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Real Women Have Curves
February 15, 2010 2:58 PM   Subscribe

Christina Hendricks, a perennial Metafilter favorite, shows off her curves on the cover of New York Magazine. Often described as voluptuous, Hendricks is a far cry from the waifs fashion magazines regularly showcase. So when this fashion blogger slammed her appearance at the Golden Globes, is it any wonder her husband--and over a hundred comments--came to her defense?
posted by misha (246 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Christina Hendricks is Bored With Body Talk. And frankly so am I.

I adore Hendricks, but at the same time valuing an hourglass shape is no less objectifying than, say, heroin chic.
posted by muddgirl at 3:02 PM on February 15, 2010 [34 favorites]


1. Clicked link
2. Saw picture
3. Heart stopped
posted by Ratio at 3:03 PM on February 15, 2010 [20 favorites]


I haven't had pay TV in a while so I haven't seen Mad Men, but I've definitely been aware of Christina Hendricks; it seems like she's become the favorite of a lot of web forums, even displacing (dare I say it?) Scarlett Johansson.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 3:05 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Golden globes indeed.
posted by sourwookie at 3:06 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Real Women Have No Particular Body Shape

(I <3 Hendricks too, but come on!)
posted by sallybrown at 3:07 PM on February 15, 2010 [63 favorites]


Advice to Ms. Hendricks: If you don't want people talking about your body all the time, stop posing for magazine covers in underwear.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:08 PM on February 15, 2010 [27 favorites]


For some perspective, Horyn is more than a blogger. She is a Fashion Critic for the New York Times who also writes a blog for them. She's only the second fashion critic in the paper's history -- she succeeded Amy Spindler after Spindler was diagnosed with the brain tumor that eventually killed her.)
posted by zarq at 3:09 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Christina Hendricks is Bored With Body Talk. And frankly so am I.

I definitely think that the preoccupation with her looks is unfortunate, if understandable. She's great on the show and should be lauded for her performance. The episodes where she deals with her new husbands emerging mediocrity and hosts the dinner party for his colleagues showed that she's a very capable actress.

That said, the New York magazine cover doesn't exactly say "I'm bored with body talk" to me.
posted by mpbx at 3:10 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Real Women Have No Particular Body Shape

OK, I totally get what you're trying to say, but my first interpretation was "Real Women Are Formless Carbon Blobs!" which is a pretty great slogan.
posted by muddgirl at 3:10 PM on February 15, 2010 [35 favorites]


Do they talk about how the NYT stretched the picture out, trying to make her look wider than she is? Because that's the only interesting part of that whole story.

People in the fashion industry think that average-sized people are "big". You don't say.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:11 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


It is objectifying, but what women are welcoming is the notion that we are beautiful outside of the 13 to 19 year old age bracket, which, for years, has been considered the ideal.
posted by double bubble at 3:11 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: Formless Carbon Blobs

Sorry.
posted by honest knave at 3:12 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


I don't even know where to start, but I guess I'll go with being shocked out of my mind that the newsmedia criticized the body type of a perfectly healthy, pretty woman and thankful that this travesty was brought to my attention. I have an idea, lets have more posts that center on discussions of exactly which well-known women are, or are not, pretty, and why, along with what their husbands think about it.
posted by bunnycup at 3:13 PM on February 15, 2010 [17 favorites]


The only thing I can state with certainty about human sexual preferences is that people like friction.
posted by benzenedream at 3:16 PM on February 15, 2010 [19 favorites]


Caption on the first image:
Corsets, lace, cleavage, and silk. Who better than Hendricks to model the new lingerie-as-outerwear trend?
What? (And if that's a real trend: Uh, awesome. But somehow I doubt it)
I haven't had pay TV in a while so I haven't seen Mad Men, but I've definitely been aware of Christina Hendricks; it seems like she's become the favorite of a lot of web forums, even displacing (dare I say it?) Scarlett Johansson.
Mad Men is on basic cable, which is nice. But I didn't get into until last season, but I was able to catch up on the first two seasons pretty easily. The seasons Are available on Amazon for about $20 a season it looks like. I'm sure you could get them on netflix, and there are plenty of illicit means available as well...

That said, I don't think she replaces Scarlett Johansson...
posted by delmoi at 3:16 PM on February 15, 2010


That said, the New York magazine cover doesn't exactly say "I'm bored with body talk" to me.

Isn't sort of a truism that actresses/models don't want to get a reputation for being "too difficult"? Whose idea was it to pose in lingerie - Hendricks? Her PR staff/stylist? Or the magazine's?
posted by muddgirl at 3:16 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


NYT Distorts Image Of Christina Hendricks, Calls Her "Big"
"The NY Times has now replaced the image, saying: "The photo was slightly distorted inadvertently due to an error during routine processing." Take that for what it's worth. This is a screenshot taken prior to the replacement."

I've done "routine processing" of photos for publications and there is a very miniscule chance of "accidentally" selecting "skew the fuck out of this image" when batch processing, or even individually processing, and getting it published. Thanks NYT, for all the body-dismorphia that's fit to print.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 3:16 PM on February 15, 2010 [17 favorites]


Seeing her on Mad Men for the first time I just stopped. Literally. Grr.
posted by flippant at 3:17 PM on February 15, 2010


her husband...

Hey, she married me first! Damn you, Bridget! Damn you tah Hades! You broke my heart in a million pieces! You made me love you, and then y—I SHAVED MY BEARD FOR YOU, DEVIL WOMAN!
posted by Hlewagast at 3:17 PM on February 15, 2010 [32 favorites]


"I don't want to have a fight."
"Then stop talking."
posted by so_gracefully at 3:17 PM on February 15, 2010 [11 favorites]


Christina Hendricks has made me expand my superficial shallowness to include hourglass curviness.
posted by zardoz at 3:18 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Interesting. In the distorted image she looks a lot like Laura Prepon.

Which is also not a bad way to look
posted by electroboy at 3:21 PM on February 15, 2010


Christina Hendricks is Bored With Body Talk. And frankly so am I.

I would be bored with body talk, except I like the direction it is going now with Hendricks, who, by the way, is also an exceptionally talented actress.

I adore Hendricks, but at the same time valuing an hourglass shape is no less objectifying than, say, heroin chic.

But it is a healthier choice for young women to emulate, especially if it is natural and not silicone-induced.
posted by misha at 3:21 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


muddgirl: "Whose idea was it to pose in lingerie - Hendricks? Her PR staff/stylist? Or the magazine's?"

I'm content to leave responsibility for her lack of clothes with the person who removed them.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:22 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


The gown, eh, a bit 1987 valance and curtain, but nothing awful enough to blog about. Pretty meh no matter what body's inside it, really.

Now that we're past that...

(sorry about this)

...it's nice to see Homer's makeup shotgun is finally in beta.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:22 PM on February 15, 2010


I don't think it is particularly shallow to have preferred body types. It's only shallow to constantly talk about it in public.
posted by Justinian at 3:23 PM on February 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


Hey I'm all for seeing Christina Hendricks in various stages of undress, but this is low for NY Mag:

She just has an especially attractive version of the same thing women have had forever—curves—but she happens to have them in a profession where women haven’t for quite some time.

Really, Hollywood? She's the first woman on television to have large breasts in "quite some time," really?

“It might sound silly,” she says, “but I didn’t realize I was so different. I was just oblivious. Sometimes I would go on an audition and someone would say something like, Girl, you’re refreshing! That was it.”

You didn't realize you had just enormous breasts before or after the breast enlargement surgery? I mean I love them, don't get me wrong, but you don't wake up one day at 14 and have these things bolted onto your chest.

Perdue chicken breast is to veer wildly (and unhealthily) in the opposite direction (Gabourey Sidibe, Beth Ditto)

Oh so our choices are the Olsen twins and Beth Ditto? Okay, well if you're going to do a false dichotomy, don't be subtle about it.

It is perhaps ironic then that Hendricks actually started out as a model

Nope, I don't see anything ironic about it. There's a ton of modeling outside of New York fashion week couture. I would go so far as to say that at least 99% of modeling takes place outside of couture runway fashion, but you know, doesn't make for a good article.

So the real question is, is Christina Hendricks that boring that the only thing you can talk about is her breasts? I mean really, January Jones at least had a shit kicking side to her in her interview. She's working on one of the best, if not the best show on television, she's worked with other great people, not even a vapid, follow her around for a day article?

Come on New York Mag, at least give us a bit of classism won't you? We know you some anecdote of Hendricks turning head during some fancy party in the Hamptons? No casual namedrop of a socialite tripping over themselves to flirt with her? This is the kind of reporting I expect from your institution and by God, I'm not going take such slipshod writing.
posted by geoff. at 3:23 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Real Women Have No Particular Body Shape

Real women are amorphous blobs?
posted by xmutex at 3:24 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Here's what I find funny ... given a different set of clothes and a different camera angle, no one would say she's curvy or huge or anything. I had a hard time believing this was the same actress I had enjoyed on Firefly. Sure, she's beautiful, but she hardly seemed to be the Great Leap Forward in the looks department that she's made out to be.

So, IMO, there's two different things going on here...

* Mad Men cast a good actress that looked like a 60s bombshell. They did this on purpose, to deliberately be evocative of the era, just like the rest of the show's costume and production design. Her body is as much a prop as the cigarettes and IBM Selectric typewriters.

* The constant follow-on conversation is an invented controversy. Deliberately made-up by the show's PR staff and her personal management. They're feeding storylines to the media, which are just unquestioningly eating them up.

With her "I'm bored" reaction, one wonders if Hendricks actually even knows or cares about it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:25 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


Fashion blogger indeed. Have some of these weird fashion bloggers even looked in the mirror? Who are they kidding with their so called expertise on anything? There are 12 year old fashion bloggers. Don't get me started on stylists. Oh please.
posted by anniecat at 3:25 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


there is a very miniscule chance of "accidentally" selecting "skew the fuck out of this image"

It looks like someone just screwed up the aspect ratio of the image. That's a pretty simple, if stupid mistake to make. I'd wager 20% of Youtube videos have this same kind of distortion. Heck, my TV even tries to make this kind of error. It drives me nuts.

Whether Christina Hendricks is curvy or not, the woman can act. And she's beautiful too, that hair, but mostly she's just very good at the still close-up with delicate emotion on her face.
posted by Nelson at 3:25 PM on February 15, 2010


And apparently our choice is between baring no skin at all or leaving ourselves open to constant discussions about our bodies. Islam has never looked so attractive.
posted by muddgirl at 3:26 PM on February 15, 2010 [20 favorites]


That said, the New York magazine cover doesn't exactly say "I'm bored with body talk" to me.
Presumably she mean's "analysis and criticism" and not "appreciation"
posted by delmoi at 3:26 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I liked her dress.
posted by The Whelk at 3:27 PM on February 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


muddgirl: "Whose idea was it to pose in lingerie - Hendricks? Her PR staff/stylist? Or the magazine's?"

I'm sure it was everyone's idea, because it's a great idea for everyone involved. She isn't posing on a magazine hoping people won't look at her. It's promotion for her and draws eyes to the magazine.

