FASHIONS Designers are now creating styles for supersize women

Plus-size women are no longer relegated to supporting roles in the fashion world.
Forget superskinny and think supersize. Today's hottest stars are large and in charge and proving that plus-size is pretty.
From the silver screen (America Ferrera in "Real Women Have Curves," Nia Vardalos in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding") to the small screen (Sara Rue on "Less Than Perfect," Anna Nicole Smith on E!) to Broadway ("Hairspray" star Marissa Jaret Winokur) to music (Queen Latifah, Jill Scott), plus-size women are no longer relegated to supporting roles -- they're the new breakout stars.
Even plus-size models (Carre Otis, Mia Tyler, Fashion Emergency's Emme) are making their marks in fashion magazines. The truth is, 68 percent of American women are size 12 or larger and the average American woman wears a size 14.
Pair that with statistics that put plus-size spending at $17 billion in sales last year and it comes as little surprise that the media is finally taking notice.
Designers are stepping up to the plate as well. Fashion champs such as Ellen Tracy, Carmen Marc Valvo, Oscar de la Renta and Dana Buchman are churning out fashions for women who aren't model-thin.
Speaking out
And celebrities such as Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Osbourne, who by no means are overweight, are embracing their curves and speaking out against the Hollywood body ideals.
"I tend to gain weight, especially in my hips and thighs," Knowles told Cosmopolitan magazine when asked what inspired her to write "Bootylicious." "It's something that a lot of people go through. But you should love your body, and if someone says they don't like it, you should go ahead and tell them that they're just not ready for the jelly."
What we're ready for? Acknowledgment that big can be beautiful.