07/17/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT
An anthem for curvy girls, Beyoncé
Knowles's 2001 song "Bootylicious" gave the language a new way to describe being confidently voluptuous. But does the word she coined still describe the singer-actress, who is looking much more taut these days? Maybe not, but her hot new look has fans wowed. "Beyoncé was off the chain," says actress Sanaa Lathan, who caught the singer at the June 27 BET Awards. "She's a little more special than the rest of us." After slimming down for December's Dreamgirls
, Knowles, 24, decided to keep the weight off. She has cut back on favorites like fried chicken and chocolate-chip cookies and now opts instead for protein shakes, fish and 6-mile runs—plus 4-hour dance rehearsals for her tour. "She's been working on her body for months," says a source. "And she feels great."
THE people.com POLL
prefer her curvy
love her slimmer