I'm sure she had plenty of say in how she appeared on the cover. It's not like she's being eaten by an inflatable dinosaur or something.
posted by mpbx at 3:28 PM on February 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


my first interpretation was "Real Women Are Formless Carbon Blobs!"

No, you were right--haven't you seen my picture? I should have just said Real Women Are Real Women Are Real Women Are...

But it is a healthier choice for young women to emulate

Tell that to all those gals (NSFW, old timey pube alert) who used to go around with whalebones compressing the hell out of their tummies. The healthy choice for young women (and men) to emulate is the body they get when they take care of themselves--food-wise, sleep-wise, exercise-wise, stress-wise, medical-condition-wise. That's the suit you came in, it's best to learn to like it.
posted by sallybrown at 3:29 PM on February 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


But it is a healthier choice for young women to emulate, especially if it is natural and not silicone-induced.

Check the SP2010 link again, it may not be surgically induced but don't think there's not enough steel boning in that corset to raise the Burj Dubai. And 1960s undergarments were all about bullet bras and gurdles, not the most natural or comfortable thing to emulate. But yes, it's better to praise impermanently squished around fat than a dangerous lack thereof.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 3:32 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


or what she said
posted by Juicy Avenger at 3:32 PM on February 15, 2010


I adore Hendricks, but at the same time valuing an hourglass shape is no less objectifying than, say, heroin chic.

This is idiotic. A woman's form has been worshiped/admired since time immemorial. It's inspired art and war and every other thing that's likely ever happened. Now when a beautiful woman like Hendricks is been put on the cover of a magazine it's suddenly objectification and the clowns on this website get to tell us all we're being boyzone drooling rapists ignoring her total personhood. What a load of shit. She's gorgeous, refreshingly gorgeous as someone upthread stated, and the magazine contains some gorgeous photographs. We're lucky to be able to admire Hendricks for her beauty and her talent and not feel the slightest bad thing about it.
posted by xmutex at 3:33 PM on February 15, 2010 [14 favorites]


> her husband--and over a hundred comments--came to her defense?

Christina Hendricks's husband leads 100+ comments in torch/pitchfork parade. Like! Oh, it's becoming clearer. The comments are holding their torches and pitchforks in little three-fingered hands with white gloves. And they all have round black doggie noses.
posted by jfuller at 3:33 PM on February 15, 2010


Her body is as much a prop as the cigarettes and ANACHRONISTIC IBM Selectric II typewriters.

No, I will not get over it!

No, you shut up!

posted by Sys Rq at 3:33 PM on February 15, 2010 [14 favorites]


A lot of people think that all real women can be described as a ratio of two whole women, but that's not always true. That describes rational women. Real women can be negative or irrational.
posted by stammer at 3:34 PM on February 15, 2010 [136 favorites]


And apparently our choice is between baring no skin at all or leaving ourselves open to constant discussions about our bodies.

Or both. I don't mind appreciation and appreciating. Frankly, the idea of not discussing our bodies or the idealized form is silly.

I also don't mind someone posting some pictures of good-looking men with ideal forms on MetaFilter, should the mood strike them. Note: I didn't say Men of Metafilter. I don't want to see that.
posted by anniecat at 3:39 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


misha said: But it is a healthier choice for young women to emulate

How is it healthier? Healthier for the young women who are not EVER EVER EVER going to have those breasts or hips no matter how hard they try to gain body fat, so they hate and/or harm themselves for decades because they can't look like "a real woman", as you yourself called her? It is not "healthy," in any context, to be obsessed as a culture with the way that women's bodies look.
posted by so_gracefully at 3:41 PM on February 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


I mean I love them, don't get me wrong, but you don't wake up one day at 14 and have these things bolted onto your chest.

Yeah, actually some people do. (Generally it totally sucks.)
posted by small_ruminant at 3:45 PM on February 15, 2010 [25 favorites]


You didn't realize you had just enormous breasts before or after the breast enlargement surgery?

[citation needed]
posted by cheaily at 3:45 PM on February 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


it's suddenly objectification and the clowns on this website get to tell us all we're being boyzone drooling rapists ignoring her total personhood. What a load of shit.

Oh gosh, we didn't mean to be such raging b*tches. Hundreds of years of our gender being treated like objets d'art and whipping posts instead of walking, talking, thinking human beings just makes us kind of PMSy, that's all.
posted by sallybrown at 3:46 PM on February 15, 2010 [54 favorites]


I mean I love them, don't get me wrong, but you don't wake up one day at 14 and have these things bolted onto your chest.

There are a number of low plunge bras that give precisely that effect. I have one that I wear with deep v necked dresses and the assumptions made by people like you about the obvious fakeness of my breasts are just lovely. No really.

Also, even Playboy and Maxim are capable of writing an article with pictures of a scantily clad woman without making the article totally about her body. It's not unreasonable for Christina Hendricks to want to do a fashion spread (and yes, lingerie as outerwear is a new runway trend) without having to answer the same questions that she gets about her figure in every interview she ever does. Mad Men has been on the air for 3 years. I don't blame her for wanting a change in topic.
posted by hindmost at 3:47 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


(Generally it totally sucks.)

And really vastly changes the experience of what it's like to be a 14 year old girl. No more Twilight for you! Your life is now 110% consumed with deflecting sexual advances from men with massively improper boundaries. (Oh wait, that's in Twilight too, isn't it?)
posted by so_gracefully at 3:51 PM on February 15, 2010 [26 favorites]


A woman's form has been worshiped/admired since time immemorial. It's inspired art and war and every other thing that's likely ever happened. Now when a beautiful woman like Hendricks is been put on the cover of a magazine it's suddenly objectification and the clowns on this website get to tell us all we're being boyzone drooling rapists ignoring her total personhood.

Y'know, with just about ANY other woman celebrity out there, I'd be willing to look past you trying to put words in other people's mouths, but Christina Hendricks is like a poster child for being objectified. She's "bored with the body talk".
posted by 23skidoo at 3:52 PM on February 15, 2010


anniecat: "Note: I didn't say Men of Metafilter. I don't want to see that."

cortex said it would be tasteful. Just a discreetly placed plate of beans and soft lighting.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:52 PM on February 15, 2010 [24 favorites]


Boyzone.
posted by oddman at 3:52 PM on February 15, 2010


wtf at your title... what am I exactly?
posted by desjardins at 3:53 PM on February 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


I once went around with my genitals hanging out of my pants for a whole week and by the end of it I was like "Oh ffs can we stop talking about my genitals for ten minutes?" so I know how the girl feels :-/
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:54 PM on February 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Waaaay out of the loop Japan resident here who'd never seen or heard of Christina Hendricks until now. She looks mighty fine in that underwear, and hearing several people in the thread say that she's a fine actress leads me to believe that she's probably got more to offer the world than underwear modeling. Hooray!

Whose idea was it to pose in lingerie - Hendricks? Her PR staff/stylist? Or the magazine's?

Well, no matter whose idea it was, the final decision to do it or not was Christina Hendricks's's's... and I'm not saying there's anything particularly right or wrong about the decision, but, she is responsible for what she does, not her publicist or whoever else.

Real women are amorphous blobs?

I think Formless Carbon Blobs is the term you're looking for.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:55 PM on February 15, 2010


the clowns on this website get to tell us all we're being boyzone drooling rapists ignoring her total personhood

The only person who said boyzone, or rapist, or drooling was you. Go to MetaTalk if you want to start this fight.
posted by jessamyn at 3:56 PM on February 15, 2010 [16 favorites]


How is it healthier? Healthier for the young women who are not EVER EVER EVER going to have those breasts or hips no matter how hard they try to gain body fat, so they hate and/or harm themselves for decades because they can't look like "a real woman", as you yourself called her? It is not "healthy," in any context, to be obsessed as a culture with the way that women's bodies look.

so_gracefully, I don't know where to start with your comment.

We just had an entire thread which went on and on about body types over in the Kevin Smith thread. There, the controversy was about people being too big to fit in seats. Here we are, apparently, on the road to complaining that it is unreasonable to expect a woman to be Hendricks' size.

So it's not just women's bodies we obsess about. Frankly, the only problem I have is when the bodies we obsess about are unrealistic.

I'm surprised no one is mentioning the Victoria's Secret model. She is 5'11' and wears a size 4. I'm okay with that, if it's natural, and not like some of the Brazilian models who literally dieted themselves to death.

I used to do some modeling, back in my salad days. I was 5'9" and 125 then. And those curves were natural. And now I have children and have some more voluptuous curves, and those are natural, too.

So I guess what I am championing is not heroin-chick or silicon implants, but real curves. Natural curves. Note that I do not, anywhere, say that those curves have to be a certain size.

Yes, real women have curves. I would rather we focus on healthy women. That's all.
posted by misha at 4:02 PM on February 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


In her Golden Globes dress, she reminds me of Jessica Rabbit.

I believe there was a recent study that indicated there's an amount of evolutionary preference for the hourglass shape. Makes some amount of sense; there are abundant examples of such in other animals (birds seem espcially prone to developing ornate attractors even at the cost of efficient flight or camoflage.)
posted by five fresh fish at 4:05 PM on February 15, 2010


Haters gonna hate.
posted by chillmost at 4:08 PM on February 15, 2010 [12 favorites]


It looks like someone just screwed up the aspect ratio of the image. That's a pretty simple, if stupid mistake to make. I'd wager 20% of Youtube videos have this same kind of distortion.It looks like someone just screwed up the aspect ratio of the image. That's a pretty simple, if stupid mistake to make. I'd wager 20% of Youtube videos have this same kind of distortion. Heck, my TV even tries to make this kind of error. It drives me nuts.

We're not really going to compare YouTube posting to a New York Times page are we? I'm not saying the NYT did it on purpose, but if someone did it by accident, I hope they got sent back to mailroom.
posted by The Deej at 4:08 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Deej: " I'm not saying the NYT did it on purpose, but if someone did it by accident, I hope they got sent back to mailroom."

IOKIYMD.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:11 PM on February 15, 2010


FWIW, the guy over at Awful Plastic Surgery (and the sister site Good Plastic Surgery) thinks Hendricks' breasts aren't real. Who knows, though. But someone upthread asked for a citation. Take it cum granos salis.
posted by oflinkey at 4:13 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


"don't get me wrong, but you don't wake up one day at 14 and have these things bolted onto your chest.'

You don't at 14 (which she obviously wasn't in that picture) But you can at 28 or 35, or whatever: I know that I went from a nice, tidy b cup to a d in what seemed like the blink of an eye. She may have had the surgery, but with a good push-up foundation, I'd have looked pretty much the same as she does at the same mature age. It was pretty annoying since if your soup dripped at an elegant dinner, the drips would never hit the napkin in your lap.
posted by path at 4:15 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


oflinkey: "FWIW, the guy over at Awful Plastic Surgery (and the sister site Good Plastic Surgery) thinks Hendricks' breasts aren't real."

He's like the Nate Silver of this shit. I'm convinced.

