Women with Curves have been admired for centuries openly and secretly. The confidence that plus size celebrities exude in movies and in the public eye is unmatched by anyone else. Over the years plus size women have starred in groundbreaking movies while becoming household names. With the release of For Colored Girls directed by Tyler Perry and starring Whoopi Goldberg, Loretta Devine and Janet Jackson, we decided to compile a list of movies, where plus size women were the stars. So here it goes!
9) She Done Him Wrong (1933)
Mae West, the original zaftig superstar, stole the show in this early talkie that she adapted from a racy hit play she had written called Diamond Lil. A naughty romantic comedy about a party girl club performer who gets in hot water when one of her jealous boyfriends breaks out of jail, the film’s content resulted in the studios establishing the first Motion Picture Production Code regulating film content decency. Undaunted, West went on to write films so riddled with hilarious double-talk and lewd entendres, they made censors’ heads spin. For her cleverness alone, she deserves to be number one.
8) Misery (1990)
Kathy Bates beat out Anjelica Huston, Joanne Woodward, Meryl Streep, and Julia Roberts to nab the Best Actress Oscar the year she played Nurse Annie Wilkes, a super fan holding her favorite author captive in her house after an accident leaves him immobile. But for those too squeamish to check Bates out in one of her multiple Stephen King thrillers, there’s always her upcoming role in the new Tyler Perry flick The Family That Preys to look forward to.
7) The Last Holiday (2007)
Queen Latifah, a hip hop icon turned movie star plays Georgia Byrd a clerk at a New Orleans department store. She is content to living a simple life until she finds out she has three weeks to live. She cashes her savings and lives out her dreams in this heartfelt comedic love story.
6) Hairspray (1988)
The original musical turned movie by John Waters starring Rikki Lake as Tracy Turnblad, arguably the coolest fictional chubby chick in the history of film. She danced up a storm, fought fearlessly for civil rights, ironed her hair, and stole the hottie away from the mean, skinny, popular girl. Who could ask for anything more?
5) Beloved (1998)
Critics were mixed on Oprah Winfrey’s portrayal of Sethe in this screen adaptation of Toni Morrison’s supernatural slave novel. But to true fans of both the book and the film’s star, it was obviously the dramatic performance of Winfrey’s career. Sure, she went on to “live her best life,” but this film captured a raw side of the most powerful woman in the world that audiences had never seen before or since.
4) Georgy Girl (1966)
Way back in the day, Lynn Redgrave starred as the plump and presumably unmarriageable title character in this Oscar-nominated romantic comedy. Made in less politically correct times, the tag line for this film when it opened was “Georgy girl is BIG!” But fans of the flick’s spunky heroine knew she was a lot more than that.
3) Real Women Have Curves (2002)
Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera was only 18 when she made her screen debut as the sassy, street-smart star of this list’s namesake film. Juggling the pressures of being a first generation Mexican-American with her teenage body-image issues and her desire to escape her family’s factory and go to college, Ana was a complex character for Ferrera, and the actress rose to the challenge in a way that definitely foreshadowed her superstar status.
2) Hairspray (2007)
By far the best thing about this movie musical remake of the Broadway remake of the ’80s cult film was sweet-as-sugar Nikki Blonsky, a Great Neck, NY, teen who beat out legions of other plump would-be starlets to sing and dance her way into our hearts. She even sold us on her mother-daughter relationship with John Travolta, so you know she must be good!
1) Dreamgirls (2006)
“American Idol” ex-participant Jennifer Hudson was the breakout star in this film adaptation of the Broadway musical about a trio of ’60s soul singers. The only surprise at that year’s Academy Awards, (at which Hudson nabbed an Oscar) was that she won for “Best Supporting Actress.” You mean she didn’t have the lead role?