Jennifer Love Hewitt's now-famous "bikini blog post"
and her critical comments about a celebrity culture obsessed with weight continue to reverberate.
PEOPLE magazine's latest cover story, on newsstands Friday, gets the story behind Hewitt's experience, after she was widely ridiculed over photographs taken of her in a bikini from a recent Hawaiian vacation.
And at the Dolce & Gabbana fragrance launch party in New York this week, several female celebrities told PEOPLE they felt solidarity with Hewitt. Here's what they had to say:
Model Petra Nemcova
: "There are different angles that everybody, even if you're in great shape, can look bad in a photograph. And printing these images is definitely influencing people's minds – the stars themselves, but also the people who are reading and looking at the images, the teenagers. It's definitely good that she spoke out."
: "They'll make a whole story about it if someone gains 5 lbs. ... It think there is a huge obsession with size-zero jeans, and it's just really scary. I don't really know where that comes from. We're not really in the Twiggy era anymore. It makes me really nervous, because I don't know how in the world we're supposed to be that thin unless we're totally starving and drugging up."
: "[As an actress], most of the year, your body is your own. But to be ridiculed for it is upsetting. But to also have to defend it or explain it or rejoice in it or put it down, or to be expected to have a public opinion about it ... I don't understand when that happened. I don't think women should only be defined by their bodies and their weight. It's a cycle we've been in for some time, and I don't really like it."
Meanwhile, Hewitt herself shook off the controversy this week – with a trip to Disneyland with fiancé Ross McCall and three of their friends. "She went on a bunch of rides," says a friend of the 28-year-old actress. "She had a great time."
For more on the Hewitt bikini controversy, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday