The XX Factor

Cheese Poppers, Pork Sausage, Carbonara: What Christina Hendricks Puts In Her Mouth

This month’s Esquire features a hot-as-hell photo spread of 34-year-old Mad Men star Christina Hendricks, alpha secretary with an overlooked knack for TV ad placement, but the accompanying interview ( “Christina Hendricks Isn’t All That Fussy” ) is devoted almost entirely to a slightly gross self-congratulatory parsing of her curves, appetite, and size. The piece oozes with delight over the caloric bombs she swallows on the regular (cheese poppers, chocolate-covered bacon, carbonaras, all types of pork), before venturing to more duh -worthy territory: Hendricks is “not this little waify nothing” and she “seems to embrace it.” But no worries, Esquire still finds her sexy! The interview fetishizes the deep-fried bits she eats and her girdle-induced upper thigh bruises (yes, she talks about how the Mad Men costumes uncomfortably pierce her flesh) as only a magazine whose pages are usually filled exclusively with size 2 women can.

It’s not that I don’t consider Hendricks really, reaaaaally ridiculously good-looking but I just don’t think that I deserve a pat on the back for admiring her beauty, nor do I get all jizzy over a play by play of her terribly naughty restaurant order, because I’ve eaten more than a few carbonaras in my lifetime and, as far as I can tell, still inspire the occasional erection. Next question, please. (For inspiration: Jack Nicholson’s interview with Mad Men actress January Jones in last month’s Interview magazine. On her (not fake!) name: “It’s from a book called Once is Not Enough by Jacqueline Susann. Bad book.”)

A couple weeks ago a New York magazine piece about Hendricks, titled ” Dangerous Curves, ” insulto-complimented her “retro-bodacious body” as “oddly empowering to women,” as if it’s such an exception that someone with regular-person heft, er, ahem, curves, as the parlance goes, is sexy. Page Six anointed her the voluptuous being who is “changing Hollywood’s skewed views of females.” Never mind that a handful of shows debuting this season- Dance Your Ass Off and More to Love to name two-game on fat women as a form of voyeuristic alien entertainment (Fat people moving! Fat people trying to love! SO CRAZY.) Which is just to say: Maybe we should stop feeling so proud of ourselves that we love Christina Hendricks’ paunch. And stop praising her as a token of our open-mindedness when it comes to body talk. Let’s simply accept that a hot woman is a hot woman, and pray Matt Weiner gets Joanie out of her terrible marriage this season.

Photograph of Christina Hendricks by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.