Having a larger chest and a bigger behind is becoming more trendy and accepted in today’s society, but skinny is still shoved down our throats as the ideal—on our televisions, in our magazines and anywhere else that might influence us, the women playing the role of perfect are slimmer than slim.
Being skinny doesn’t mean you’re not hot, of course, but we don’t want girls to feel like they’re automatically hideous because they’re not super thin. And it’s easy to feel like that, when the message that super thin must equate to super beautiful is nearly everywhere you look.
So instead, learn something from women who love their bodies, whatever size they are. Take a look at these 20 powerful women who aren’t a size zero, but are definitely scorching hot!
20 Demi Lovato: F the Haters
Demi Lovato knows all too well what it’s like not to feel comfortable with your own body. The talented singer has been a victim of bullying and body-shaming, and has battled an eating disorder stemming from her poor body image.
Recently, Lovato has been hitting the gym and eating healthily, and she’s not a size zero, but she does look better than ever! Instead of hiding herself from the world like she once did, she shows off her curvy and muscular figure quite often. Online trolls still try to make her feel bad about her body because it’s not a size zero and therefore “fat” in their eyes, but she swats them away like flies and continues with her life.
19 Ashley Graham: A New Standard of Beauty
If you’re searching for a role model who promotes self-love, look no further than the gorgeous Ashley Graham. This model works for Lane Bryant, and has quite a few achievements on her list which have encouraged women to love and respect their bodies, no matter whether they’re a size zero or a size 20.
Graham is actually the first plus-sized model of all time to feature on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, a magazine notoriously known for photographing women who men deem to be perfect. The model has also promoted the idea that beauty is beyond size at high schools around the country, and raised awareness for women of all sizes with the hashtags #PlusIsEqual and #ImNoAngel.
18 Jennifer Lopez: The Original Curves
Before there was Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, and the other famous women of pop culture today who have bountiful backsides, there was Jennifer Lopez. The superstar believes that she “paved the way” for people like Kardashian and Minaj to embrace their rearview because she burst onto the scene with her curvy figure when just about everyone else was trying to be stick thin.
And according to the “Jenny from the Block” singer, she loves her body and wouldn’t want to be smaller, even if she could. “I have a butt, I have boobs, and I have a woman's curves; there is no way I'd see them go to zero,” she said. Once, J.Lo even fired a manager for insisting she drop a few pounds!
17 Serena Williams: Hot and Powerful
Tennis megastar Serena Williams relies on her body for her success. She needs to be as fit, strong, and healthy as possible in order to win the matches she does and dominate the world of female tennis. Her body is her top priority, and though it’s a winning machine, it’s not a size zero.
Recently making an appearance in Beyoncé’s “Sorry” video, Williams is now starting to be noticed for her looks (including her hot bod), in addition to her major talent, and the world likes what it sees. Toned, defined, and tough, Williams proves that women don’t need what’s seen as a traditionally soft and feminine figure to be beautiful—muscles serve a purpose, and they’re something to be admired!
16 Lena Dunham: Sick of Society
Lena Dunham has never been Hollywood skinny, and though she’s fine with the way she looks, she resents the way society tells her to be ashamed of that. Though she is an icon and admired by many for her work towards female empowerment and body acceptance, she has stated that she is often told she is “brave” for displaying her body without photo-shop. Her issue with that is it shouldn’t be a courageous act to have a body that doesn’t fit the norm; there should be no norm in the first place.
“No one’s [body] is [fair game],” she wrote online, hitting back at those who criticize the way she looks. “No matter their size, color, gender identity, and there’s a place for us all in popular culture to be recognized as beautiful.
15 America Ferrera: A Real Girl
Starring as the loveable main character in Ugly Betty, America Ferrera graces every red carpet with elegance. Never failing to look gorgeous, the actress has spoken out about the fact that although her size isn’t above average in the real world, Hollywood sees it that way. “I'm a regular-size person. I'm a size six or eight, which is totally normal.”
The pressure to lose weight is definitely there, but Ferrera isn’t interested in getting down to a size zero. “Sometimes I worry more about losing weight than gaining weight, because this is how people know and accept me.”
14 Jesy Nelson: Standing Out
Little Mix star Jesy Nelson has faced much unfair and cruel bullying over her weight for the entirety of her career with the girl group. Though she’s by no means “fat”, Nelson is naturally a bigger build than her bandmates Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock. For years this fact (and the bullying she battled for it) made her feel ashamed of her body.
