Does Obsession With Perfect Bodies Hurt Women?

Debate over weight rages on web as bloggers mock photo of Pierce Brosnan's wife.

ByABC News
February 11, 2009, 8:08 PM

Jan. 29, 2008— -- Celebrity bloggers are having a field day over paparazzi photos of Keely Shaye Smith, former 007 actor Pierce Brosnan's wife, on the beach in Hawaii, daring to show her quite ample bikini-clad body.

"Double Oh No," exclaimed the Web site, which posted the photos, taken last week during a Brosnan family outing. Commenters on the site -- one of many who posted and liberally commented on the photos -- referred to her as an "obese beached whale."

Smith, 43, a plus-size former soap opera star, may look more like James Bond's secretary Moneypenny, a down-to-earth real woman, than Pussy Galore, Bond's iconic 36-24-36 playmate.

Like many ordinary women, Smith may be beautiful but definitely not a size 2.

Snide remarks on the blogosphere demonstrate that weight is one of the last arenas where one can be politically incorrect without repercussions.

And, say psychologists, such comments destroy the self-confidence of everyday women and only feed the frenzy to be thin.

"I think it's great that she is proud of her body," said S. Tia Brown, senior editor for InTouch Weekly. "To be in a photo in a bikini in your 40s and not be petite, speaks to her confidence. It takes even more courage because her husband is considered a sex symbol."

In 2006, Smith had been featured in Vogue magazine's annual "shape" issue, telling readers she was proud of her Rubenesque figure.

Her husband, who played James Bond and has been called "the sexiest man alive," said he thought his wife was "stunning."

"I love my wife's curves," Brosnan told Vogue.

"I never shy away from color or my curves," the beautiful, but zaftig Smith told the magazine. "I like to play up my neckline and shoulders. If a jacket is pulling in the bust, I might just move the button an inch. But I never hide in baggy clothing."

Smith spent one season as Valerie Freeman on television's "General Hospital" in 1989. In the 1990s, she served as a correspondent on "Unsolved Mysteries." An avid gardener, she wrote a two-volume set on horticulture in 2000. The couple has been active in environmental causes.

Brosnan had no comment on the reaction to the photo, but in the past has been quoted as saying, "I found a great woman in Keely. Not if I searched a million times over would I find one as good."