Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The patron saint of curves leads us into the light

191 pounds
There has been a lot of chatter lately about Christina Hendricks' anorexia-kicking body.

As I discussed in my "Curvier . . . Rounder . . . Better!" post, a few weeks ago The New York Times printed a stretched pic of Hendricks at the Golden Globes next to a story about a stylist calling her a "big" girl. What followed was a massive online backlash—people were not happy about the distorted image or the comment. Hendricks is definitely curvy, but she is by no means big. And the fact that the picture was stretched—intentionally or not—proves it.

And the follow-up to that ridiculous faux pas has continued to push the beauty envelope.

This week, New York magazine not only featured Hendricks on their cover—yes, there is a curvy woman on the COVER of a magazine!—they also asserted that Hendricks—along with Glamour and V magazines—may be helping us change the way we think about women's bodies. According to the magazine, Hendricks "looks the way movie stars used to look. She is, in that sense, proof of how certain bodies go in and out of fashion." Hendricks may, in fact, be helping us usher in a new definition of beauty: one that glorifies curves rather than shunning them, as the fashion and entertainment industry been for years, probably as long as I've been alive.

The magazine even imagines a future when models will be chided for looking like men, rather than being chided for looking like women, as they unfortunately still are today. (The Project Runway episode when the judges called a barely curvy model "zaftig" comes to mind.)

Even better news . . . Hendricks, who used to be a model, has long rejected the idea that beautiful women need to be super thin. During her modeling days, she says she always wanted to discuss "something else" if models started talking about starving themselves.

I knew there was a reason I liked you, Christina. I just knew it.

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