So amend my earlier comment to read "If you don't want people talking about your body all the time, don't pay for a set of DDDs."
posted by Joe Beese at 4:16 PM on February 15, 2010


xmutex: Now when a beautiful woman like Hendricks is been put on the cover of a magazine it's suddenly objectification and the clowns on this website get to tell us all we're being boyzone drooling rapists ignoring her total personhood. What a load of shit.

This was a weird and amusing comment. It's like you got all worked up about the direction this thread could have taken, and how cross that would have made you, but then it didn't, but you decided to post your comment anyway. Trippy.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 4:16 PM on February 15, 2010 [12 favorites]


Isn't sort of a truism that actresses/models don't want to get a reputation for being "too difficult"? Whose idea was it to pose in lingerie - Hendricks? Her PR staff/stylist? Or the magazine's?

It was probably the magazine's idea. Generally speaking, either the magazine will approach an actress and say, "We'd like you to do a cover story with us," or her publicist or agent will approach them and say, "She's available."

Unless a publicist is pitching a specific story idea, (which is almost always vetted by their client first,) the editorial direction of a photo shoot is the responsibility of a magazine's editorial staff. A publicist's job is to determine if that meets with their client's approval and their needs. If not, they would step in and speak on their behalf.
posted by zarq at 4:17 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Advice to Ms. Hendricks: If you don't want people talking about your body all the time, stop posing for magazine covers in underwear.

I would appreciate it very much if we didn't assume that women deserve what they get by wearing or not wearing certain things.
posted by shmegegge at 4:18 PM on February 15, 2010 [50 favorites]


A woman's form has been worshiped/admired since time immemorial.

She must be getting pretty old, then.
posted by RogerB at 4:21 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yes, real women have curves

So the women without curves... they are robots?
posted by cow at 4:21 PM on February 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


That one, too fat! This one, too tall! This one... too SYMMETRICAL!
posted by misha at 4:24 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


On the surgery issue: I know plenty of women who were given racks bigger than that by god. Many of them have had surgery to lessen the size of their busts, actually. I think one problematic repercussion of the the commodification of the female body is that many if not most people in this country lack a realistic sense of the diversity possible in the human female form.
posted by serazin at 4:25 PM on February 15, 2010 [11 favorites]


This is idiotic. A woman's form has been worshiped/admired since time immemorial. It's inspired art and war and every other thing that's likely ever happened.

My eyes just rolled so hard I think they got stuck in the back of my head.
posted by jokeefe at 4:25 PM on February 15, 2010 [14 favorites]


If a big girl in a big dress is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:26 PM on February 15, 2010 [46 favorites]


shmegegge: "I would appreciate it very much if we didn't assume that women deserve what they get by wearing or not wearing certain things."

.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:26 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


She was awesome as Mal's wife on that one Firefly episode. Acting awesome, I mean.
posted by angrycat at 4:26 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Take it cum granos salis.

With a grain of salty cum?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:32 PM on February 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


old timey pube alert

I don't have anything to actually say about this phrase, I just liked it so much I wanted to see it a second time.
posted by threeants at 4:32 PM on February 15, 2010 [16 favorites]


He's like the Nate Silver of this shit. I'm convinced.


Your Nate Silverian genius has never heard of a push up bra, apparently.
posted by hindmost at 4:32 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


hindmost: "Your Nate Silverian genius has never heard of a push up bra, apparently."

He has.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:37 PM on February 15, 2010


Someone -- quick! Explain to me why it is interesting whether this woman had breast augmentation! I don't get it!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:41 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


a grain of salty cum

old timey pube alert


This thread is getting positively poetic.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:41 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


She was awesome as Mal's wife on that one Firefly episode. Acting awesome, I mean.

She was in two episodes! The second one was even better than the first, imo. :D
posted by zarq at 4:43 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ambrosia Voyeur: "Someone -- quick! Explain to me why it is interesting whether this woman had breast augmentation! I don't get it!"

Some are born to greatness. Some have greatness implanted within them.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:43 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


I just liked [old timey pube alert] so much I wanted to see it a second time

That's what thee said.
posted by sallybrown at 4:45 PM on February 15, 2010


I had a hard time believing this was the same actress I had enjoyed on Firefly.

Really? Her figure was pretty obvious from the git go.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:50 PM on February 15, 2010


I'm convinced.

I'm not. And I've got a pair.

Hendricks is wearing very supportive clothing in all of those pictures, clothing which pushes the breasts up and together. If I was wearing the same style dresses, I'm sure that Mr. Silver would call mine fake as well, because they would look very similar to that. But they're real.

Who knows if she has had plastic surgery or not. It's skeezy to justify different treatment of her based only on a suspicion.

And can I just mention that the inevitability of someone accusing large-breasted women of having plastic surgery whenever a discussion of their figures comes up is really tiresome and can also make women with large, natural breasts feel insecure? There's always some dude willing to pronounce that they're fake and/or gross.

The problem with the "real women" rhetoric, by the way, is that it leaves a lot of real women out. Sure, skinny women generally have it easier than fat women, but you haven't addressed the problem of there being only one "ideal" female form, to which all other female forms are inferior.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 4:51 PM on February 15, 2010 [40 favorites]


AV, it's because I mentioned that I think it's good to see a natural woman on the cover of a magazine for once, and so now the question is whether she really is ALL natural.
posted by misha at 4:51 PM on February 15, 2010


sallybrown I don't know who you are, but you're definitely my kind of woman.
posted by Relay at 4:54 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't say that I'm bored with discussions of bodies and body expectations, be they male or female bodies. But I am bored with having the same discussion again and again, and if I'm bored of that, I can only imagine how beyond bored Ms Hendricks must be.
posted by Forktine at 4:55 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]



“It might sound silly,” she says, “but I didn’t realize I was so different. I was just oblivious. Sometimes I would go on an audition and someone would say something like, Girl, you’re refreshing! That was it.”


You didn't realize you had just enormous breasts before or after the breast enlargement surgery? I mean I love them, don't get me wrong, but you don't wake up one day at 14 and have these things bolted onto your chest.
I don't think she was expressing surprise at being thought to have big breasts. A lot of women in Hollywood have big breasts. She was surprised that she was thought to be "different," which is a euphemism for "fat," not for "busty." The buzz on Christina Hendricks is that she's *big*, not that she's boob-tastic.
On the surgery issue: I know plenty of women who were given racks bigger than that by god.
Me, for instance, and I'm not especially convinced by creepy Mr. Bad Plastic Surgery's argument. I think the right bra could make my boobs do that.
posted by craichead at 4:55 PM on February 15, 2010


.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:26 PM on February 15


no, but for real, it would be awesome if someone didn't always drop a blame the victim line into mefi threads about a woman's body.
posted by shmegegge at 4:57 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


She's a beautiful woman. That's all.
posted by MillMan at 5:00 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


She's a big boned gal from Southern Alberta, you just couldn't call her small.
posted by fixedgear at 5:00 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


That "The giveaway is the profile of her breasts when pushed together" line is a really odd comment on the photos the Plastic Surgery Dude shows. I think mayhap he is not as familiar as he could be with different types of foundation garments and what they do to different types of natural breasts. There's more than one type of push-up bra.

(My corset makes my tits look arguably fake if I lace it a certain way, too. Complete with eerie roundness.)
posted by desuetude at 5:06 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Great job appointing yourself Head Judge of Women's Bodies, Joe Beese. Please, share some more bon mots about the greatness / realness of women's breasts.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:08 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


misha: I guess I have a high threshhold for interest in women's bodies. She has big boobs. Natural? What does that even mean? I bet she enhances her hair color... and wears makeup. For all we know, she's injects plutonium and is missing an appendix. The whole judgment ballpark is toxic. I don't care to speculate as to whether her boobs look like they're injected, suspended or just big and perky. There are no important stakes in that distasteful debate.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:10 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


grain of salty cum
an old timey pube alert
aesthetics rehash
posted by Babblesort at 5:11 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Actually, our Mrs. Reynolds is from Knoxville, Tennessee, according to Wikipedia.

And, yes. Not that another women needs the approval of my particularly male gaze, but she sure is easy on the eyes. Too bad she's not a real red-head.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:12 PM on February 15, 2010


Too bad she's not a real red-head.

Real Redheads Have Pheomelanin
posted by sallybrown at 5:14 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


What seems most unfortunate about the article (not the pictures) is that there's obviously no way for Ms. Hendricks to win. If she objects to constantly being asked about her chest or her hips by entertainment reporters, another headline simply pops up on the Huffington Post: "Christina Hendricks is tired of talking about her body!"

The fact that she promotes Mad Men and sits for fashion shoots—in other words, lives the life of most professional actors—doesn't mean it's OK for unimaginative entertainment writers and editors to produce an endless stream of stories about her body. It's legal, and it's certainly popular, but it would never happen to a male actor.
posted by cirripede at 5:19 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Great job appointing yourself Head Judge of Women's Bodies, Joe Beese. Please, share some more bon mots about the greatness / realness of women's breasts.

I don't know about Joe, but I have spent far, far more time observing women's bodies than most women have, making me very informed on the subject.
posted by cow at 5:22 PM on February 15, 2010


This is the sort of thread I'm totally scared to comment in.

I find Christina Hendricks completely visually arresting (at least as she appears in the first couple of seasons of Mad Men, which are the only ones I've seen). I also think she's a talented actress, that she played a good lady scoundrel in Firefly, and that her Joan is as canny a Machiavellian puppetmaster as I've seen in fiction, but I have to say that my overall sense of her is framed by my perception of her appearance. I don't think there's anything wrong with this per se, nor do I see any problem in acknowledging it, and I don't think it's tantamount to objectification. She's a television actress, and I've never met her, so I can't reasonably form a clear impression of her as a human being, but I have watched many hours of television in which her hourglass shape is on display. We're visual creatures, and television and film are visual media. It's natural that visuals should be central to the understanding we have of people acting in fictional roles on TV or in movies.

In real life I know plenty of visually arresting people. But because I've met them and relate to them on an ongoing basis as human beings, I perceive them primarily in terms of how they come across as human beings. That they're attractive isn't lost on me, but it's just one of many secondary descriptors.
posted by killdevil at 5:24 PM on February 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


This thread is getting positively poetic.



To see a world in a grain of salty cum,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold your taters in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
posted by the bricabrac man at 5:27 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


> Advice to Ms. Hendricks: If you don't want people talking about your body all the time, stop posing for magazine covers in underwear.
>
> I would appreciate it very much if we didn't assume that women deserve what they get by wearing or not wearing certain things.
> posted by shmegegge at 7:18 PM on February 15 [3 favorites +] [!]

There's very little we do that says more about us to strangers than the clothing we choose to put on our bodies. Unless you were dressed at gunpoint (or by mom) you're responsible for the message your clothing sends. You might appreciate it if everybody would pretend no message is being sent, but you just can't have that.
posted by jfuller at 5:29 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


...the new lingerie-as-outerwear trend
Seriously? Again?

Unless you're Superman, the underwear goes underneath. Don't let the fashion industry kid you otherwise.
posted by Karmakaze at 5:31 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know about Joe, but I have spent far, far more time observing women's bodies than most women have, making me very informed on the subject.

