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Celebrity weight wars

Brave A-list women reveal just how much pressure they’re under to lose weight, and why they refuse to conform their curves

Jennifer Lawrence (and Mila Kunis
Image Credit: Getty Images
Jennifer Lawrence (left) and Mila Kunis, have both shunned the Hollywood stereotype of super skinny.

Christina Aguilera
The now-curvy, once tiny singer has revealed just how much pressure she was under to stay skinny during the promotion for her 2002 album Stripped. “I’m Ecuadorian, but people passed me off as a skinny, blue-eyed white girl,” The Voice judge explained, “and so I gained about 15 pounds – I was heavier, darker and full of piercings. It wasn’t an easy pill for [the record label] to swallow. They called this emergency meeting… they told me I would affect a lot of people if I gained weight – that people I toured with would miss out because I would sell no records or tickets to my shows. I was young, so I lost the weight quickly and was toothpick thin during the 2006 Back To The Basics promos.” But the 31-year-old says she won’t put up with that any more, “my body just isn’t on the table that way anymore, and I told them ‘you’re working with a fat girl. Know it now, and get over it.’”

Jennifer Lawrence
The 22-year-old breakthrough star may be busy filming Catching Fire, but there are some hunger games she won’t play, “I’m never going to starve myself for a part,” she insisted after critics from the New York Times said her “womanly figure” made her a “bad fit” for the role of Katniss in The Hunger Games, and a writer from The Hollywood Reporter criticised her “lingering baby fat.”

“In Hollywood, I’m obese, I’m considered a fat actress, I’m Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach,” explained the very slim size-eight Oscar nominee, “I eat like a caveman… I’ll be the only actress who doesn’t have anorexia rumours. I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss so I’m going to skip dinner.’ That was something I was really conscious of during training… I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.”

Mila Kunis
She’s put on 25 pounds since she played a ballerina in Black Swan, and while the Ted actress – and new Ms. Kutcher – says she’s happy with getting her curves back, not everyone is. “When I was shooting Black Swan, everyone was like, ‘Gosh, you’re really too skinny’. Then my weight started bouncing back and everyone was like, ‘She looked better when she was anorexic looking!’.”

And it’s not just the public opinion that Mila’s been battling with, her status as a spokeswoman for Dior is apparently in question. “When they signed Mila in January 2012, she was a total waif,” a source close to the fashion house spilled. “They didn’t worry about making her agree to a weight limit in the contract and they’re really regretting that now.” Is Mila fazed? Not really: “this is my normal body,” she responded when asked about her weight gain, “before, all you saw was bone. I was like, ‘This looks gross.”

Romola Garai
Star of Atonement and hit TV series The Hour, 30-year-old Brit actress Romola Garai’s talent is evident for everyone to see, but she says her real body shape is less transparent. “I’m being airbrushed in magazines a lot,” the star – who suffered from body dysmorphic disorder when she first started out – revealed. Adding, “People are under the impression that this is really how my body looks… that worries me.”

“My weight was a very big issue when I started acting,” Romola continued, “I was then – and am now – a very normal size 10. But that’s not acceptable.” And, she says, her perfectly healthy weight also holds her back in the style stakes, “I’m too big for designer dresses, there’s no way I could ring up a designer and say, ‘do you have in a ten’… press samples are a small size eight. I you want the profile you have to lose weight.”

Liv Tyler
She’s one of Team Scene’s  fave actresses and beauty idols, but since 2003’s Lord Of The Rings, and 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, the 34-year-old daughter of Steven Tyler has been in very few films. Why? “I’ve been told that if I lose weight I’d have more work,” the 5’10” beauty spilled, “but I refuse to submit myself to Hollywood standards. To the rest of the world I’m slim and I like the way I am.”

Scarlett Johansson
Her curves rocked the catsuit in The Avengers, but Scar-Jo has since spoken up against reports she lost 14 pounds for the role, calling them “irresponsible” and saying it’d be near impossible for her to lose that much weight off her 5’3” frame. “If I were to lose 14 pounds, I’d have to part with both my arms. And a foot,” the 27-year-old explained, “I feel better when I take time to focus on staying active,” she added, “but I would be mortified to discover that some 15-year-old girl in Kansas City read one of those ‘articles’ and decided she wasn’t going to eat for a couple of weeks so she could look like Scarlett Johansson.”

Size soundbites

Kelly Clarkson
“My happy weight changes. Sometimes I eat more; sometimes I play more. I’ll be different sizes all the time. When people talk about my weight, I’m like, `You seem to have a problem with it; I don’t. I’m fine!’ I’ve never felt uncomfortable on the red carpet or anything.”

Keira Knightley
“I think the pressure we put on women to either be thinner or fatter or to have longer legs or shorter legs or bigger breasts or smaller breasts is disgusting. It’s amazing in 2012 that that level of misogyny over women is still there... Particularly over young women. We pull them apart.”

Amber Riley
“Hollywood is a very hard place to be. It really is. Being the person I am, you know, the size I am… going to the auditions and having the casting director say you need to loose a little weight, I didn’t understand why people couldn’t accept me for who I was. I’m not going to conform and hurt myself, and do something crazy to be a size two.”