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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Decoding : Christina Hendricks, Icon beyond her Will

Christina Hendricks was certainly not expected such a rise in her popularity. In the last months, her picture have been used in every fashion magazine, illustrating an article about the women proud of their curves, one on the red-haired ones, and, definitely, on one relating the revival of the 50s.
How this happened ? An actress who was mostly reduced to second roles and apparitions on TV series, suddenly turning into "the icon" ? Christina owes this to her role as a secretary in the TV hit Mad Men. The serie recounts the hazards of some New York based ad agencies in the beggining of the 60s. This role soon impelled the generous redhead into the galaxy of the sex-symbols.
Now that voluptuous women are back in the trends, the magazines are fighting over her image, trying desperately to prove that they are not "plumpophobic" and taking advantage of people's fascination for the curvy actresses. Her hair is another source of success. After centuries of rejection, ill-treat and mockery, the world have decided that the redheads were the last IT thing. Now, they are treated like any minority and have their quota in every serie.
Sexy yet chilly, TV redheads are not an usual cliché on the television panorama : the rigid Bree of Desperate Housewives, Glee's Emma Pillsbury, the surgeon Addison Shepherd of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, Miranda of Sex and the City, The Mentalist's Agent Grace Van Pelt or Castle's adorable kid, Alexis.

So, Christina is a genuine bargain for fashion gurus. And besides, she is not vulgar at all. The lady always dresses with taste, with elegant outfits that emphasize her body, yet don't willy-nilly inflict her décolleté around.
She even has a crush for retro outfits that are an extension of her successful role of Joan Harris. Her style has finally made its way into fashionistas' minds, and put 50s and 60s back in the magazines. Each of them devotes full pages to this 'new' trend, quoting Chloé, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and many more that have dived into the Time Machine. Suddenly, we are all fans of our grandmothers' clothes : long skirts, thick coats, heavy materials and strict hairdos and glasses. And if you are not happy with that, you can always blame Christina for it, even if I don't think she really feels responsible ...

That's a bit crazy, this sudden turn around in medias opinion. Things that were out of the question months ago are now acclaimed. But maybe is there a bit of hypocrisy ...
For example, the models that are now celebrated for their curves, Lara Stone and Kate Dillon - another redhead by the way- are starting to lose weight under the pressure of their employers.
Red-haired people are in fact more stigmatised than emphasized, and provocations such as the video of singer M.I.A., Born Free, directed by French red-obsessed Romain Gavras, cause more uneasiness than real respect.
So, are the red hair and curves a fad ? And what about the 50s style ? At least this one is avaible for every woman ...
It is very elegant and feminine, but not suitable for every morphology. The main problem in Fashion is that, when something is trendy, you find it everywhere and it is sadly exclusive. And soon, you see women that shouldn't, wearing ugly oversized skirts, and it distorts the beauty of the retro style, because they were told to wear that, whereas they should wear something more appropriated to their shapes.
I hope this won't happen, because we have a lot to learn from past fashion, especially how to build our own style identity. It is not because we are in 2010 that we can't invent new things anymore.
Back to Christina, I hope that she will not allow TV to confine her to the role of the pulpy ginger, and force them to think outside the box. Because boxes really not fit women. Only what they contain ...

3 comments:

  1. Such a great post, she's stunning. I write a fashion blog inspired by redheads, and I especially love her curves. I'm a new Follower, and hope you'll like Following RedPoppy?!
    Looking forward to reading more on here xo
    http://www.redpoppyfashion.blogspot.com

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  2. Christina's raw beauty always astounds me & I dont care what people say about her at the Emmy's she looked amazing!

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  3. Wonderful post... Very informational and educational as usual!

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