12/05/2007 at 12:00 PM EST
Jennifer Love Hewitt put out a battle cry after she was unflatteringly snapped on a beach in a bathing suit: "To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini," the Ghost Whisperer star, 28, advised, "put it on and stay strong."
Now, it's encouraging other all-star names to join her body-image bandwagon, PEOPLE reports in its latest cover story.
"To have to defend [your weight] or explain it – I don't understand when that happened," says actress Anne Hathaway. Eva Mendes adds, "Of course it bothers you. A few months ago, people thought I was pregnant. Maybe I was bloated that day? It's one of those things you've got to laugh at."
Kate Walsh, 40, of Private Practice, told viewers of The View to give Hewitt a break, saying on Dec. 4, "She's not being lit in a studio and made up, or airbrushed or wardrobed! It's not a fat thing."
Dr. Ian Smith of Celebrity Fit Club adds, "There's a distorted view of what a Hollywood starlet should be. She's in the normal range" – while designer Kevan Hall, who has dressed Hewitt for several red carpets, goes further: "She has a fabulous, womanly figure."
For more on this weighty issue, including comments from stars including Julianne Moore and others, pick up this week's copy of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday