“I want to stand and salute that!”
— Ken Cosgrove, Mad Men
The world is a pretty messed up place and continues to prove me right.
This is especially true when I see things like redheaded bombshell Christina Hendricks being called fat, or in this case a “big girl”, by the New York Times with a matching, distorted image to ‘prove’ it. Not only that, but recently, they seem to have no problems letting their entertainment writers perpetrate unhealthy body images to their readers like some gossip rag.
The tales of the New York Times story goes something like this:- Andy Port, the woman behind “Now Scrutinizing | A rounder Golden Globes,” took it upon herself to call Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox and Kate Hudson girls who are “sporting extra curves” who have “put on a little weight” at the 2010 Golden Globes.
I’m sorry, but I think I missed the memo where it said that uber bone skinny, anorexic and bulimic women were the norm and attractive?
I guess the near death look is attractive for some people. I’m just not one of them.
The same night, January 18, 2010, Cathy Horyn wrote a piece called “Further Reflections on a Golden ‘I.'” Here she, not only called Christina Hendricks a “big girl” in a “big dress” (a fashion faux-pas says Port) at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards, but her article on the New York Times, also included a distorted image of Christina to prove the point. (above)
Hendricks is best known for playing Joan Holloway, the redheaded, curvaceous, witty bombshell on the AMC hit television series Mad Men. Her dress, was designed by Project Runway and Marc Jacobs mentee, Christian Siriano. Filled with ruffles, this sleek, peach champagne ensemble was anything but boring and made a statement in pure Christian Sirano fashion, even though it does look like something straight from Barbie’s closet!
But was it the right one?
Well, according to Horyn, no it was not. In her opinion piece she wrote, “Not pretty Christina Hendricks in Christian Siriano’s exploding ruffle dress. (As one stylist said, ‘You don’t put a big girl in a big dress.’)”
Again, this is me wondering where I was when the memo was sent out making statements like the above acceptable in general.
Yes, I understand that people should choose their clothing based on what best appeals to their body type. But Christina Hendricks didn’t look bad. She looked beautiful.
Therefore, if the only complaint against her, from a seemingly reputable publication is that she’s fat and doesn’t deserve to wear over-the-top gowns, something is wrong with that frame of thinking.
Marilyn Monroe was between a size 12 and a size 16 in her prime and she’s considered one of the sexiest women to ever live.Â On that note, I’m oddly reminded of that scene in Mad Men where the hormone-driven men of Sterling Cooper, the advertising agency in Mad Men, were working on the Maidenform account. They took their time and pointed to each woman in the office calling her a “Jackie Kennedy” or a “Marilyn Monroe.”
My favourite line, â€œJoan is a Marilyn. No! Marilyn is a Joan.â€
That pretty much sums it up.
So when I see things that perpetrate an unhealthy body image like what the NYT did above, it disgusts me … a lot.
I think it’s great to see women like Christina Hendricks in Hollywood. Women who don’t fit the body type Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston had in Friends, or the new body image Miranda Kerr is sporting to fit in with the haute couture chic.
I look at Christina Hendricks and her body and I think that’s someone real. Her breasts are naturally large and she wearing clothing to dress them accordingly, she’s never been overtly flashy with her body and makes curves ‘okay’ for women who find themselves looking at her and seeing themselves.
Eventually, the NYT did some cleaning and said that there was some uploading error and that’s why the image was distorted. You can interpret that however you so choose.
Also, upon closer inspection, when you magnify the image (click here to see) in comparision to the original, you’ll see that the NYT original image is a DIFFERENT image than the original because
- a) the colour of the dress is different. It’s brighter and more orange in the original, than it is pale and beige in the NYT version
- b) Christina’s makeup is more vibrant in the original; her lips and cheeks especially.
- c) the original was CROPPED for the NYT version because the NYT verison is stretched as the quality isn’t as crisp (look at her hand where she is holding her clutch purse). You can easily tell by looking at the right-hand side of both images. There is a woman in the background, in a black dress and black heels — in the original you see about three-quarters of her from the back. In the NYT version you saw less than half of her. Same goes for the security officer on the left hand side in the background, behind the ‘hand’ holding the umbrella.
- d) her hair is more vibrant and in your face red, than it is in the NYT version.
- e) if you look at her lower neck upper chest, directly above her breasts in the original, the same area where a necklace would lay, you will notice in the original her skin is red in that area. In the NYT version it’s white, perhaps very pale pink.
Oh well, it’s okay Joanie, I still think you’re fabulous.
Sasha Muradali runs the â€˜Little Pink Bookâ€™ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida with a minor in Dance (â€™07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(â€™08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima or get a copy of the â€˜Little Pink Bookâ€™ delivered to your Kindle.