Christina Hendricks in Harper’s Bazaar: “Women & gay men hit on me”

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Bless it, I do love Harper’s Bazaar. They’ve been doing some interesting features and photo shoots lately, and I wanted to love Christina Hendricks’ November cover shoot. But Bazaar fell into the same trap that other magazines have fallen into when styling Christina – they have no idea what to do with a busty, curvy, pale redhead, and Christina ends up looking deathly and corpsey. That being said, A-plus for putting her on the cover and getting her into some interesting designer clothes. They even put her in some menswear styles – very interesting. The full slideshow is here, and the full Bazaar interview is here. Here are some excerpts:

CH on her appeal: “Women hit on me,” she chuckles. “My husband thinks it’s so odd that so many women hit on me.” Gay men too. “They say to me, ‘Well, I’m not straight, but if I was…’ I think it’s so flattering.”

On the Joan character: When Christina, 35, originally auditioned for Mad Men, she was up for the part of Midge, Don Draper’s bohemian lover. She ended up being cast as the “bossy, know-it-all” Joan. The character has become something of a cult figure, due to Christina’s measured, artful performance and, in no small part, her now-famed Joan walk—an exaggerated, saucy sway that accelerates heartbeats as much as it stops traffic. “All the costumes were so tight,” Christina explains of the Walk. “I wasn’t used to the undergarments, so my natural swing became more of a swing. After I became conscious of it, my hands came up too.” While Joan has a peanut-brittle exterior, inside she’s all caramel. “Joan would probably have rules like ‘To be a polite guest, eat all but the last two bites,’” Christina—whose voice in person is a fairylike tinkle and in a higher register than Joan’s—says, laughing, as she cleans up her gnocchi. “You’d want to make sure that your host knew you enjoyed the meal, but you want to be a lady.” Joan’s retro rules have spawned a satirical blog, What Would Joan Holloway Do?, and the ultimate validation, her own Barbie (with curves that are actually anatomically possible).

On her curves, and being a curvy role model: “When the attention started to be about my figure, I was surprised, because it wasn’t something I was focused on. And then it became very positive, and people were saying very nice things.” During Mad Men’s first season, she and Arend were at dinner when a fan approached her and said, “‘Excuse me, I just want to tell you that I watch your show, and you make me feel better about myself. I am a curvy woman, and you’ve made me feel sexy and beautiful.’ I got teary eyed.” Christina tears up again at the memory. “I remember Geoffrey saying, ‘That’s what you’re doing for people. That’s amazing.’ And I said, ‘I’m just trying to be a good actress and trying to tell a story, but if this is the sidebar, all this positivity, then that is awesome.’”

On being attacked as a “big girl in a big dress” at the Golden Globes: “To say something like that and put it next to a distorted picture discredits you entirely,” Christina says. “And it hurt my feelings. I thought that dress was stunning. I stand by that dress to this day. I had just gotten back from my honeymoon, and I felt beautiful in those pictures. I was smiling and beaming, and I felt like a goddess. It’s a celebration, and I’m here because the show I work on is being recognized as excellent work. And you’re going to tell everyone in the world that I was wearing a shitty dress? Let me go to a party and wear my pretty dress!”

On wearing designer clothes, but not the sample size: “You are expected to go to these things wearing fabulous dresses that are incredibly expensive, so it gets difficult,” she says. “I found myself at the beginning of Mad Men, because I wasn’t a sample size, spending an exorbitant amount of money on a nice dress that I would never wear again because someone would say”—she wrinkles her nose theatrically—”‘Christina Hendricks wore this dress twice.’”

On her lifelong positive body image: “My mother never said to lose weight. Diets were never a big deal. My mom was always beautiful and voluptuous and curvy, and I always thought she was gorgeous.” But puberty had its inevitable challenges. “I did have doubts about my figure when I was 12, 14,” she admits. “I was a dancer, but my body was changing. Then all of a sudden I started getting boobs and my body wasn’t playing along with my game plan. It got depressing for a bit, because I desperately wanted to be a ballerina.”

A really good modeling story: “Oh, I have a story for you,” she says conspiratorially. “I was in Milan, and you would see the same girls at castings. There was one girl—she was like, ‘I can’t get any work. I’m so sick of this, I’m ready to quit. I love your hair color. What do you color your hair with?’ and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s red. Here’s my formula.’ It was Karen Elson. A couple of weeks later, she had bright-red hair.” Christina leans into the tape recorder and says, “Sorry, Karen, but you did ask about my hair color. Then I saw her on the cover of Italian Vogue, and the rest is history!” She laughs. “Karen is amazing. I’m such an admirer of hers.” But she’s right: It is a good story.

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

Most of the interview is Christina talking about her curves and about clothes, which… I mean, I’m a little tired of it, but that’s what most women talk about in fashion magazine profiles. Plus, it’s interesting hearing from Christina because she is such a positive body-image role model for so many women (including me). Now if we can only get some stylists who know what to do with pale, busty redheads.

