So instead of scrutinizing photos of themselves, the women of decided to embrace their bodies and bare it all, showing the world what "real women's" bodies look like post-baby.

"We have this amazing moment of having a child, and then right after, most women hate their bodies," said Schunk.

Michelle Noehren, mother and creator of, affirmed, "You do an amazing thing by carrying a human being in your bodies and giving birth. We should be proud of our bodies."

But what they didn't realize was that while they were fearlessly flaunting their figures for the camera, these moms were really on an even bigger mission with a message for all women.

"If we could reach one woman and get her to maybe not feel so bad about herself, I think that's exactly what we wanted to do," Schunk said.

Even the photographer of the shoot, Jean Molodetz of I View Photography, was tearing up watching the mothers frolick in the backyard.

"Watching them embrace the spirit of the message, it was great," Molodetz explained.

They thought they were just taking pictures for fun, but the reaction they felt when they started shooting wasn't anything any of them were expecting.

Another mother on the shoot, Mary Grace Peak, said, "It was such a release, because trying to balance work and family and home -- to actually run around someone's yard half naked was very liberating and fun. It was great to kind of forget that I was a mom just for a minute and just remember who I am as a woman."

Dena Fleno also posed for the camera. She explained, "It was the togetherness, and that's what we want to get across to women. Get together with your girlfriends and do something like this because you will be changed after you do it. It is so important."

Noehren's husband tells her every day that she's beautiful. But still, "it's hard to believe it yourself even though you hear it, and doing something like this really does help," she explained.

Schunk's husband thought it was an amazing idea for the women to do the shoot, also. "He's the first person to say that women are our own worst critic. Men don't judge us as much as we judge ourselves, and it was nice to see us embrace ourselves and feel beautiful for a while," she said.

Fleno has a daughter and hopes she'll learn from this experience to embrace and accept whatever body she has at any given moment. "She might have a different one than she had in high school when she's a mom. But that's who she is now and she's got to embrace it and accept it and just love yourself. And this helped. It really did. I've never felt more beautiful than I did that night. I have this joy inside now from that night that's never going to go away now," she explained.

These women really want all moms to feel good about themselves. They're encouraging everyone who has carried a child to head to to upload your own fearless photos to the website.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Five Ways to Teach Kids About Healthy Body Image

Hemera/ThinkstockBy DIANE HENDERIKS, Good Morning America Health Contributor

(NEW YORK) -- We turn on the TV, flip through a magazine or check out an ad on our favorite website…images of skinny female bodies are everywhere. We can hope our kids will not get sucked in by the hype of “thin is in,” but, unfortunately, they do. The average height and weight for a model is 5’10″ and 110 lbs, while the average woman is actually 5’4″ and 145 lbs.

One perfect example of these unrealistic expectations is the world’s favorite doll. Researchers generated a computer model of a woman with Barbie’s proportions. They found that her back would be too weak to support the weight of her upper body, and her body would be too narrow to contain more than half a liver and a few centimeters of bowel. A real woman built this way would walk on all fours, suffer from chronic diarrhea and eventually die from malnutrition.

What kind of message does this send? The majority of us could NEVER attain the bodies in these images, but the number of girls and women who try is astounding and the health penalty of this quest is devastating. Family pressure, peer pressure, the media or a combination of all three appear to be major sources of negative self image.

The diet and weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar business and they’re not just targeting adults. Do our children have the unrealistic idea that being thin is the only way to popularity, happiness and success?

It is our responsibility as parents to be sure that the messages we communicate to our children are healthy.

Here some of my suggestions:

  1. Promote a healthy relationship with food: Discuss nutrition and why your body needs natural, whole foods to function properly. We need to eat to live, not live to eat.
  2. Don’t talk negatively about your own body: Hopefully you are comfortable enough in your own skin, but if you are not, keep it to yourself.  Your child will feed off of any negative discussions and comments.
  3. Exercise: Be a role model for regular physical activity! Many studies have shown that the key to a lifelong healthy weight is regular physical activity. Get physically active with your kids whenever possible.
  4. Don’t use the word “diet”: If you skip meals, buy prepackaged “diet” food, eat only “fat free” or “lite” foods, avoid “carbs,” your kids will pick up on it and think that is how they should eat and think about food.
  5. Keep healthy foods on hand at all times: Get your kids involved in grocery shopping and food decision making.

Diane Henderiks is a registered dietitian, the founder of and a Good Morning America health contributor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio