02/21/2014 10:44 am ET | Updated Feb 21, 2014

7 Things Vintage Stars Can Teach Us About Body Confidence

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Walking around in a female body is often a less-than-pleasant experience, no matter your size, color, height or weight.

Alongside being publicly catcalled and ogled, women are subjected to thousands of messages about "perfect" bodies and how to achieve them. Influenced by this constant noise, poor body image and warped self-image are prevalent -- something numerous media campaigns and advocacy groups have sought to change.

There are also many famous women who have recently pushed back against the expectations they face in the entertainment industry. Jennifer Lawrence won't hear the word "diet" whispered in her presence, Gabourey Sidibe brushes off comments about her appearance with endless good humor, and Rashida Jones wants to spread the message that there's more than one way to be sexy.

But it's not just famous ladies of today who are outspoken about these issues. Actresses in Hollywood's Golden Age also faced incredible pressure to look and act glamorous at all times, and figured out ways to handle those pressures with dignity and grace.

Here are seven lessons we can learn from them about body image and confidence:

1. Attitude matters.

sophia loren

2. Happiness is a great beautifier.

audrey hepburn

3. You have to love yourself...

lucille ball

4. And be true to your own values.

ingrid bergman

5. Don't let beauty standards dictate how you portray yourself.

bette davis

6. Understand that aging isn't a bad thing.

brigitte bardot

7. Don't let your looks get in the way of anyone taking you seriously.

jean harlow


Body Image Heroes