At some point over the last few months, it began to feel like an assembly line: Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan ….

All of a sudden, you couldn’t tell them apart: the drapey gowns clinging to skinny hips, the long blond tendrils falling over matchstick-thin arms, the smoky eyes accenting bottle-bronzed faces.

It was the picture that launched a thousand tabloid items. In 1998, Flockhart arrived at the Emmys thinking she looked pretty darn cute in her backless pink gown. She was the only one. The "Ally McBeal" star’s emaciated frame quickly led to tabloid rumors of an eating disorder, a charge she vehemently denied.


During her tenure on "Ally McBeal," de Rossi transformed from a shapely starlet to a skeletal shadow of her former self (as did her co-star, Courtney Thorne-Smith, who has also filled out nicely), with her twig-like arms offering clear proof that her weight-loss plan had gone very, very wrong.



OK, so Teri Hatcher could still stand to add a few more pounds (and by few, we mean "a lot"). Gone is the gaunt bod with those collarbones that could cut glass, replaced with a svelte, womanly silhouette (and collarbones that can merely scratch glass). Look for all of Teri’s angular bits on the new ABC series "Desperate Housewives."


There’s no doubt Lara Flynn Boyle is still frighteningly thin (she claims it’s a fast metabolism). To me, Lara looks ever so slightly beefier now (right) than she did at the same time last year, when the jewelry she was wearing weighed more than she did. I don’t know if she ate a grape the day this picture was snapped (or maybe a grape nut), but I wanted to give the actress all the encouragement we can. Now go have another grape, honey! And on that note, here are a few stars who need to rethink their current diets …


Selma Blair (December 2003 and June 2004): Our belly is rumbling just looking at the colorfully attired Blair (right), who is so slim she could seek cover behind the nearest swizzle stick — with room to spare. We much prefer the still super-streamlined but more glowing, grownup-looking Selma in the slit-to-there black Valentino. Too bad the actress doesn’t agree. "This is horrifying to me," she told People in April upon seeing a picture of herself in this black dress. "I look like a drag queen. I’d just gotten engaged, and we were eating five times a day and just staring at each other. Boy did I pay the price for that."


Brittany Murphy (December 1999 and June 2004):With her sunken eyes and sickly pallor, Brittany looks like she barely has the strength to carry her clutch, never mind a whole movie ("Little Black Book," due out September). The newly single star should realize that most men prefer curvy to cadaverous, so in the future, she should try her darndest to add more skin, less bone.