But would it stand up in court?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:31 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


if your soup dripped at an elegant dinner, the drips would never hit the napkin in your lap.

Oh boy, do I ever feel that pain.

Also: data point. My boobs grew out of nowhere the summer between 7th and 8th grades. I spent my whole 8th grade year deflecting both accusations that I stuffed my bra and the crude stares of thirteen year old boys.

Also also: I think Christina Hendricks is beautiful just because she's FREAKING HOTT and nothing to do with her size relative to anything. She's just flat out gorgeous. As is that dress. Holy cow.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:37 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Unless you were dressed at gunpoint (or by mom) you're responsible for the message your clothing sends. You might appreciate it if everybody would pretend no message is being sent, but you just can't have that.

I'm sorry, but that's a cop out. Our clothing may send a message, but Ms. Hendrick's clothing was not sending the message "Judge My Body, please," either in the magazine shoot, or on the red carpet. To act as though she brought it on herself by wearing the clothing she wore in either instance denies agency to the people who are Part Of The Problem (tm) in spreading poor female body issues in our culture, and is fair neither to Ms. Hendricks nor to women in general.
posted by shmegegge at 5:41 PM on February 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


but Ms. Hendrick's clothing was not sending the message "Judge My Body, please," either in the magazine shoot, or on the red carpet.

How do you know what she intended by wearing those clothes? Seems like you want to deny her some agency in her own decisions.
posted by cow at 5:45 PM on February 15, 2010


it seems like she's become the favorite of a lot of web forums, even displacing (dare I say it?) Scarlett Johansson.

Never, I say, never!

I liked her dress.

I liked it, too; but that color was ... blah. Peach? Eh. Maybe a deep blue or green.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:47 PM on February 15, 2010


In reply to jfuller:

I understand what you are getting at, but it is frustrating to those of us who have bodies that send out messages regardless of what we choose to wear.

It's not as though she's wearing this in public. Everything has its place, and the clothing she has worn in public has been (in my opinion) tasteful and elegant. Women wear far less clothing on the cover of magazines all the time and don't cause nearly this much of a stir.
posted by a.steele at 5:47 PM on February 15, 2010


The only person who said boyzone, or rapist, or drooling was you. Go to MetaTalk if you want to start this fight.

What? The thread was already turning into the same crap that gets trolled out whenever a pretty girl is referenced in a Metafilter thread. Someone brings up 1,000 years of oppression and someone else mentions objectification, etc etc. So it was certainly brought up before I mentioned anything.
posted by xmutex at 5:55 PM on February 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


That one, too fat! This one, too tall! This one... too SYMMETRICAL!

Haven't studies shown a built-in preference for slightly asymmetrical faces?

We've got a lot of evolutionary programming in our genes. Certain body shapes and features are demonstrably more attractive to the unconscious brain.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:56 PM on February 15, 2010


There's very little we do that says more about us to strangers than the clothing we choose to put on our bodies. Unless you were dressed at gunpoint (or by mom) you're responsible for the message your clothing sends. You might appreciate it if everybody would pretend no message is being sent, but you just can't have that.
The thing is, if you're a guy it's very easy in almost every situation to wear clothes that send the message "neutral. Please don't notice my clothes." It's so easy that I think a lot of men float through their lives blissfully unaware that they are constantly wearing clothes that send that message. If you're a guy and you have to go to a red carpet event, it is not that hard to find a tux to wear that will cause people to say "hey, he looked good," not "so what did you think of that tux he was wearing?" And women very rarely have the option of wearing clothes that send a neutral message. I'm shaped a lot like Christina Hendricks, and I never do. My clothes always say "I'm trying to hide by boobs" or "I'm comfortable with my boobs" or "hey, look at my boobs!" There is no neutral, and therefore no matter what I'm wearing, people feel entitled to judge and comment. It gets old.
posted by craichead at 5:59 PM on February 15, 2010 [63 favorites]


This Is Just to Say
I have ogled
the curves
that were on
the cover

and which
you were probably
sick of
discussing

Forgive me
they were beauticious
so sweet
and so bold
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:59 PM on February 15, 2010 [24 favorites]


...more attractive to the unconscious brain.

Everything is more attractive to me when I'm unconscious. At least, I think so.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:00 PM on February 15, 2010


Joe Beese: "Advice to Ms. Hendricks: If you don't want people talking about your body all the time, stop posing for magazine covers in underwear."
SHUT YOUR GODDAMNED MOUTH!!!!!!!
posted by hincandenza at 6:02 PM on February 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


xmutex: "The thread was already turning into the same crap that gets trolled out whenever a pretty girl is referenced in a Metafilter thread."

This isn't just a pretty girl getting mentioned in a thread. This is the post itself being "She sure has some big 'uns".

Even with all the fightiness on display so far, I'd say we're performing above expectations.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:02 PM on February 15, 2010


Depends whose expectations you're performing to.
posted by jessamyn at 6:08 PM on February 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


WTF? From what planet do you hail that a woman dressed in underwear, on the front page of a magazine, can be reasonably expected to not generate discussion about her body? Do you think a picture of Mr. Universe wouldn't generate much the same conversation about bodies? A picture of Kevin Smith in his underwear? Jonah Falcon?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:08 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


xmutex, could you try responding to something someone has actually said and having a discussion, rather than throw around snarky summaries and straw women?
posted by Danila at 6:10 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


oflinkey: FWIW, the guy over at Awful Plastic Surgery (and the sister site Good Plastic Surgery) thinks Hendricks' breasts aren't real. Who knows, though. But someone upthread asked for a citation. Take it cum granos salis.
A very BIG grain of salt; the example he used of a 'natural' woman in that link was famed British big-bust model Linsey Dawn McKenzie... after she had breast reduction surgery to take her down from like a 36I or 36J...

Clearly, this person has literally no idea what they're talking about if their 'proof' of CH's breast implants is to compare the differences to someone who actually had surgery on their breasts.
posted by hincandenza at 6:12 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


xmutex, could you try responding to something someone has actually said and having a discussion, rather than throw around snarky summaries and straw women?

Lord have mercy. I responded to the boyzone talk, jessamyn called me out, then I responded to her WHILE EVEN QUOTING HER. I don't know how much more "actually said" I can get but I'm open to recommendations as long as said recommendations are busty.
posted by xmutex at 6:18 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


When Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill and Jason Segel posed "naked" in flesh colored body suits on the cover of Vanity Fair as a spoof of a previous cover with Tom Ford, Keira Knightly and Scarlett Johansson, it got a lot of press. Almost none of it focused on their figures.

And Christina Hendrick's comment was that she was bored of being asked questions about her body in every. single. interview. she does. Including ones where she is fully clothed. It's not about reasonable expectation of a broader discussion, but the fact that she thinks there are more interesting things to talk about in an interview than her body. After three years of being asked the same questions from everyone who talks to you, you'd be bored too.
posted by hindmost at 6:19 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


[A couple dumb comments removed. Please stop telling metafilter about your boners. I'm sure they're really awesome boners, but we don't need to know.]
posted by cortex at 6:22 PM on February 15, 2010 [40 favorites]


I'm open to recommendations as long as said recommendations are busty.

I'm busty. Go to MetaTalk.
posted by jessamyn at 6:24 PM on February 15, 2010 [11 favorites]


I don't know about Joe, but I have spent far, far more time observing women's bodies than most women have, making me very informed on the subject.

Boy, there's nothing in the world better than a guy who thinks he knows us better than we know ourselves.

And women very rarely have the option of wearing clothes that send a neutral message.

I want to echo this a thousand times. Anything I could add would be superfluous.
posted by Salieri at 6:25 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is not good Metafilter, this here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:25 PM on February 15, 2010 [15 favorites]


That one, too fat! This one, too tall! This one... too SYMMETRICAL!

Haven't studies shown a built-in preference for slightly asymmetrical faces?


Um, that was just a Bioshock reference.

This isn't just a pretty girl getting mentioned in a thread. This is the post itself being "She sure has some big 'uns".


Actually, it was intended as a "Hey, isn't it nice someone who isn't a perfect size 2 is pretty much universally recognized as beautiful for a change?" post, but somehow it became a strawman for (pick one):

You are implying I'm not a real woman because I am not curved in exactly the same shape as Christina Hendricks! [ ]

You are causing thin girls to despair because they will not grow up to be curved in exactly the same shape as Christina Hendricks! [ ]

You are encouraging a patriarchal obsession with women's bodies! [ ]

You are implying that women who pose in underwear are asking to be objectified! [ ]

You are implying that Christina Hendricks has natural breasts! [ ]

You are implying that Christina Hendricks does NOT have natural breasts! [ ]

You are implying that women who have fake breasts are not women! [ ]

You need to join the Anti-Symmetrical Defamation League. [ ]

; )
posted by misha at 6:31 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hendricks is a far cry from the waifs fashion magazines regularly showcase.

I don't know, in the context of this post (presumably, celebrating women with "normal" body types), something about categorizing women - calling them 'waifs' in this case - according to their body type, instead of just saying "thin women" instead of "waifs"... Calling women names according to their body type seems hateful.

Women: you are either too fat or you are too thin. You can't win.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:35 PM on February 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


Do you like my breasts? Pick one:
Yes [  ]
No [  ]
posted by hincandenza at 6:37 PM on February 15, 2010


jessamyn and cortex, I'm sincerely sorry for all the trouble moderating this thread has given you.

I was really hoping this would be a thread where the consensus was, "Yes, Christina Hendricks, a talented and beautiful performer, is a nice, healthy change from the usual cookie-cutter Hollywood types. Yay, her."

Based on the positive past threads on her appearances in Mad Men and Firefly, I didn't expect this thread to go the way it has.
posted by misha at 6:38 PM on February 15, 2010


I just fail to see how this merits a FPP post. So Ms. Hendricks is quite lovely and talented, is larger than a size 2, and she appears on the cover of a magazine in revealing clothing. Why is this interesting, exciting, or worthy of discussion? Did we all really need to talk about what gives the men of MeFi a boner? Because we do that whenever we talk about a woman's body here, and it's getting really gross and tiresome.

Someone wake me when we're talking about Mo'Nique's scantily-clad cover shots (ooh, or Helen Mirren's!), k? Because that might actually be interesting.
posted by palomar at 6:43 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


palomar, that's a great idea for a post, why don't you do it?
posted by Juicy Avenger at 6:45 PM on February 15, 2010


KokuRyu: Women: you are either too fat or you are too thin. You can't win.
It ain't men saying that. We're pretty much equal opportunity boner-wielders (sorry cortex), and there's a horde of slavering horndogs for just about every body shape. If women are neurotic, it isn't from the average guy sending mixed signals. So where does it come from? One possibility is there is no neurosis, and women are just whining about shit- guys get the same messages of height, grooming, income, etc but we don't bitch and moan every time a woman coos about how hot some guy is. The other is it's very real, but again, where do those signals come from? I can only assume it's from other girls/other women, or the women and men in the fashion industry playing on insecurities. But it sure as shit isn't the average dude.

