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January 20 2010

Did NY Times distort a photo of Christina Hendricks? Gothamist makes a case for the NY Times having deliberately distorted an image of Christina Hendricks to prove its "point" about girls with curves. I'm not necessarily nuts about the dress, but the woman wearing it is hot, hot, hot!

If they did, they should be ashamed of themselves for trying to bring down such a gorgeous woman.
Sad to see the 'Paper of Record' jumping on the Every Celebrity Woman Above Size Zero is a Walking Dirigible bandwagon usually reserved for the supermarket checkout periodicals. What's next...a weekly column from Heidi Montag about how there's nothing wrong with you that a surgeon's scalpel can't fix?
I shoot mostly sports, but it looks like they tried to cut out the camera strap or obstruction from the lower right of the image but left the photo dimensions the same.

It might just be a very unfortunate error. If you publish your own site you can catch it, but if you submit stories and photos to a third party you might not.
But she was naked and all.... articulate!
An update posted by the author:

"A number of readers raised concerns that the photo of Christina Hendricks at the Golden Globe Awards had been deliberately altered. The photo was slightly distorted inadvertently due to an error during routine processing. The photograph has been replaced."

Either way the petty judgemental tone of the article was far worse than the photo error.
Distortion intentional or not those sort of fashion articles are the exact reason I stay away from fashion commentary of any sort- it is always less about the fashion and more about criticizing a person's body or just the person.
The thing that bugs me about the text is that Christina isn't a 'big girl'. She's a thin woman with a pronounced hourglass figure.
By today's standards i'm not sure Christina Hendricks is thin but that's because today's standards are all screwed up. Either way, she can act, she's gorgeous, she looks healthy and she seems from interviews to know her own mind. Not sure how much there is to criticise really.

As to the photo, "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.". Looks to me like the sort of distortion that occurs when you resize an image slightly without maintaining the aspect ratio - rookie mistake but just a mistake nonetheless.

The article itself on the other hand is pretty lowbrow and tabloidy for the New York Times (being in the UK I don't read it but isn't it a respected broadsheet ?). Still, even respected broadsheets feel they have to cater to the celebrity gossip fans because, frankly, we've shown that we want it.
Yeah, that's what I meant - I'd agree that she's not thin by today's standards, but by most objective measurements she doesn't carry much body fat (except in the obvious, and much-admired, places). That's a problem with the standards, not with the terribly gorgeous Christina.

As for the New York Times, I haven't lived in the US for nearly a decade now, but I gather it's gone downhill in that time. Awards shows (and frocks) seem to get near-universal coverage anyway. It's actually one of the few girly things I miss about the US - watching the red carpet shows live (I could do without the body commentary, though) and ice skating. What is wrong with Britain? Why is there no ice skating?

[ edited by Ildeth on 2010-01-21 13:33 ]
The problem I have is that everybody's coming to her rescue by saying she's not fat. Can't we stop labelling people by their body size and agree that she's gorgeous?
I think she's gorgeous, and I don't think she's a big girl at all. These people do not know what "big" means anymore, you know?
What is wrong with Britain? Why is there no ice skating?

To the first we just don't have that sort of time Ildeth ;), to the second, I dunno, there used to be more ice rinks around when I was a kid (or it seemed that way anyway) but I guess they take up a lot of space that could be "better" used to build overpriced, characterless boxes for us all to live in. Where I am there's a large ice rink and then over the Christmas period they also build an artificial one in the town square so I guess it just depends where you live (I don't skate so use neither but I suppose it's nice to know I could ;).
The author doesn't apologize for being a thundering twerp with absolutely no sense of perspective on the appropriate weight or shape of a real woman, oddly enough. Christina Hendricks is the most beautiful woman referenced in the column from what I can tell.
WARNING: Looking at Christina Hendricks may cause irregular breathing patterns.