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Photos courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar.

 

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38 Responses to “Christina Hendricks in Harper’s Bazaar: “Women & gay men hit on me””

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  1. LindyLou says:

    I think she looks better in these photos than most we’ve seen of her lately. IMO she looks gorgeous (as always!)

  2. Katie says:

    I think this is one of the better shoots of her. The makeup isn’t garish. I think it’s pretty flattering, if a little retro with the hair. But she does retro so well!

  3. SuperSleuth says:

    She is gorgeous! It is nice to see a woman working her curves!

  4. gigi* says:

    omg!these boobs are real?!?!?!

  5. Eleonor says:

    Ok you’ve got big boobs we get it.

  6. Gwen says:

    I love her and I love that they put her on the cover :) The styling is better than usual but the makeup is a bit odd?

  7. annaloo says:

    Hear, hear for the “Big Girls!”

    Love Christina!

  8. Leticia says:

    She carries her weight beautifully. I have to starve myself because I just do not look good when I am bigger. She is so beautiful.

  9. Julia says:

    The photo in the suit? Someone was clearly thinking ‘Jessica Rabbit’ :-)

  10. xxodettexx says:

    i think that cover shot is amazing… i like how her boobs dont look like they are corsetted up to heck and back! [ok back to reading the interview!]

  11. mauweebound says:

    I remember when she was on the show firefly a few times and I almost didnt recognize her she was so thin. I think she looks amazing now!

  12. abbizmal says:

    We all just want a motorboat ride. :)

  13. LBees says:

    What do you mean they don’t know what to do with her?! She looks amazing!

    Every post you say how she looks like sh*t, they don’t know how to dress her, blah blah. Some of the time it’s true, but this time? She looks fabulous.

    I think YOU don’t know what to do with her, or are so unused to seeing her body type that there exists a level of discomfort causing every photo shoot to appear ugly. Jeez.

  14. Lisa S. says:

    @ abbizmal: Love it.

    I also get hit on by women often. My husband gets quite amused by it.

    I love that she has curves! Yah!

  15. krissy says:

    I think she is very attractive but the curves are accepted only because her face is gorgeous

    Also, D-listed and some other sites have pictures of her smoking…yuck

  16. Kaye says:

    I love everything about that cover shot. The styling is great and she looks beautiful without being photoshopped to death.

  17. Stephy2485 says:

    Why are we applauding a woman who accepts herself?
    We don’t applaud Megan Fox, in fact, some people go out of their way to pick on that woman.
    It must be because Christina Hendricks’ body is less threatening to our own (and thus our self esteem) we applaud her while lambbasting Megan Fox.

  18. Persistent Cat says:

    She’s pale, she’s not “corpsey.”

    ***Disclaimer: The comment to follow is tongue in cheek.***

    If I may generalize, there are two kinds of gay men, the kind that find the female body completely unappealing and the kind that LOVE the female body. I’m a curvy woman and in the right outfit, have an hourglass shape, and the gay men that love women’s bodies LOVE me. They always want to touch me (and I let them because they are gay).

  19. Persistent Cat says:

    @Stephy, how has Megan Fox accepted herself? Because the amount of plastic surgery she has so obviously had done begs to differ.

  20. SuperSleuth says:

    Are you kidding me? Most women should be threatened by a body like Christina’s. I wish I had her body. Do you think women were less threatened around Marilyn Monroe? That’s the problem with the perception of what a woman’s body should look like these days i.e. sample sizes.

  21. Holly says:

    She’s annoying to me. But she is GORGEOUS. And kudos to her for having some curves and not being afraid of it. Hollywood is full of stick women, so I’ve got to give her props for this.

  22. Strawberry says:

    She looks fabulous, but boo to boring HB questions. Can these editors not get any more indepth than ‘not fitting into sample sizes’ with her? Hello, most N.American women will never fit into sample sizes. Can’t we get past this??? Sorry, end of vent.

  23. bleh says:

    I think she is a beautiful woman, but I seriously get tired of seeing her and constantly hearing her talk about her body. I’ve never seen Mad Men, so I don’t know how good of an actress she is, but anytime there is an interview, she just talks about her curves and how great they are. It makes me think that that is all there is to her! Positive body image is more than constantly giving props to you body- I feel it’s also being able to see past your body and stop focusing on it. Methinks no matter how much she raves about herself, she still feels just as insecure as many of us do.

  24. wonderful says:

    So….why are is everyone still pretending that finding a woman with big boobs and a small waist to be beautiful is refreshing and new?

  25. Hautie says:

    I tend to think that Christina gets so much attention about her looks, is simply because no one else on TV looks like her.

    She is a tall pretty red hair girl. That is not a size 00.

