The New York Times took a potshot at Christina Hendricks this week and it makes me so angry I want to break a vase over their collective heads.
I love Christina Hendricks on Mad Men — as far as I’m concerned, she steals every scene she’s in. And the reason she does this is not only because she is an expressive and talented actress who plays that part like she was born to it, but also because she has an amazing, curvy body which is itself an important accessory to playing the role. (January Jones could never be Joan, and not just because there would be too many J’s.) That body helps make the role what it is. And, completely separately from the role, that body is beautiful and sexy.
Best of all, it is not a size zero.
In an online post-Golden-Globes fashion review, NYT writer Cathy Horyn described Hendricks’ dress as “exploding ruffle[s].” And although she did refer to Hendricks as “pretty,” she supported her evaluation of Hendricks as a fashion miss by quoting an unnamed stylist who said, “You don’t put a big girl in a big dress.”
While I was critical of that dress myself, it was unnecessary for Horyn to use that quote to justify her position. It allows her to endorse an opinion without taking ownership of it: “I didn’t criticize Christina Hendricks as being ‘big’ — the stylist did, and I just quoted him.”
What had people even more in a tizzy, though, was that when the article first ran online, it was accompanied by a photo of Hendricks on the red carpet that had gotten “accidentally” stretched in the process of putting the article together, thus making Hendricks look wider-than-life. The NYT claims it was a genuine accident, but there has been some cynical speculation on the web that it was a little more purposeful than the NYT would like to let on, as it supported Horyn’s second-hand characterization of Hendricks as “big.” You can see both versions of the photo here.
In any event, Christina Hendricks rocks, and I should be so lucky to be as sexy as she is, no matter what the little label in the back of her clothes says. Period.
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Question of the Week:
In the spirit of the “actresses/celebrities who don’t fit the Hollywood blonde/blue-eyed/Barbie-doll-faced/size-zero mold,” who are your other favorite women in this category? Other than Christina Hendricks, I’ll nominate Queen Latifah and Sara Ramirez (Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy) in the curvy category, and Tilda Swinton in the unusual-features category. Who else ya got?