CH's popularity, besides playing an awesome if tragic character (if she was born 5 years later she'd be out Peggying Peggy), is also that she represents a shape that isn't seen in Hollywood all that much and yet plenty of guys find absolutely irresistible. She is for my tastes just about the most beautiful mainstream actress in some time.

And that OP picture of her in lingerie? Stupendously amazing. Just gorgeous.
posted by hincandenza at 6:45 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


I didn't expect this thread to go the way it has.

Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.
posted by Justinian at 6:46 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


KokoRyu, personally, waifs does not mean "thin women" to me. It implies a young girl, submissive and fragile. Which many current models and actresses appear to be in ads and magazines (not that I am that up on the fashion magazines). Thin women does not have the same connotation of physical (and possibly mental) weakness.
posted by saucysault at 6:47 PM on February 15, 2010


hincandenza: "Do you like my breasts?"

hincandenza: "We're pretty much equal opportunity boner-wielders"

Now I'm confused. And scared.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:49 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm just surprised how much of the "You're either Madonna or a whore. Make your choice." sentiment there is in this thread.

Putting aside the fact that we are talking about an ACTRESS who is playing the game, doing her job, doing the things (photo shoots, red carpet dresses) that most young actresses do, in real life I've found things are easier once I decided even the sluttiest dresser this side of sluttytown was entitled to her annoyances, her feminism, to not be judged or stereotyped, etc.
posted by mreleganza at 6:52 PM on February 15, 2010


Do you like my breasts my tight sweater?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:52 PM on February 15, 2010


palomar, that's a great idea for a post, why don't you do it?

Um... because no one has photographed Mo'Nique (or Helen Mirren) in scant clothing and put them on a magazine cover.
posted by palomar at 6:52 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, it was intended as a "Hey, isn't it nice someone who isn't a perfect size 2 is pretty much universally recognized as beautiful for a change?" post, but somehow it became a strawman for (pick one):

Since there's no "Other [ ]", can I hand-write in "We don't need more posts judging women's bodies. [ x ]"?

At the end of the day, this post is just about judging this woman's body. It's nothing more or less deep than that. She was judged, and found sufficient, and now we are celebrating her sufficiency. Forgive me for not thinking this represents strides having been made, but I see it as just more of the same.
posted by bunnycup at 6:54 PM on February 15, 2010 [24 favorites]


How do you know what she intended by wearing those clothes? Seems like you want to deny her some agency in her own decisions.

is this a joke? am I being trolled? I honestly can't tell. The entire comment seems designed to get a rise.
posted by shmegegge at 6:54 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


It ain't men saying that. We're pretty much equal opportunity boner-wielders (sorry cortex), and there's a horde of slavering horndogs for just about every body shape. If women are neurotic, it isn't from the average guy sending mixed signals. So where does it come from? One possibility is there is no neurosis, and women are just whining about shit- guys get the same messages of height, grooming, income, etc but we don't bitch and moan every time a woman coos about how hot some guy is. The other is it's very real, but again, where do those signals come from? I can only assume it's from other girls/other women, or the women and men in the fashion industry playing on insecurities. But it sure as shit isn't the average dude

Right. No woman has ever had an average guy comment on their looks in a negative way, , so despite the fact that women nearly invariably have stories about how men who are not in the fashion industry have remarked negatively on their looks in some way, or heard men insulting other women for not being hot enough, they must all be making that shit up.

Alternatively, they hear it, but the exact same amount as men do, and they're just whiny bitching people who can't cope with any judgement whatsoever.

It doesn't come only from men, no, but it certainly comes from lots of average men.
posted by jeather at 6:59 PM on February 15, 2010 [16 favorites]


This thread reads like a parody of itself.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:04 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm not. And I've got a pair.

How YOU doin'?

j/k
posted by Ratio at 7:06 PM on February 15, 2010


If women are neurotic, it isn't from the average guy sending mixed signals.

Go read a random selection of Men Seeking Women ads on Craigslist and then come back here and try to say that again with a straight face.
posted by joannemerriam at 7:07 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


No, no, you're actually wrong jeather; some percentage of men may have said things, but extrapolating from "this one time a guy called me fat" to "all men do this all the time!" is utter bullshit. I literally don't know any guy friends who would say something cruel to a woman about her looks, because there's no point. If he thinks she's cute, he's interested; if not, he wouldn't bother insulting her. The only time I hear people offer cutting insults, much less to the person's face, about their looks is other women. Well, and catty gay men doing the same thing.

It's like talking to insane people who are convinced the CIA is bugging their thoughts with radio implants in their teeth. You're so convinced of this conspiracy of the "average guy" that you cannot imagine you might be completely and utterly wrong, or that the thing you rail against is inside your own head.
posted by hincandenza at 7:09 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, no, you're actually wrong jeather; some percentage of men may have said things, but extrapolating from "this one time a guy called me fat" to "all men do this all the time!" is utter bullshit.

oof. the road from "men do this" to "ALL men do this" must be really short and paved with oil slicks and slip n slides. somehow the trip gets made really often and very quickly. I think, if you give some thought to the idea that no one has said ALL men do anything, you might take jeather's comment a little better. because she's not wrong and you're getting kinda grar, here.
posted by shmegegge at 7:15 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


And, yes. Not that another women needs the approval of my particularly male gaze,

Oh thank god! Yes, you have the right idea. Women aren't looking for your approval, and all of this "hey fellas this lady is HAWT! I like 'em busty! What, it's not objectifying, why would she have big boobs if she didn't want us to talk about them amirite. Let me tell you more about what gives me boners" shit is so, so, pathetic.

Thanks for being so thoughtful and considerate to the women her-

but she sure is easy on the eyes. Too bad she's not a real red-head.

aargghghghg
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:18 PM on February 15, 2010 [15 favorites]


hincandenza, please pull back and take a break. It strains my ability to give you the benefit of the doubt to even consider that you only accidentally implied that male-on-female sexual bullying, name-calling, judgmentalism and cruelty is in women's heads. But whether or not you intended it, you just seem to have said that the experience many women have endured of being on the receiving end of nasty words from a man about their appearance or sexuality, is akin to having a serious mental disorder. Even if you truly believe this to be so (it's not), I urge you to spend some time talking to actual women and perhaps reading the details included in some sexual harassment situations. Because you are using a limited anecdotal experience to illegitimize a broadly-documented problem, in a particularly disrespectful way.
posted by bunnycup at 7:21 PM on February 15, 2010 [37 favorites]


I literally don't know any guy friends who would say something cruel to a woman about her looks

hincandenza, what makes you so convinced that your social circles are typical?

on preview, I second bunnycup.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:24 PM on February 15, 2010


hincandenza, here's exactly what jeather said (bolding mine):

It doesn't come only from men, no, but it certainly comes from lots of average men.

I can certainly back up jeather's statement. By no means has every single man I've ever encountered said something horribly shitty to me about my body or my face or the size of my breasts or my fuckability or lack thereof. But a lot of men have done so. Please note that the words "a lot" do not translate in any language to "all men everywhere omg!!!1ONE!!!", as you seem to think they do.

If a man wouldn't bother insulting a woman to her face, if only women and "catty gay men" do that sort of thing, then I've sure as hell known and dated a lot of closeted gay men or women wearing convincing strap-ons.
posted by palomar at 7:27 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


hincandenza, as someone who works with the public and see a lot of ..interesting... social interactions, there are plenty of straight men out there that do make loud, cutting remarks about women's appearances (both in the flesh and those they see on the screen) and unfortunately they spend a lot of time doing so and hit many targets. Each of the women they insult will not remember the hundreds of nice guys that didn't say anything to them that day but WILL remember the one or two guys that day that thought their witty comment on her fuckability was something she should hear. Does my anecdote trump your ancecdote? On preview, yeah, bunnycup.
posted by saucysault at 7:28 PM on February 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, certainly not all men insult women's looks all the time, but even if you are correct in thinking that you and your friends are paragons who only insult people by telling them that their lived experiences are lies and that they are severely ill and probably incapable of functioning in society instead of insulting them by saying they're fat, that is still a very small group of people you are referring to.

I don't think it's a conspiracy. I think that it's an almost inevitable part of being socialised in NAmerican/WEuropean cultures,


Negative commentary is a superset of "cutting insult".
posted by jeather at 7:29 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


Each of the women they insult will not remember the hundreds of nice guys that didn't say anything to them that day but WILL remember the one or two guys that day that thought their witty comment on her fuckability was something she should hear.

And as long as those "nice" guys don't say anything to the other ones - in the presence of women or out - they don't really deserve the adjective.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:31 PM on February 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wow, someone needs a very long internet break.
posted by palomar at 7:37 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's like, I think, If I squint my eyes REALLY hard, and concentrate a WHOLE BUNCH, and use CAPITAL LETTERS, I can, NNNRRNHH, make the bad people in this thread explode.

NRNGNGGHg

Is it working?
posted by cavalier at 7:38 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


Can somebody more eloquent than myself come in here and calmly, clearly, explain the difference between the idea of patriarchy, and entrenched devaluing of women by all members of society in comparison to the male "norm", and men in general?

I was going to try but I'm just so tired.
posted by Mizu at 7:40 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Someone wake me when we're talking about Mo'Nique's scantily-clad cover shots (ooh, or Helen Mirren's!), k? Because that might actually be interesting.

Helen Mirren's scantily-clad cover shot is also sexy, and she rocks a bikini. You're right, that is interesting.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:44 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


I rest my case!

so you'll stop, then? 'cause you're on a weird thing, here.
posted by shmegegge at 7:45 PM on February 15, 2010


Seriously? Seriously you're contradicting the lived experiences of so many women via your recent new experience with this area of craigslist, an area on which men are specifically trying to attract and engage women they don't know?
posted by Salamandrous at 7:46 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you like my breasts my tight sweater?

Yes, Ed, I like your tight sweater. The shape accentuates your shoulders, the color brings out your eyes, and the texture of the angora is a delightful contrast against your skin.

Now can we please just shoot this scene? The guy holding the flying saucer up is getting tired.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:47 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


After posting my last comment, I see there's quite a few posts addressed to me. Too many to reply to individually, but I'll say this:

1) Yes, I honestly do think there's some overhyping of the 'problem'- I honestly believe that if one guy in a month said to you "nice curves!", you'd run and post on your facebook status "OMG guy said I was chubby, all men are PIGS" followed by 10 of your sisters-in-arms chiming in. The inverse... doesn't happen. I firmly believe that reverse sexism is rampant, unchecked, and almost applauded.

2) Okay, seriously though: I really don't know any guys that say mean things about a women's appearance, certainly not to her face. We do observe the women we think are really attractive, as in "Holy cow, that waitress is beautiful!, but we don't say this to them or within earshot. Unless a sin of omission is an insult, then yeah- I really don't know what guys are doing this.

3) I'm not unaware that some percentage of guys are kind of like that. They are, as far as I can tell, universally mocked and called 'douchebags' for their behavior.

4) I and my guy friends would chew out each other if we were being mean about someone, and say "Um, dude, that's kinda mean, man", so we do self-police. But if I saw some guy being crude, I'm still not going to put myself in harm's way telling some weirdo not to "speak ill of a lady", especially if she herself isn't going to say anything. If it escalated past words, then yes, but otherwise... stand up for yourself, it's the fucking 21st century!

