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IMAGES: Sexy PLUS-SIZE women we admire!

Last updated on: March 20, 2012 18:15 IST

Image: Christina Hendricks
Photographs: Cover of Cosmopolitan UK, March 2012

They've made it big in a body image-obssessed world and it's no mean feat when you don't fit in with the more 'conventional' hotties.

Is size really just a number, or do we equate beauty with how slim a woman is?

Here's a list of some plus-size female celebrities who've made it big despite being criticised for their weight.

Do you think they're hot or not? Vote at the bottom of each page and let us know!

Christina Hendricks

The curvy Mad Men star is a breath of fresh air and a lovely one at that, what with slimline TV sirens taking up most of the limelight on most successful series. Thirty six-year-old Christina was voted Esquire's Sexiest Woman in the World 2010 in a poll of female readers, which only goes to prove just how much of a positive influence she is on full-figured women.

Katya Zharkova

Image: Katya Zharkova
Photographs: Cover of PLUS Model Magazine, November 2011

Russian plus-size model Katya, 30, has fronted successful campaigns for several popular brands. She created stir last year by stripping off for PLUS Model Magazine alongside a conventional model, to highlight disparities between real women and catwalkers.


Image: Adele
Photographs: Cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine, December 2011

The chart-topping songstress is only 23 and while on the heavier side, has a knockout features and a very feminine appeal. Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld recently came under heavy criticism for calling her fat and Adele hit back, stating in an interview with People Magaizine, "I represent the majority of women and I'm very proud of that."

Whitney Thompson

Image: Whitney Thompson
Photographs: Cover of Jacksonville Magazine, August 2008

Twenty four-year-old blonde bombshell Whitney made history by winning the tenth season of reality show America's Next Top Model in 2008, the first-ever plus-size model to do so. While her career is going places, she's also an ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association in the US.

Mariah Carey

Image: Mariah Carey
Photographs: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images

The once-petite singer, 41, has battled weight issues for a lot of her life, but you can't deny that even when on the plumper side, she's got killer curves! While not stick-thin, Mariah is in remarkably good shape lately, particularly since giving birth to twins last year.

Serena Williams

Image: Serena Williams
Photographs: Cover of ESPN Magazine, October 2009

Tennis diva Serena, 30, has proved once and for all that the definition of an athletic body is not size zero. Her voluptuous figure is taut, toned and all muscle -- and she makes no bones about playing it up with her unusual and colourful outfits on-court!

Tara Lynn

Image: Tara Lynn
Photographs: Cover of Elle France, February 2012

American model Tara, 27, is another young woman who's defied the conventions of the fashion world to make it big. The face of plus-sized lines for several prominent labels, she's gone on record to state that while she had body issues growing up, she's now secure with her looks and has no qualms stripping off.


Image: Namitha

Closer home, South Indian siren Namitha's immense popularity proves that thin isn't always 'in'. And the 30-year-old's bold, revealing outfits on-screen prove how comfortable she is in her own skin. Way to go -- maybe obssessive Bollywood should take note!

Kate Dillon

Image: Kate Dillon
Photographs: Evan Agostini/Getty Images

At 38, American model Kate has a tale different from everyone else. Teased because of her weight as a child, she lost a drastic amount and went into regular modelling, even winning a lucrative modelling contract in a contest. But plagued with constant pressure and an eating disorder, she dropped her career midway, only to take it up again later as a plus-size model. With her striking face and flawless skin, she's been the face of exclusive brands like Gucci and Liz Claiborne.

Laila Ali

Image: Laila Ali
Photographs: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali has now retired from the sport herself, but like Serena Williams, Laila Ali, 34, has a fuller sportswoman's figure -- she's another testament to the fact that big can be beautiful. And can also be as fit as they come!

Kelly Clarkson

Image: Kelly Clarkson
Photographs: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The 29-year-old singer-musician is another celebrity who's always grappled with weight issues. She's gone from overweight to toned and back to overweight all over again, but never made an issue of it, because to Kelly, it's simply not an issue. "When people talk about my weight, I'm like, 'You seem to have a problem with it; I don't.' I'm fine!" she was quoted as telling Self Magazine in a 2009 interview.

Kirstie Alley

Image: Kirstie Alley
Photographs: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Actress Kirstie has always been at the receiving end of criticism for being overweight. But at 61, she seems to be in the best shape of her life, having lost oodles of extra fat last year, after a stint on reality show Dancing With The Stars and using an organic weight loss product she herself launched.

Mia Tyler

Image: Mia Tyler
Photographs: Cover of Flare Magazine, August 2002

The half-sister of actress Liv Tyler, Mia, 33, is a plus-size fashion model and designer. Despite the fact that she weighs a lot more than her more famous sibling, her stunning looks have seen the brunette land a lot of lucrative assignments and she's a celebrity in her own right.

Queen Latifah

Image: Queen Latifah
Photographs: Cover of Essence Magazine, January 2012

And finally we come to the formidable former rapper and actress, the very epitome of a strong, successful, independent woman. Queen Latifah, who turned 42 a couple of days ago, is an inspiration to full-figured ladies everywhere and gone on record to say that "plus-size is a word we need to bury".

Tags: Latifah