Today, Nelson is finally recognizing how beautiful she actually is. She takes care of her body, trains it to cope with the band’s intense touring schedule, and flawlessly executes her choreography like the pro she is. We’re glad she’s finally proud of how amazing she looks and is embracing her athletic figure, which is just as gorgeous as any other.
13 Jennifer Hudson: It’s About Confidence
Jennifer Hudson wasn’t happy with her weight for years, and after losing some serious pounds and becoming a spokesperson for Weight Watchers, she finally gained the confidence she’d been craving. Remember that it doesn’t matter what size you are, but how you feel at that size which is important!
Hudson came down to a weight that she was happy with, and the goal wasn’t to be as skinny as she could. “I never said I was a size zero,” said the star. “I got crucified by I don’t know how many people who cussed me out because they said I’m putting out the wrong message and telling people to be a size zero.” Hudson promotes a weight that is healthy, whatever size that happens to be for you.
12 Beyoncé Knowles: Worshipping Her Body
She has one of the most famous backsides of all time, and her curves are legendary. Her song “Bootylicious” was one of the first anthems for body acceptance and she has been considered one of the most beautiful women in the world on more than once occasion. Of course, we’re talking about Beyoncé Knowles.
B’s body has changed over the years—she slimmed down majorly following a master cleanse diet for the movie Dreamgirls, fell pregnant and then lost the baby weight, and then fell pregnant again with twins. The whole time, the superstar has loved and celebrated herself, reminding other women to do the same. She appreciates her body not just for the way it looks, but for the amazing things it can do, from slaying choreography to growing humans.
11 Sofia Vergara: The Way Nature Intended
Colombian bombshell Sofia Vergara is naturally voluptuous and likes it that way. Another example that women can actually be talented, funny, and stunning, the Modern Family star is very comfortable with her body, though she isn’t a size zero. We (and the rest of humanity) think she looks to die for, but she has revealed that she’s been put under “massive” pressure to lose weight by certain figures behind-the-scenes in the industry.
In spite of their taunts, she loves her body just the way it is. Vergara has said that she doesn’t personally like the look of being overly thin, stating that other stars “may look good in pictures, but I look good unclothed.”
10 Fifth Harmony: A New Era for Girl Groups
Girl bands are often thought to be notorious for endorsing unrealistic body standards and inadvertently making their young, impressionable fans feel really bad about themselves. Fifth Harmony, who have just released a new self-titled album, are setting new body values for young girls, and we are loving it!
None of the four members—Normani Kordei Hamilton, Dinah Jane Hansen, Ally Brooke, and Lauren Jauregui—are unrealistically thin. Instead, the girls each have a unique body shape, and dress in different outfits to accentuate their individual outlines. Since all the girls are equally smoking hot (in our eyes and the eyes of Hollywood), they teach fans that the build you are has nothing to do with how attractive you appear or how confident you feel.
9 Christina Aguilera: Still a Hottie
As a young pop star, Christina Aguilera was known for being a size zero (not that there was anything wrong with that—she was still stunning!). As she’s matured and gone through life’s experiences, including giving birth to a son, her body shape has changed.
Cruel voices in the media and haters online have called her out for putting on weight and transforming from the tiny star she once was, but anyone of reasonable mind can see that X-tina has still got it. Some even compare her to beauty icon Marilyn Monroe thanks to her fuller figure. Celebrity trainer Kathy Kaehler, an expert in healthy bodies, commented that Aguilera looks especially exquisite these days: “I think she looks beautiful as her figure accentuates her.”
8 Adele: Beauty Isn’t About Size
Over the past few years, global superstar Adele has been one of the best examples of beauty coming in all different packages. She’s never been about slimming herself down to increase her appeal, famously saying, “I make music for ears, not eyes.” She may not be making music for the eyes, but she still looks damn good to us!
People have criticized Adele for not being as thin as other pop stars, but she doesn’t let it get to her. “I like looking nice, but I always put comfort over fashion,” she said. “I don’t find thin girls attractive; be happy and healthy. I’ve never had a problem with the way I look. I’d rather have lunch with my friends than go to a gym.”