    She wears her weight well in Mad Men cause she is dressed correctly. With all the correct foundation garments that all women used to wear.

    So she is amazing to look at cause once upon a time, women took alot of effort to be glamorous. Daily. Before they left the house. And she is that reminder.

    And her character brings home the fact that is a rare trait now. (To leave the house looking glamorous.)

    Just try to think of the last time you where at work and saw anyone who looked like they really cared about their appearance. Dress code for most work places now, are a joke.

  26. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    @bleh: Yessity-Yes!!!

  27. KateNonymous says:

    Count me in with those who think she looks great here. She has been styled a bit vampirically before, but I think she looks terrific in these shots (don’t know about the whole slideshow). The cover is great–is her skin that beautiful in person?

    What’s weird is that the shot of her in the lace looks like Gillan Anderson, and I don’t think the two of them look at all alike!

  28. DetRiotgirl says:

    @Stephy I think citing Megan Fox as an example was probably not the best idea, since I seem to remember her doing more than one interview about her physical insecurities. But, I totally get what you’re saying. Giselle and Jessica Beil are both happy to tell anyone who will listen about how beautiful they are, except that when they do it we call them “stuck up”. I do think that has a lot to do with the fact that most of us will never be able to have a figure like either of those women. For the record though, just to play devil’s advocate for a moment, Giselle and Jessica Beil both come off as having the personality of wet dish rags in print. So, I think that has to be taken into account too. But, I totally grant that I see where you were coming from with your original comment.

    @Bleh YES! I am so tired of hearing her constantly talk about her body! I find this woman so incredibly boring.

    @Kaiser I don’t really understand why you don’t like this shoot. I agree that she’s usually styled terribly. But, I think she looks great here! I especially like the cover shot. The only one I feel is a bit WTF-ish is that one where she appears to be eating a diamond ring. That just looks weird… and vaguely painful.

    And finally, I just don’t get the big deal about this woman. I’ve been trying to get it for awhile now. But, alas, her mass appeal continues to evade me. She’s got big boobs and lovely red hair…. And? What else is going on here to make her so special? I’m kind of at a loss.

  29. aj says:

    Okay, I get the whole body shape thing but what else does she offer?

  30. Persistent Cat says:

    @Hautie, I think I love you. I can’t stomach some of the fashion atrocities I see at work. Older, heavy women in too short skirts that are wrinkled in the back and ride up too high so you see more than you want when behind them on the stairs, racer back tank tops with regular bra straps, cheap boots….. I blame flip-flops.

  31. I Choose Me says:

    I think the cover looks good. She’s pale skinned so maybe it’s the lighting that makes her look corpsey. Plus, it’s the first magazine cover I’ve seen of her where the girls weren’t on full display, so props for that. She has a huge and awesome rack, she just needs a stylist who knows how to dress her accordingly.

  32. Persistent Cat says:

    @Hautie, I think I love you. I can’t believe what some people think is acceptable to wear to work. My favourite are the over-tanned, chain-smoking women that look 15 years older than they are who wear clothes that are barely appropriate for 19 year olds at the club. Then there are the women that wear racer back tank tops with regular bra straps, too short skirts that ride up the back so you see way too much when behind them on the stairs, and low cut shirts. I swear I saw a nipple in a meeting once. Whenever I have to go to the building where all our tech support is (i.e., 99% geeky males), I try to look very nun appropriate. I have one colleague that works over there. She wears the tightest outfits imaginable. Thank God she buys the good stuff because cheap stuff wouldn’t stand the strain. She’s a size 6 but wears a 2. And tells you.

    Sigh, I hate the way these people dress. I blame flip-flops.

  33. Jover says:

    Let’s see the public is done with Megafarse because: she can’t act, has no personality, is so boring she admitted she made stuff up in interviews, hasn’t the slightest bit of style, glamour, panache, no hobbies or avocations, a run of the mill plasticized starlet and they are a dime a dozen – and her looks are average. I still want to see models on the covers of fashion mags; are actresses really that fame hungry and insecure that making millions appearing in movies isn’t enough for them – they can still be interviewed on the inside pages.
    Hautie I agree with you and your observation is quite common and has been repeated – with no avail – for the better part of the last 10 -15 years. The decline really started in the mid 90s and has accelerated ever since.

  34. Anne de Vries says:

    That cover photo looks like they just cornered her at an event and photographed her against a convenient wall..

  35. la chica says:

    at least this photo shoot had the decency to cut her off at the feet. girlfriend has stank feet!

  36. Ms_Fu says:

    Okay, getting a little weary of this woman… The more she talks about her figure, the more self-absorbed she sounds.

  37. wonderful says:

    Hautie – I COMPLETELY feel you, but I think it has something to do with women being able to dress however they feel like, be it hideous or glammed up. aka: women’s rights movement. I dont think we should be knocking it really.
    At work is a different story, we need to regress there.