Beauty is in the Eye of… These Kick Ass Ladies

Lou and I are back with another dual feature – this time it’s all about a few celebrities who are singing the body electric and the fashion they embrace along the way.

With all of the negativity and pressure thrown at everyday women, celebs fall under the gun of microscopic scrutiny. The following three ladies not only maintain their own positivity in the face of haters, they also share messages of confidence and joie de vivre with the rest of us.

Christina Hendricks

Let’s kick things off with the curvaceous wonder woman of Mad Men fame, Christina Hendricks. Her main body image quote floating around the interweb is from an interview she did with Health magazine in 2010:

“I guess my mom raised me right. She was very celebratory of her body. I never heard her once say, ‘I feel fat.’ Back when I was modeling, the first time I went to Italy I was having cappuccinos every day, and I gained 15 pounds. And I felt gorgeous! I would take my clothes off in front of the mirror and be like, Oh, I look like a woman. And I felt beautiful, and I never tried to lose it, ’cause I loved it.”

It is a great quote, and the whole interview is worth reading for more of the same. I like to think that perhaps her relaxed confidence is an extension of the joy she finds in the world. Chili and Pinot Grigio at 4pm? Sounds like my kind of woman.
Hi there! Lou here. Can I just point out that not only does Ms. Hendricks have killer curves, but she dresses them to perfection. Not to mention her pale skin and red hair that make her partial to jewel tones, which I very much enjoy. I don’t always love the gowns she chooses, but I do love that she plays with color and the tailoring is always impeccable. What? You want examples? Ok, exhibit A, B, and C:


Hair accessories are back in a big way lately and this one is perfect on her. And those BOOBS! My god. Her boobs, they’re … distracting. She has some huge boobs.

And finally my personal jewel-tone favorite from the set of Mad Men, aka Exhibit C:

In fact, I think these 60’s inspired looks suit her so well, she should just rock them in the real world, although that might get weird. She’s a major stunner. Let’s look at one more picture of her …

I chose this one as an example of bad fashion because that dress is horribly ugly and the shoes are even worse. What are those shoes?! But, the body definitely is nothin but bangin and girl knows how to dress it…usually.

Yeesh, couldn’t agree more on that last one! Pretty sure it’s the flowers. The giant, hideous flowers. But everything preceding this train-wreck outfit is the definition of flawless. Love.


This lady is all over the place talkin’ that body confidence talk. It’s particularly heartening coming from RiRi, because at all of 24 years old she is working to build the kind of self-esteem that eludes most of us until our 30’s.

In the March 2012 issue of Women’s Fitness, she discusses nakedness as a remedy for judging yourself too harshly:

“The more I got naked the more comfortable I felt. I just had to face my fear. You always find something wrong, you always find something you’re uncomfortable with, and one thing turns into another and you get embarrassed and self-conscious about it. After a while, it was like, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ and I just started being a little more daring with it. It was just knowing my body is the way it is no matter what that helped me, knowing that it is what it is under clothes or outside of clothes. My way probably won’t work for most people.”

In March the pop star was working overtime on the Confidence Train, telling a UK reporter all about the realities of loving what you’ve got.

“I don’t think anyone really is 100% [confident],” Rihanna said. “I mean, you get comfortable with the fact that that’s your body and it is what it is,” she explained. “That I had to learn, doing enough topless shoots with GQ and Esquire. You just have to accept your body. You may not love it all the way, but you just have to be comfortable with it. You just want something else that someone else has, but that doesn’t mean what you have isn’t beautiful. No one is every 100% ‘I’m the’ from head to toe.”

Now RiRi will appear on the August cover of Harper’s Bazaar. What endears her to me here is her candid talk about eating (and enjoying it! what a concept!) and her only complaint being the desire for a Bigger Butt. Yes, you read that right.

“I don’t know if there’s something going on with my body right now, but I’m eating everything in life!” she laughs. “I miss my ass. It just went away! I need a butt. I have an idea of one, but it’s not living up to its full potential right now.”

Finally, Rihanna asserts this developing confidence by standing up for her art as well. As reported by NME Music News, she adamantly defends the artistic choices she makes in her videos and songs. It’s interesting to me that the two major complaints here are the “salaciousness” of Rihanna kissing a girl in a video (…other pop stars get all kinds of freaky with members of the opposite sex; how salacious is that?) and then in another video she’s accused of “promoting murder” because she *shoots her rapist.*

Sounds to me like some people just can’t abide powerful women who take ownership of their own sexuality.

I need to start by admitting I really love Rihanna’s style. And did you know she pronounces it “Ri-anne-a”? No joke. Heard her say it on the radio once. Anyway! You know what’s interesting to me? The way butts are coming back. Butt implants. J Lo, Jessica Beal, Beyonce … having a big butt is back in a big way. I love it. And speaking of butts, Rihanna’s is amazing and she loves to show it off in some of the cutest bikinis and bathing suits I’ve ever seen. How she thinks she lost it is beyond me. Girl spends so much time on the beach, and it’s summer, so I figure we should take a gander at her seashore styles (and her butt).

This is one of my most recent faves. Who says one pieces can’t be sexy? And on her skin tone, the white is white-hot:

Look at the back! So cute. Nice work Oscar de la Renta.

Erm, and check this out. This is crazy. Not quite as cute as the one above, but holy hell that is one smokin body. Girl is FIT. I know youth is still on her side, but you can tell she works for that body and doesn’t deprive herself in the process.