7 Melissa McCarthy: Embracing Her Curves
Famously playing characters like Megan in Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy receives a lot of praise for her talent as a comedian. But people are starting to realize that she is pretty stunning too. How about that—who knew women could be funny AND attractive?!
Fans love McCarthy’s famous curves, and were outraged when it seemed like Elle magazine was trying to cover them up in the actress’s cover shoot. McCarthy graced the cover in a modest jacket, but insists that she’s comfortable with her body and the wardrobe decision wasn’t about hiding anything. She also designs clothes for women who are bigger sizes, stating, “People don’t stop at size 12. I feel like there’s a big thing missing where you can’t dress to your mood above a certain number.”
6 Tess Holliday: A Body-Positive Pioneer
One of the world’s most famous and iconic advocates for women of bigger sizes is Ryann Maegen Hoven, otherwise known as Tess Holliday. Sick and tired of the world only valuing women who are below a certain size, Holliday has fostered the #effyourbeautystandards movement on social media, which aims to get people to rethink what they consider beautiful.
Holliday was the first model who was size 22 to be signed to a major agency, and has helped guide a lot of other models of similar sizes toward success. She doesn’t just stand up for women who are size 22, but all women who are uncomfortable with their body sizes, and encourages girls to love themselves, since self-confidence is really what makes you beautiful.
5 Kelly Clarkson: Happiness Over Vanity
If there’s one star who knows how much pressure the entertainment industry puts on women to be thin, it’s Kelly Clarkson. The first American Idol winner has received endless hate and criticism for not being as thin as other pop stars in the industry, but she doesn’t let it bother her. Refreshingly, she actually likes her size, which is all that matters.
“I have a curvy figure, which guys like,” she said proudly, ignoring the horrible things perfect strangers have said about her figure. “I could die tomorrow. Do I wanna die on a diet? Am I gonna meet God on an empty stomach? Probably not—I'm gonna meet him with some steak and taters in my stomach!”
4 Pink: Her Body Is a Machine
Another campaigner for female empowerment, Pink has never believed in changing her body to suit the standards of others. Owing to her hard work and nutritious diet, Pink has an athletic, healthy figure, which fans love. Some have commented that her body is too muscular, but she’s more than happy to tell those people where they can stick it.
In an open letter on Twitter, the singer and mother made her feelings about her body quite clear. “I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off.” It’s so inspiring when women love and appreciate their bodies for the things they do, not just how they look. Our purpose does extend beyond looking pretty, ya know!
3 Drew Barrymore: Resisting Pressure
Unfortunately, body image issues aren’t just a problem for adults. Kids are also pressured to look a certain way, particularly in Hollywood. Drew Barrymore was just a child when she got her first role in a major movie, and says that although she was young, she “was the fat kid who was always beaten up.” The criticism didn’t end there, and even today people love to point out that she still has “baby fat” despite having grown up.
“I'd rather be a few pounds heavier and enjoy life than be worried all the time,” she told Elle. She later added that people who want to say nasty things will find an excuse to say them, whether you’re a size zero or a size 22.
2 Mariah Carey: Fabulous, Darling
Now in her late 40s, Mariah Carey is as fabulous as she ever was, and size has nothing to do with it. The music icon has changed a lot over the years, but the fact that she is no longer as slim as she once was does not make her any less beautiful. Women all around the world envy Carey for her looks, her talent, and her confidence, which all come together to make her into a total hottie!
She does suffer from insecurity just like everybody else, but at the end of the day, her inner-confidence always wins the battle. Body-shamers flock to her Instagram to have their say, but we’re willing to bet that none of them look half as good as Mimi.
1 Kim Kardashian: A Role Model for Her daughter
You can’t have a list about hot women who are bigger than size zero and not include Kim Kardashian! Whether you’re a fan of the reality star or not, there’s no denying that she’s a role model for women with curves, and has proven to Hollywood that their standards of being super thin aren’t superior to any other size.
Kardashian’s influence on society has made it so some women are actually conscious of not having a big enough behind nowadays, and we’re not sure that’s a good thing either. But she has spoken out about being proud of your body, and how she sends that message to her daughter. “As North gets older, she'll start to be more aware of herself and her body,” she wrote on her blog. “Her attitude toward her body is directly related to my own, so it's my responsibility to make sure she understands that positive body image comes from having a healthy self-esteem.”