Some bloggers say she looks overweight and has too much cellulite -- particularly in shots showing her from the rear. One wrote, "She needs to do some jogging. Badly."
E! News Now host Ashlan Gorse says, "People just of course wanted to scrutinize her because she is famous and wanted to call her out on it and called her fat, which wasn't fair."
Love Hewitt, who stars in the CBS drama "Ghost Whisperer," is a size two. And she isn't taking the criticism sitting down.
She's done something rather unusual for a star under the cellulite spotlight. She's spoken up.
Pacific Coast News found her browsing in a bookstore and she looked directly into the camera, saying, "People should be proud of who they are and what they look like, and not let all this silliness and judgment sort of get in the way."
On her Web site, Hewitt says, "I've sat by in silence for a long time now about the way women's bodies are constantly scrutinized. To set the record straight, I'm not upset for me, but for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image.
"A size two is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size zero doesn't make you beautiful.
"What I should be doing is celebrating some of the best days of my life and my engagement to the man of my dreams, instead of having to deal with photographers taking invasive pictures from bad angles. I know what I look like, and so do my friends and family. And like all women out there should, I love my body.
"To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini -- put it on and stay strong."
Author, columnist and self-esteem expert Jessica Weiner told Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm the putdowns of Love Hewitt are "mortifying, actually, and we need a reality check. She's not fat, she never will be fat at that size, and we have a really skewed sense of beauty in this country. It might be one thing to say, 'Oh, well, it's just relegated to celebrity criticism,' but when we criticize a body like that and we criticize a woman like that, we criticize our own daughters like that.
"Cellulite does not always equal being overweight. It's a genetic thing. We have to keep it in perspective. I work with girls all the time who are saying, 'If they're calling her fat, what are they gonna say about me?' "
"The problem with our daughters," Storm observed, "is that they have a real hard time distinguishing this. If people are calling Jennifer Love Hewitt fat, our daughters assume those people are right. rather than wrong."
"Exactly," agreed Weiner, who wrote, "Life Doesn't Begin Five Pounds From Now." "We have a bombardment of images for our daughters, as we all know. They see hundreds of messages a day that tell them what to eat, what to wear, what to weight, and right now I'm working with girl ... one who is 17 and considering plastic surgery that we're coaching her on. And she's looking at this saying, 'Maybe I should get liposuction, too.' "
"It's really important that moms use this as a teachable moment. They should take our conversation that we're having and bring it home to their daughters, and talk about what they see -- get a Hollywood reality check. What you see out there is airbrushed and retouched, and when you see a photo like this, and it has a cruel intention behind it, use it to talk to your daughter about how to love and appreciate her body right now. Moms have to talk about it. If they want some more tools, they can go to campaignforrealbeauty.com and get involved in the conversation with their daughters."
"And never," Storm stressed, "say to your daughter, 'Does this make me look fat?' Or, 'I feel fat today?' "
"Right," Weiner concurred. "They have to walk their talk."