Christina Hendricks | Harper's BAZAAR November 2010

Christina Hendricks looks simply fabulous in the November 2010 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR, lensed by Terry Richardson — although not as fabulous as these new jawdroppers

As the officious, flawless office manager Joan on Mad Men, Hendricks leaves viewers gasping over her competence and ‘Joan Walk’ and not necessarily in the order. Hendricks has reinvented the meaning of gorgeous curves in all the right places.

Feminists and the ‘Joan Walk’

In the process, Christina Hendricks has helped millions of women to love the body in her mirror.

“All the costumes were so tight,” Christina explains of the Walk. “I wasn’t used to the undergarments, so my natural swing became more of a swing. After I became conscious of it, my hands came up too.”

The Joan Walk is absolutely a form of female empowerment to many women, many who call themselves ‘feminists’. One of the fault lines in the second wave of feminism was hostility around expressions of sensuality and femaleness on one side and women comfortable with their sensual, competent, stilettoe-wearing selves on the other. The two sides never reconciled.

While women haven’t taken to the streets yet in Mad Men’s 1960s Madison Avenue boy’s club culture, no one doubts that Joan means business in her voluptuous brassiere.

Hendricks tells BAZAAR that she never thought she would become an inspirational cult figure for curvy women. But she’s happy to play the role. Christina tears up talking about the fan who approached her in a restaurant: “‘Excuse me, I just want to tell you that I watch your show, and you make me feel better about myself. I am a curvy woman, and you’ve made me feel sexy and beautiful.’

As an AOC sidebar, it’s our contention that once she feels sexy and beautiful, this woman will take better care of her health, whatever her size. Self-love comes first, then self-respect. This is why our readers love Christina Hendricks and Crystal Renn.

Cathy Horyn’s Globe Globe Moment

Like Crystal Renn, Christina Hendricks is willing to talk about the downside of her moments in the public spotlight. She recalls New York Times style writer Cathy Horyn blogging about her dress at the Golden Globes Awards:

“Not pretty Christina Hendricks in Christian Siriano’s exploding ruffle dress. (As one stylist said, ”You don’t put a big girl in a big dress. That’s rule number one.’)” The piece ran next to a distorted photograph that made Christina look wider than she was, which Horyn later noted.

Hendricks acknowledges that Cathy Horyn, known for her acerbic comments about many subjects, hurt her feelings big-time.

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

Now that’s Joan talking, and we love it. The facts are that women do miserable things to each other, and some of specialize in the art.

Christina Hendricks, Former Model

Many fans don’t know that Christina Hendricks was a mid-90s model at age 17, appearing in Dazed & Confused and runway shows including Hussein Chalayan. This was after America’s favorite red head gave up her shattered dreams of being a ballerina, with a blossoming, full-bosom body that refused to cooperate with her future visions of being airborne and light as a feather.

It was in the mid-90s that the real Supermodels — most of them size 4 like Hendricks, who was 5’8” and short for a model — were put to pasture and the new girls were told to slim down. (Note, the original Supermodels are doing just fine, thank you. Plenty of work for those yummy mommys today.)

Christina says her agent told her to lose 10 pounds. She couldn’t do it.

Lots is happening in the Mad Men life of Christina Hendricks. Read on at Harper’s BAZAAR.