Another one of my favorite one pieces is below. These funky printed suits are everywhere right now. Leopards, zombies, world maps … you can pretty much find a bathing suit with anything printed on it these days. This one just happens to rule extra hard.

Cute beach cover up. Cute casual hair. And the nails and accessories really seal the deal for me on that entire beach look. Let’s look at one more before moving on to Ms. Reese Witherspoon.

Old school Rihanna! Super cutie. Great color. A little funky with those gold accents. On the rack I would hate this, but she proves me wrong by wearing the shit out of it … And look how much fun she’s having! Yay for the beach! Yay for bikinis! And yay for feeling awesome in them, whatever your body type.

Reese Witherspoon

Oh, Reese. I have so much admiration for this woman. And it’s not just because she totally won me over about 20 years ago with her gumption-filled portrayal of the younger sister in The Man in the Moon, but also because she is pretty damn consistent at Keeping it Real.

Ms. Witherspoon has always managed to keep a rational head on her shoulders, in spite of the aforementioned microscopic scrutiny of celebrities. For example, US Weekly’s website apparently has a collection that they call “Reese Witherspoon’s Body Evolution,” which, granted, is mostly a “she’s pregnant here, she’s not here, and here she is in a bathing suit!” retrospective, but still. Safe to say most of us would not welcome that sort of play-by-play on our physique.

Speaking of RW being pregnant, that’s the other thing that makes her a special feature in this blog post. She has a daughter, so her take on body image carries the additional weight of influencing her offspring, and making her all too aware of what girls go through in this information age.

Two years ago, in the UK’s Daily Mail, Reese pointed out the responsibility women have to little girls, particularly mothers:

‘…Living in Los Angeles has made her particularly aware though, she says, of teaching her children not about ‘fat and skinny’, but about ‘healthy and unhealthy.
“I can remember my own mother struggling with her weight and self-esteem. It was hard for me to watch her, because I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. When we women talk about our bodies and our looks, we have to be mindful of the effect this can have on little girls.”‘

She also credited her grandmother as an inspiring influence:

“In her day, girls could only go to certain colleges, where they were trained to be teachers or nurses, so she urged me to get a good education. She would say, ‘You can be whatever you want to be.’ She taught me to have strength and self-respect.”

Earlier this year, in the UK edition of Glamour, Reese let loose her thoughts on plastic surgery:

“I’m not for it. I’m not against it. I have plenty of friends who do stuff and if it makes you feel good, great … but I don’t think it’s the fix for some sort of unease that you’re having about who you are as a human being. I don’t think I need plastic surgery at this point: Can we just go day-by-day on that one?”

and on her own body image:

“I don’t worry about it. I have the body I earned: I had two kids and I’m still strong and healthy. And you start to have a different respect for your body the older you get. Instead of tearing yourself apart all the time, you start to go ‘Oh wow.'”

RW also tends to don the superhero cape of self-respect. When naked photos surfaced of “Blake Lively/Not Blake Lively/Wait You Can See Her Face, Yeah That’s Blake Lively,” Reese took an opportune moment to throw in her two cents on the matter:

“I get it, girls, that it’s cool to be a bad girl. But it is possible to make it in Hollywood without doing a reality show. When I came up in this business, if you made a sex tape, you were embarrassed and you hid it under your bed. And if you took naked pictures of yourself on your cell phone, you hide your face, people! Hide your face!”

To sum up: Reese not only believes in the value of self-confidence and self-respect, she also has enough savvy to lead the charge on Common Effing Sense.
I love Reese Witherspoon. As E pointed out, Man in the Moon was great, but I also rank Sweet Home Alabama and Fear at the top of my Reese watch list. Remember Markie Mark in that movie?? What a creep.

When thinking about Reese Witherspoon and fashion, it is tempting to focus on the amazingness that was her post-divorce style from that douche bag Ryan Phillipe (I never thought he was a douche bag while he was married to her though, interestingly enough), but her, what did E call it, her “breakover” style is pretty old news now and I think we should focus on the other side of Reese, the side that’s not on red carpets being glamorous, cause this starlet’s got major street style.

Reese’s street style is chic and classic. It’s not necessarily my style, but it’s a lot of my friend’s style and it’s a style I can appreciate.

She sticks to basics with a twist. That outfit on the left is really as funky as it gets (cute shoes!), but how comfy does she look? All while staying cute and put together. In addition to flouncy skirts, she also really enjoyed the boyfriend jean trend and I really enjoyed watching her do it so well.

How cute is the dress below? And I’m obsessed with my jean jacket lately … she wears hers really well here.

And those legs! They look strong, and here’s why – she works out. She is always photographed working out. She’s not one of those movie stars that claims they sit around and eat whatever they want and still have a body that defies reality. Nope. Girl works for it! And most likely, her kids will follow her example and that can only help their future body image too.

I’m sorry, but you don’t bounce back from having a baby by sitting around breast-feeding and doing absolutely nothing else. I suspect a lot of Hollywood mothers sit around and breast feed and don’t feed themselves, which is why I adore this picture of her out there working for it and being a hell of a lot more happy because of it. How grumpy would not eating make you? How great does exercise make you feel? Yay Reese! And with the muscles she develops as a runner, she can then sport adorable shorts like the ones below. In Reese’s world – everyone’s winning.

PS – give me that watch!!!

Hooray for celebrity ladies who know how to live, and know how to dress their strong, healthy bodies. Hooray for celebrity ladies who believe in themselves and their beauty and talent, all while sending loud and clear messages that we are capable of the same!

Join us next time for some shout outs to women who aren’t as famous as these ladies, but probably should be.