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March 14, 2008

Body Size, Body Shape: 6 Women's Stories

We all have issues with the bodies we were born with, but there's only so much you can change. Here, six women on how they work what they've got.

short asian woman next to tall blond woman

Ji Baek and Annabel Tollman

Photo Credit: Henry Leutwyler

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When I came to this country from Korea, I was so fascinated by tall American girls with blonde hair and blue eyes, I was ashamed to be a tiny Asian girl. But I'm a fighter, an Aries, and I express myself through fashion — although try finding fabulous clothes in size 2! I always have to preorder from stores to snag my size. Before I hit 32 five years ago, I was one of those women who could eat whatever she wanted. But now I have to practice portion control — especially since I love my junk food. I just recently signed up for a ballet class — an art that celebrates a small frame. Now I am stronger and stand taller, and ballet has added shapely new curves to my booty.
FAVORITE LOOK: A menswear jacket or loose cardigan over leggings with heels.
DO: The tiny fitted jackets from Dior Homme.
DON'T: Skimpy skirts with Uggs.

I began to feel proud of my body a few years ago when I started going to the gym and discovered what it was capable of. Instead of feeling like I was overweight compared to the current crop of models starving themselves, I was suddenly getting compliments from model types who admired my strength and healthy figure. I find Amazonian models like those in Herb Ritts photos from the early '90s to be more attractive than skinny twigs, but I am the most oblivious person to what men think. Some like boobs and bums, but it's always going to boil down to personal taste. Women want to be superskinny for other women — that silhouette is associated with achieving alpha women, while the healthy, curvy Bridget Joneses are the hapless betas. I can't relate at all; I don't aspire to be a size 0, thanks very much!
FAVORITE LOOK: A fitted dress by Dolce & Gabbana or Roland Mouret.
DO: Sexy sweaters, leggings, and over-the-knee boots.
DON'T: Puffy baby-doll dresses.

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