5) Let's say I'm really a special snowflake, and I and my friends are some "paragons" of not being jerks. Then why, if the vast majority of men are such dicks, do any of you put up with them?!?!?! That minuscule percentage of not-jerks should be worth our weight in gold if what you say is true. I'd hazard my dating life proves I'm not worth my weight in gold, so stop enabling douchebags to be douchebags. They aren't all celibate loners, so clearly it's not that important if a guy is a jerk, since it costs him nothing.
posted by hincandenza at 7:48 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


> To act as though she brought it on herself by wearing the clothing she wore in either
> instance denies agency to the people who are Part Of The Problem (tm) in spreading poor
> female body issues in our culture, and is fair neither to Ms. Hendricks nor to women in
> general.
> posted by shmegegge at 8:41 PM on February 15 [1 favorite +] [!]

Gee, sorry, that emperor totally does have clothes on after all, can't imagine how I thought otherwise.

as for agency, it's not a he-or-she thing; I see plenty of room for tackyness on both sides. Fratboys and gangstas, shut the fuck up. And you, lady, go put some damn clothes on before you appear in public. Dressing provocatively -- it provokes! DUH. jaysus!
posted by jfuller at 7:51 PM on February 15, 2010


Fuck it, I'm going to go eat. Arguing in this thread is like trying to teach a pig to sing...
posted by hincandenza at 7:53 PM on February 15, 2010


She is very pretty and I like her body shape. She's also a good actress and seems like a nice person. I love President Obama.
posted by Damn That Television at 7:54 PM on February 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


Dude, hincandenza, you talk a really good game about how you and your buds don't ever insult people because it's just so mean, but here you are insulting all kinds of people who are telling you they have had the exact kinds of experiences that you keep insisting just don't happen, or are made up or blown totally out of proportion. It's kind of hard to take you at your word about how totes awesome you and your friends are when you're doing that kind of thing.

Maybe if you walked away from the keyboard for a while and took a few deep breaths it would help. Maybe then you'd recognize that other people have different experiences than you do and just because your experience is different from mine doesn't mean that mine never happens or that I'm delusional.

Or, hey, you could read that epic Schrodinger's Rapist thread and save us all here a hell of a lot of time.
posted by palomar at 7:55 PM on February 15, 2010 [19 favorites]


I'm not insulting you by questioning the validity of your impressions; people have odd biases all the time. And insulting someone who's reading comprehension does suck is not in any way a proof or support of the contention that I or my friends go around telling women about their physical imperfections.

I never said I was nice or non-insulting, just that neither I nor anyone I know make a habit of insulting people about their looks to their face, which the contention made is that this happens 24/7 for most women, with guys yelling spittle into their faces about how ugly they are.
posted by hincandenza at 7:58 PM on February 15, 2010


THE SAINTS WON THE SUPER BOWL!!! WHO DAT!!
posted by nola at 8:02 PM on February 15, 2010 [15 favorites]


Yes, I honestly do think there's some overhyping of the 'problem'- I honestly believe that if one guy in a month said to you "nice curves!", you'd run and post on your facebook status "OMG guy said I was chubby, all men are PIGS" followed by 10 of your sisters-in-arms chiming in. The inverse... doesn't happen. I firmly believe that reverse sexism is rampant, unchecked, and almost applauded.

This ridiculous comment, combined with the fact that I've recently had the pleasure of debating whether or not sexism exists with hincandenza (his arguments actually included "you're just jealous 'cause you're fat"), makes me feel like this argument is kind of a lost cause, and more frustration than it's worth.
posted by shaun uh at 8:02 PM on February 15, 2010 [14 favorites]


A++++ Would troll this thread again!
posted by octobersurprise at 8:04 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


Hey Hincandenza! I'm bad about remembering posters by name, but I had recently filed your handle away in my brain under "ack! weird about women!" So I checked and the comment I was thinking of is actually exactly germane to this conversation.

So yes, the hourglass figure is the frickin' ideal, just like tall and healthy is perceived as better than short and malnourished. You act like this is some grand conspiracy on the part of __(TBD)__ to oppress you and your sisters in frumpiness

So see what you did there? Where you were in a discussion and some women were disagreeing with you so you mocked them by saying they were presumably unattractive? This is the kind of thing people are talking about, nice guy.
posted by moxiedoll at 8:05 PM on February 15, 2010 [84 favorites]


shaun uh, will you be my sister in frumpiness? 'cause we're totally on the same wavelength!
posted by moxiedoll at 8:06 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I won't link to a picture of myself because I'm super hot and don't want to give Adriana Lima and Christina Hendricks a complex. Kidding! No, I'm not. Ha!

My old flatmate in London dated this superhot guy who was superdumb. I thought he was incredible until he opened his mouth. Similarly, there was a woman in my program who was stunning (like one of Zambrano's mythical Eastern European women) but her attitude was so awful that it was hard to think she was at all attractive after being around her for a week.

My fellow ladies, discussions of body and looks shouldn't give anybody a complex or body image issues. As good as Christina looks, I don't want to heft around those boobs. I wouldn't mind being her for a half hour just to see what it's like, but I doubt it's sane to think i could shape myself like her or old Adriana Lima. Try my method for battling insecurity: I just assume women who are better looking than me are boring or racist, which means I'm all kinds of awesome.
posted by anniecat at 8:06 PM on February 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


No, hincandenza, that contention was never made. Many people have tried to explain that to you, that saying SOME men do this does not equal saying ALL men do this. But it would appear that you're living in a really pretty glass house, reading comprehension-wise.

You went to great pains to tell us that you and your friends only say nice things about people ("that waitress is stunning!" or whatever it was) (but never in earshot? that's a little odd.), and that if any of you says anything mean or cruel, the others are quick to call them out with a "Dude, um, that's, uh, kinda mean." So... you never said you were nice and non-insulting? Huh.

Can you please point out exactly where someone in this thread said that all day, every day, men are screaming spittle into their faces? Because I really can't see where anyone said that, or inferred it, or implied it. I'm not sure why you have this weird ax to grind, and I'm left feeling sort of sorry for you.
posted by palomar at 8:06 PM on February 15, 2010


Absolutely, moxiedoll!
posted by shaun uh at 8:09 PM on February 15, 2010


If you look at hincandenza's history you'll see he's not worth your attempt at a reasonable discussion about women.

I regret feeding the troll, don't be like me!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:13 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh hey, it's the sisters in frumpiness guy! I remember that.

And I'm totally joining that sisterhood. Frumps of the world, unite!

Any woman who carries around more weight than society deems necessary for her will laugh her head off at the idea that guys in general are "equal-opportunity boner wielders". Our society does not look kindly on women who do not fit the standard western mold of "attractive", and it is particularly cruel to certain body shapes. And no, it's not all catty, bitchy women keeping the fat chicks down. Not by a long shot.

(Am I the only woman who's never been plagued by this mythical female cattiness? Most of my very best friends have been women, and we don't go around backstabbing each other in the restrooms, or whatever it is bitchy women are supposed to do to each other.)
posted by Salieri at 8:14 PM on February 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


"ack! weird about women!"

One of my favorite things about MeFi is that there are usually at any given moment few enough people here who are "weird about women" that one can remember them individually. I start taking their rarity for granted, and then venture out into the less filtered parts of the internet (InfraFilter?), and am reminded that tons of people are unpleasant that way.

One of the reasons I love our modish overlords is the hours and hours they spend ensuring that "weird about women" remains the exception rather than the rule.
posted by Forktine at 8:16 PM on February 15, 2010 [23 favorites]


As good as Christina looks, I don't want to heft around those boobs.

Meh, it's not that bad except that it costs 5 million dollars a year to buy underwear. And that's just beige! If you want lace or something it's like 77 million dollars a year.
posted by kathrineg at 8:18 PM on February 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


My face met my palm about 1/6 of the way down this thread, and now I'm just slapping myself.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:21 PM on February 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


joannemerriam: Go read a random selection of Men Seeking Women ads on Craigslist and then come back here and try to say that again with a straight face.

...
Despite your protestations that men are all cutting down women left and right, and that we're psychotically demanding of how you look
posted by hincandenza at 9:32 PM on February 15


what
posted by joannemerriam at 8:23 PM on February 15, 2010


what
posted by joannemerriam at 8:23 PM on February 15 [+] [!]


I know, right? Looks like someone got into the peyote.
posted by palomar at 8:24 PM on February 15, 2010


Well I'm sure ladies everywhere can rest easy knowing craigslist is full of fine upstaiding young men looking for respectful lovin' but I'm going to bed. Now what to watch, will it be MST3K riffing? Yes. Will it be Lazerblast. OK.
posted by nola at 8:28 PM on February 15, 2010


few enough people here who are "weird about women" that one can remember them individually

While I agree that this is great, it'd be nicer if this were a less stridently vocal minority. I think the site deals pretty well with the casual frat-bro side of sexism at this point — witness cortex's pruning of the boner comments above — but there's still a sad predictability to these vocal antifeminist derails (or call them trolls if you want; the repetitiveness does suggest they're often entered into pretty wilfully). It doesn't really matter so much if there are three or three hundred guys here who think feminism is the "frumpy sisterhood's" paranoid conspiracy theory, if they insist on making every gender-politics-related thread into an endless back-and-forth YOU CAN'T MAKE ME BELIEVE IN THE PATRIARCHY.
posted by RogerB at 8:33 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


I might be in a very tangential society being military and all, but as I guy, I can easily sense the pervasive sexual objectifying of women, even by people that would never think of themselves as sexist. When you look at a woman, and determine all about her career, her success, who she should date, what she's good at, how nice she is in bed just by looking at her then you're objectifying, and this happens all the time. As a guy, I guess other guys think it's safe to critique a woman's look to me all the time. Hell, I just love beach season when I hit the surf and I have to listen to a lot of guys who aren't Olympians themselves discuss who should and shouldn't be allowed in the swimsuit they have on.

Not all of them are bad human beings. Some of them try to be better about it when I call them out on it. Others get defensive and say that when you wear a swimsuit, you're inviting that type of talk about your body. Most of this is from the fact that there are very few "acceptable" body types we allow females. Oh, sure, we might give exceptions to our wives and mothers and daughters, but most women to us are eye candy, and they are judged on how good of eye candy they are. Most guys don't think of themselves as mean; they just can't internalize that that woman was not put on earth to please the expectations your vision had for the female form.

And as for hincandenza's final point, why do they put up with it? What's the choice? Go lesbian? Retreat to a nunnery? A voluptuous woman might have a great boyfriend and a solid group of friends who accept her for what she is, but that doesn't allow her to control some jerkwad spouting off "Nice tits!" as she's walking through the mall. This isn't her fault. She does the only thing she can and put's up with it. But in no way is that saying that there isn't a problem. It's like blaming the kid that get's beat up at school instead of the bully because he's clearly putting up with the bully. I guess if it was a real problem, the little kid would have done something about it like transferred to a different school.

I'm a guy, and this is my experience talking with guys. These incidents I mentioned happened. Your mileage may vary of course.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:33 PM on February 15, 2010 [52 favorites]


MeTa.
posted by Space Kitty at 8:36 PM on February 15, 2010


But back on topic, what an amazingly attractive woman, and a grade A actress. She can model underwear. She can rock her lines. She can do a lot and she knows this. Her husband is a lucky man, and bless his heart, he knows it.

(In this I'm trying to appreciate her appearance [as she is a model and does invite appreciation] without objectifying her or judging what she should or shouldn't do. I don't tell her that her breasts are fake. I don't tell her that she's asking to be judged. I don't tell her what she should or should not wear. She is not made for my consumption. If I was in an interview with her, I'd love to ask her about her role on Firefly. Her appearance is a very important part of her [as she has made it an important part of her career], but it is only one facet.)
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:39 PM on February 15, 2010


It's ok, just read this thread and then the eating mascots thread and it'll all average out somehow.

I wonder where she is finding all of these vintage undies. If you notice, the corsets/bustiers (I can't tell the difference) she's wearing are from her collection. They don't make huge-breasts-little-waist stuff unless you get into more custom stuff, which is usually fetishy.

I have nothing against latex but it's hot and you need to lube it and shine it and leather is really sweaty too. So you are like "dude can you please just sell a normal corset in my size" and everyone is like "no it must be bizzare" and Christina Hendricks buys up all the great vintage stuff and grrrrrr.

In summary, let's talk about boned undergarments.
posted by kathrineg at 8:40 PM on February 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Dressing provocatively -- it provokes! DUH. jaysus!

oh, nevermind, then. I thought you were sincere, but I see you're just trolling.
posted by shmegegge at 8:41 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


even if her breasts are fake, who gives a shit. It doesn't make her less hot. Who cares. Reality is not super important in an industry that lives on makeup, photoshop, lighting, and selective editing.
posted by kathrineg at 8:43 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dressing provocatively -- it provokes! DUH. jaysus!

Some people it provokes normalcy and some people (you) it provokes embarrassing idiocy. God bless human diversity.
posted by kathrineg at 8:44 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Arguing in this thread is like trying to teach a pig to sing...

Hey, Hermeto Pascoal did that. Just listen to Slave's Mass. Kickass record.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:46 PM on February 15, 2010


that minuscule percentage of not-jerks should be worth our weight in gold if what you say is true. I'd hazard my dating life proves I'm not worth my weight in gold--Hincandenza

Okay, I think this part is very telling. So you're what...bitter? Dumb broads date douchebags and not you, so we get what we deserve or something? I'm not sure I understand.

Women are absolutely subjected to cruel, degrading comments about their appearance, both subtle and blatant. It's happened to me a number of times in my life and I don't think I'm unusual.

I've been with overweight friends when people on the street have shouted insults at them just because of their size. It's extremely painful for them, but one of my friends hardly shrinks and sobs when it happens now. Last time I was with her and someone shouted something at her she lunged toward his van screaming, "what did you say to me, motherfucker?!" He quickly sped away without another word.
posted by apis mellifera at 8:54 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


I don't think we've settled the question of whether Christina Hendricks' boobs are real or not? THIS IS IMPORTANT!
posted by crossoverman at 8:58 PM on February 15, 2010


As to the topic at hand, I'd never heard of Christina Hendricks until today, but she is gorgeous. Wow. My type of gal!
Not that I look like her, but she sure is making me want to dye my hair red.

Also, RE: the boobs being real or not....

I think they just look real, but like they're pushed up crazy high in every picture.
I'm pretty busty, myself (34D) and Ms. Hendricks is but a few months younger than me. I'm assuming she just has a lot more to work with than I do.
She must be a DD (or bigger?!). No matter what type of support garment I used, I don't think my boobs could ever be pushed up that close to my collar-bone!
posted by apis mellifera at 8:59 PM on February 15, 2010


I wonder where she is finding all of these vintage undies. If you notice, the corsets/bustiers (I can't tell the difference) she's wearing are from her collection. They don't make huge-breasts-little-waist stuff unless you get into more custom stuff, which is usually fetishy.

Maybe we have different definitions of fetishy, but in my experience (as a co-shopper, not a wearer), custom means you can have it how ever you want. Hendricks can probably afford to have custom corsetry made in vintage styles. I'm pretty sure she'd look good in a potato sack.
posted by rtha at 9:11 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


hicandenza: The only time I hear people offer cutting insults, much less to the person's face, about their looks is other women. Well, and catty gay men doing the same thing.

Oh my fucking Christ this is not happening
posted by tzikeh at 9:11 PM on February 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


apis mellifera: one of my friends hardly shrinks and sobs when it happens now. Last time I was with her and someone shouted something at her she lunged toward his van screaming, "what did you say to me, motherfucker?!" He quickly sped away without another word.

That's fucking awesome. Good for her.
posted by barnacles at 9:19 PM on February 15, 2010


hicandenza: The only time I hear people offer cutting insults, much less to the person's face, about their looks is other women. Well, and catty gay men doing the same thing.

Oh my fucking Christ this is not happening


Oooooooooh, but it is!

Anyway, no more talk about hicandenza on the blue. That MetaTalk thread is where we're dissecting that bizarre tangle of comments and f-bombs. Let's get back to Ms. Hendricks.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:20 PM on February 15, 2010


Back to Christina Hendricks:

DAMN she's a spectacularly talented actress. And hey, gorgeous to boot. Plus, she plays the accordion--it's a trifecta!
posted by tzikeh at 9:25 PM on February 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


kathrineg, have you tried RenFest vendors? They're experts at boobage. I've seen some that sell Victorian/wedding corsetry, not just wench stuff.

I love Christina Hendricks. I cried when Joan's douche of a husband told her he was joining the army. Best character on Mad Men. As for body stuff, I'm not built quite like her, boob-wise, but I see those pictures and get excited about seeing another grown woman with thighs. You don't see that too often.

Also, regarding boob growth spurts: I can't be the only one here who had one in college, right? Went from a 118lb "waif" in high school to around 130 pounds by the end of college, and the boobs sprouted from B to C cups. She looks a bit heavier than she did back then--though she seems healthy in both Firefly and now--which could explain the boob growth as well as implants could.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:29 PM on February 15, 2010


[Not that I understand why you'd really want to, but if you really really want to keep arguing about or theoretically with hincandenza about stuff from up thread, there is indeed a metatalk where maybe that could go henceforth.]
posted by cortex at 9:32 PM on February 15, 2010


Geniuses are worth their weight in gold.
If you are not worth your weight in gold, the conclusion you should draw from this is that you are not a genius.
posted by oddman at 9:35 PM on February 15, 2010


moxiedoll Hey Hincandenza! I'm bad about remembering posters by name, but I had recently filed your handle away in my brain under "ack! weird about women!"

jacalata's UserNotes script is your friend.
posted by mlis at 9:45 PM on February 15, 2010


no, but for real, it would be awesome if someone didn't always drop a blame the victim line into mefi threads about a woman's body.

My ponytail's not long enough for this level of sensitivity. She's a victim because she's on the cover of a magazine or because she has a body or cuz she's famous and people talk about her or what is this I dont even
posted by Kirk Grim at 12:19 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Joan is my favorite Mad Men character. Here's a little bloglet I wrote about her and that amazing accordion:

Mais c'est magnifique! Mad Men's Joanie and a gay Jewish Turk have a laugh.

So, I'm as obsessive with Mad Men as anybody, mostly because of meeting Matt Weiner and finding his bold contradictory feelings intriguing, fascinating, and completely at the core of the show's reactionary/revolutionary tendencies. Also, its occasionally transparently fictive historical reinventions speak directly to our tendencies of belief, the version of history we want to believe in.

I love Joan best, though I don't know if she's my favorite character. She's my most beloved.

Here's the video of the sequence I'm discussing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QN4NyD6l8A

So, naturally, when she busted out her accordion in 3.3 (see excerpt above), I was verklempt with utter delight. I called that accordion. "What do you play?" she was asked, as her new (shitheel) husband went to the other room to retrieve her mystery instrument. I knew it would be the accordion, that whipping boy of thoracically-mounted windy awesomeness. FYI, accordion-playing is difficult, and accordions sound beautiful. But Mad Men is a contemporary show, and since accordions signify "embarrassing dorkery," that Joan plays the accordion was meant in part to add to our fury at her being brought so low by her foolish husband, who we feel sure doesn't understand or appreciate her talents (though here he makes reference to them).

But the real talent on display in her accordion performance was the whole package: the singing, the choice of song, the language she sang in. She redeemed the accordion for even us cynical modern-day viewers by effecting a throwback to cabaret performance in a very sexy way. Was her song a cabaret classic? To us, it might seem that way, but such is the nature of Mad Men's deceptive gloss of historicity. Actually, it was an American song, written in English, just a few years before 1962, when the episode was to have taken place.

The song she sang was "C'est Magnifique," by Cole Porter, written for the musical Can-Can in 1953, the original lyrics which are as follows:

When love comes in
And takes you for a spin,
Oo-la, lala, c'est magnifi-que.
When, ev'ry night
Your loved one holds you tight,
Oo-la, lala, c'est magnifi-que.
But when, one day,
Your loved one drifts away
Oo-la, lala, it is so tragi-que,
But when, once more,
He whispers, "Je t'adore,"
C'est magnifi-que!

and here's a recording of Deano singing it for ya.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsClxGo7

Joan, however, sings ALL in French. Do you suppose she translated it herself, just to be extra awesome? Well, maybe. I wouldn't put French fluency past her, and I think that's the idea we're supposed to arrive at, that she's so talented, worldly, sophisticated (though still trapped under the thumb of hegemony), and basically underutilized.

However, it's not totally believable that she translated the song herself, is it? You would also think "Oh, but even if it's not a cabaret classic, even if it was an English language Broadway number from a now-forgotten Francophile show, even so, someone must have sung this charming French version our Joanie just cottoned to, hearing it perhaps on the radio there in NYC in 1962." Well, yes. That's what I thought. Great minds, eh, reader?

The version she sings is identical to a French translation extant to her singing of it, and I find the provenance of this version of the song quite amusing, and constructive of a strange new vantage point on the apprehension of her character. Best as my sleuthing/researching/googlefu can determine, hers is Dario Moreno's version.

Dario Moreno is basically the most transgressive possible source for her song I can imagine. He was a gay Jewish Turk who nonetheless became popular for his multilingual and multicultural, globe-trotting aesthetic in his music, his affinity with arabic and european audiences. Here's a rad YouTube playlist of his songs: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=F010B14392195B68&search_query=dario+moreno

Beyond this, her echoing of such a strange figure's love song, his version further digresses from the Can-Can original. Understandably, French audiences (though their love of airy pop is incapable of underestimation) could digest a slightly richer emulsion of pictorial romance in the tune as rewritten for them.

Here is a link to the lyrics of Moreno's version: http://www.lyricsmania.com/lyrics/dario_moreno_lyrics_38751/other_lyrics_69853/cest_magnifique_lyrics_676986.html

my translation of it is as follows:

Life is here, and grabs you by the arm
Oh la la la!
It's magnificent!
From days all blue to glowing kisses
*smooch smooch smooch smooch* (note: Joan's delivery is smoochy, but also tut-tutlike)
It's magnificent!
He gives his heart with a flower bouquet
Oh la la la!
"My, how magnificent!"
And to make, one day, a marriage of love
It's magnificent!

To go over to honeymoon in Cuba
Oh la la la!
It's magnificent!
In this hot weather, the kisses are so, too!
*smooch smooch smooch smooch*
It's magnificent!
Nights of love that last fourty-five days
Oh la la la!
It's magnificent!
Return to Paris, and reunite with friends
Oh la la la!
It's magnificent!

Dinner for two in a lovenest
Oh la la la!
It's magnificent!
Kiss while the chicken burns
*smooch smooch smooch smooch*
It's magnificent!
To make two hearts into one joy
Oh la la la!
"My, how magnificent!"
To be in love with love in Paris, forever...
It's magnificent!

The tone of the song is noticeably different. It refers to no loss, only to the carefree joy of being in love forever and spending sweltering nights in... CUBA of all places. Certainly Joan was going to skip that part, right? Hmm. Hot kisses in Cuba with a gay Jewish Turk... most unconventional, little wifey Joan.

If we read this version as Joan's, it demonstrates on her part a willful ignorance to the limiting political constraints of her time and place upon her free spirit and agency, shows her to be a real romantic, I would argue. If we don't, then it's just a gimmick, because singing in French is Oh La La to us just as much as it is to those rubes in the room, if we don't, then Mad Men and Joan are in on a joke on us.


Boy, can I fritter time away or what? Well, at least doing this was good for my French.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:36 AM on February 16, 2010 [27 favorites]


hincandenza: "Do you like my breasts?"

hincandenza: "We're pretty much equal opportunity boner-wielders"

JoeBeese: Now I'm confused. And scared.



And, uh...and a little intrigued.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:24 AM on February 16, 2010


Well, at least doing this was good for my French.

Have you looked at your user name lately?
posted by Wolof at 4:50 AM on February 16, 2010


I'm bored with Christina Hendricks body! I'm actually miffed that the NYMag article spent the entire length of it discussing her body. The woman is stunning all around, body included, and I just love her beautiful face, especially since I've seen her portrayal of Joan Holloway on Mad men. She can be harsh, in total control and so utterly heartbroken with a quick bat of an eyelash and a slight tuck of the lip. The cast of that show do so well in their roles, but in my book Christina Hendricks rules supreme. Can we talk about her acting?
posted by dabitch at 4:57 AM on February 16, 2010


People should not find other people attractive. It's objectifying and insulting to our brains. We should be fantasizing about squeezing each other's mindgrapes.
posted by Jon-A-Thon at 5:38 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, I like her anyway. Good luck to you all.
posted by grubi at 6:26 AM on February 16, 2010


Others get defensive and say that when you wear a swimsuit, you're inviting that type of talk about your body.
Funny, when I wear a swimsuit, it's because I intend to go swimming.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:40 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


So I guess the new season of Mad Men is premiering soon?

What interesting timing.
posted by box at 8:02 AM on February 16, 2010


Well, and catty gay men doing the same thing.

Well, hincandenza honey, you're not going out wearing that, are you?
posted by ericb at 8:02 AM on February 16, 2010


kathrineg: "In summary, let's talk about boned undergarments."

If you want good ones, you have to have them custom made. Then you generally need someone to help get you into them. You can't lace those bad boys up yourself, especially the ones that lace in the back. Well, I say that based on my size...which is to say boobs easily as big as Ms. Hendricks, and having corsets that can achieve the same level of gravity defying magic.

These corsets, they are not terribly comfortable, in that I wouldn't wear one all the time, and to have one made that actually reduces inches in one section and defies gravity in another is expensive. I think my last external (for looking at) corset cost around $400. (To be fair, the corset designer had a dress dummy dialed into my exact size, and the leather for the corset was cut, wet, dried, shaped, wet dried...ad infinitum to get it exactly right. It's a gorgeous, stunning thing, that I wear maybe once a year. (sigh) I just don't think it would go over well at the PTA, just saying. Not a lot of excuses for me to drag it out. The undergarment one I had made, which uses fabric and is actually a foundation garment was about $200.

The thing is; you should only buy one from someone local, because you will need fittings for it to fit correctly. If you're fortunate enough to live in NYC or SanFran or LA, then finding someone is pretty easy. If you don't, then your best bet is probably to find out where the local fetish shop is. They'll know someone who can make you one.

All that said: Everyone who was not born with boobs, you are hereby disqualified from making judgment calls about the value or reality of a woman's body. You have no idea what foundation garments can do, and even if you do, to spout off disparagingly about the reality or lack thereof of a woman's parts is degrading, rude and immature. I expect better from the men here. It may foolish expectation, but we have a community of grownups. Let's act like it.
posted by dejah420 at 8:02 AM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


SMBC will probably raise ire today.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:23 AM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


So I guess the new season of Mad Men is premiering soon?

What interesting timing.


Each of the three seasons so far has premiered in late summer and there's been no word that Season 4 will be any sooner, but thanks for playing!
posted by kittyprecious at 8:45 AM on February 16, 2010


Thanks for the heads-up--I usually don't notice new seasons of tv shows until a few episodes in. When does Breaking Bad start?
posted by box at 9:10 AM on February 16, 2010


Wolof, um. Yeah, I'm not fluent in French. Not by a long shot. I have film student French and German, yanno? Working on it, though. I mistakenly learned Spanish as a second language without foreknowledge that l'academie would regard it as almost useless. Stupid working class earnestness.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:17 AM on February 16, 2010


Each of the three seasons so far has premiered in late summer and there's been no word that Season 4 will be any sooner, but thanks for playing!

Exactly.

Season 3 debuted August 16, 2009. It was just in September 2009 that the announcement was made that there will be a Season 4.

"'Mad Men' is set to begin filming its fourth season in March and will be back on the air in late summer."

BTW -- "Sal" won't be returning. "Bring Sal Back" Facebook group
posted by ericb at 9:46 AM on February 16, 2010


Everyone who was not born with boobs, you are hereby disqualified...

Here comes the judge.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 10:09 AM on February 16, 2010


All that said: Everyone who was not born with boobs, you are hereby disqualified from making judgment calls about the value or reality of a woman's body.

I think a woman's body is her own value, to do with as she pleases.

Ooops, my opinion was disqualified!

and what if I get boobs with age, then do I qualify?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:18 AM on February 16, 2010


Here comes the judge.

Dear lord why did I click?
NOT SAFE FOR ANYONE
posted by Ratio at 10:48 AM on February 16, 2010


People should not find other people attractive. It's objectifying and insulting to our brains. We should be fantasizing about squeezing each other's mindgrapes.

What is this, some kind of sick zombie fetish? Keep your brain-lust to yourself, jerkwad!
posted by the other side at 10:53 AM on February 16, 2010


Dear lord why did I click?
NOT SAFE FOR ANYONE


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…………….,’ ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ‘-,_: : _,-‘ ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; | : : : : : ; ; ; |
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..…………,-‘ ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;,’ , , , , , , ,( : : : : , , , ,’’-, ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;|
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….,-‘’-~’’,-‘ ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; | ; ; | . . . . . . ,’; ,’’¯ ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ,_ ; ‘-,
……….,’ ; ;,-, ; ;, ; ; ;, ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ‘, ; ;’, . . . . .,I DISAGREE.
………,’-~’ ,-‘-~’’ ‘, ,-‘ ‘, ,,- ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ‘, ; ; ‘~-,,,-‘’ ; ,’ ; ; ; ; ‘, ;,-‘’ ; ‘, ,-‘,
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posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:03 AM on February 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


... whoa.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:16 AM on February 16, 2010


Why are you posting ASCII pictures of the official mascot of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics?
posted by Justinian at 11:30 AM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Because I couldn't find an ASCII picture of Fatov, the official mascot of the 2014 Olympics at Sochi.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:04 PM on February 16, 2010


Potrzebie.
posted by everichon at 12:16 PM on February 16, 2010


Flame wars, babies with boobs, ASCII pics of pedobear...
Is MeFi turning into 4chan?
posted by jeisme at 1:12 PM on February 16, 2010


 ▲
▲ ▲

posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:13 PM on February 16, 2010


god bless this thread.
posted by june made him a gemini at 3:13 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Christina Hendricks is certainly wearing a corset or waist cincher, and an absolute scaffolding of a bra under the vast majority of dresses that encourage these types of threads. Not that there's anything wrong with corsetry. But having also worn corsets on occasion, I'll submit that it's not like she's "natural" or probably even "comfortable" in those outfits. It takes some work to push things into such exaggerated positions.
Uncorseted; corseted.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:45 PM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I know I'm really late to the thread, but I would wager that a significant portion of the reason she is so highly regarded in attractiveness (by yours truly as well as many people in this thread) is that, whatever her weight may be, she carries relatively little of it in her face. If you cropped the photos just to her face and asked people to guess her weight, I bet the mean would be 25-50 pounds lighter than she actually is.
posted by chimaera at 10:05 PM on February 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


pseudostrabisimus, you have just convinced me that my next Frivolous Purchase is going to be a well-fitted corset. I've been meaning to do that for quite some time, but seeing a pair of photos like that really drove home what they can do. Va-va-voom.
posted by egypturnash at 1:13 PM on February 17, 2010


You will love it! You can be any shape you want.

And if you're in the SF Bay Area, I can recommend a corset maker.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:11 PM on February 17, 2010


Another photo of the utterly normal "profile" of her boobage.
posted by desuetude at 6:50 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't it possible that when she said she's tired of talking about her body, she's actually saying that *she* is tired of talking about her body? She didn't say, 'I'm tired of other people talking about my body.'
posted by Salamandrous at 3:12 PM on February 18, 2010


Ambrosia Voyeur, thanks for making sticking out the utter slop of this thread worthwhile :)
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:04 PM on February 25, 2010


It takes some work to push things into such exaggerated positions

My wife had a nice expensive corset (I think it was something like $400) and getting it laced up properly was quite a bit of work; we made jokes about "containment breach" and "explosive decompression". before | after
posted by mrbill at 8:17 AM on March 3, 2010


Hey mrbill, thanks for that. I like how those of us who pay attention get to know her this way. She seems pretty rad.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:21 AM on March 4, 2010


If I ever start doing "my dead wife this" and "my dead wife that" too much, someone please MeMail me and tell me to STFU. I loved Amy with all my heart, and love telling stories about her, but I know that other people don't care as much and there's a point at which things can get annoying.
posted by mrbill at 11:23 AM on March 4, 2010


mrbill, you have totally not reached that point. If you talked about nothing else 24/7/365 for the next four decades, it might become a tad annoying, but you're so far from that you're in a different universe. The before/after pix are awesome, by the way.
posted by rtha at 12:15 PM on March 4, 2010


The before/after pix are awesome, by the way.

This (SFW) is why we made the jokes. 42DD. "This thing has carbon fiber and Kevlar in it, right?"
posted by mrbill at 12:35 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


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