Oh, and going by the photos of Cathy Horyn posted by the commenters, she's not exactly in any place to be commenting negatively on someone's looks. Go Christina!
Break_Atmo, totally agree with your warning. I'm a pretty hetero girl myself, but I'd change my preferences for Christina. (Interesting that Mad Men never followed up on that gay room-mate plot-line. Now that Joan's marriage is in trouble wonder if that will resurface).
Any excuse to scrutinize a pic of our Mrs. Reynolds is okay with me...
They loved her and her dress over at Go Fug Yourself.
Seeing Christina described as a 'big girl' always makes me kind of sad inside, because it's implied to be a negative, unwanted trait. But people come in all shapes and sizes, and people love people in all shapes and sizes. And - unless health becomes an issue (but that's not what these types of publications are about, they're all about image) - everyone should just lay off.
NYT is dumb. In no other coverage did I see actresses remarked on as having gained weight or Christina Hendricks in the Christian Siriano dress described as anything other than one of the big fashion hits of the night. If not the biggest-- her photo was next to a lot of headlines the next day.
I firmly and absolutely disagree with the stylist who said that "you don't put a big girl in a big dress" because that dress is absolutely gorgeous on Christina.
Ildeth, we get red carpet coverage, on E!. It's live. Better reporting and less tacky than the crap they show on Sky1, anyway.

As for this, I agree with Christina being a stunner but I think that the complaint is over-the-top. The image doesn't look manipulated in any way, it just looks distorted.
Thanks for letting me know,jaymii. Another sign that I may have to start actually paying for my television beyond the license fee. That's certainly something I don't miss about the US!

Oh, and Saje, Edinburgh does have an ice rink (rather a nice one, I've heard - I'm actually quite crap at skating) but I was just being nostalgic for big frozen lakes and rivers in the middle of nowhere with no one to watch me fall on my bum repeatedly.

On topic? I agree that the picture mistake is likely to be just that - a mistake. But it is pretty unfortunate in combination with the text, which I think was pretty tacky.
That New York Times article was bad in every way.

ETA Christina rocked that dress like orange sherbet.

[ edited by Pointy on 2010-01-21 19:48 ]
The thing I like about Christina is she seems to have her own very strong personal style and it almost always works for her. So many actresses are not only stick thin, but their stylists just seem to dress them in whatever is hot that day so their clothes are all over the place.
Wowee! She's an old school bombshell. I don't like the dress, actually, but it looks fantastic on her. Or she looks fantastic in it.
It's been a few years, but when I saw her at a con (Flan I), she seemed a little slight/petite to me actually and curvy, but not the tiniest bit overweight. And her eyes are amazing and skin luminous--a real beauty. Putting aside looks, she was extremely gracious and kind and so happy to be there with us fans, and seemed sincerely overwhelmed a bit by our appreciation and enthusiasm. Class act, zero diva 'tude.

I think figure-wise she is a throwback to beauty icon Marilyn. Fashion wise, I was clicking through red carpet photos, and came to a screeching halt at her photo. I thought she rocked the dress--not everyone can pull off the volume of that big ruffle (I won't name names but they were at the same event) but I thought the volume balanced her, um, upper bounty, and that the asymmetry of the dress made it a great modern update of classic style.

Many commentators have a mandate to be provocative and get wrapped up in snark for snark's sake. I think it is a shame to see such crap in the NYT.
I've always been under the impression Hendricks' stuff is pretty all over the place, it's just she always looks good in it.

And in any case, even if it is a totally understandable goof that they wanted to crop the photo but forgot to keep the rest of the photo in perspective, the text of the article itself was problematic. Especially in light of the photographic mistake. (Plus even if it weren't intentionally to make a point, the unaltered photo I still think has her looking pretty lovely.

(The stuff they ended up saying about Amanda Palmer though, a lot of that was exceptionally cruel.)
What I like about youse guys - or one of the things I like about youse guys - is that you read some of the articles for me so I don't have to.

I have absolutely zero need to check this out now.

Thanks, Whedonesquers - for helping save my time and my blood pressure.

(And Amanda Palmer seems also to be quite a lovely person in form and content ; > as well as Christina - which one can learn by following her twitter and which I could've known anyway by the fact that she's engaged to Neil Gaiman, so anyone that takes the time and snark to diss her ain't worth a whole lot of time in my book anyhoo, and they can kiss my sweet patootie.)

; > <------------ smiley-winky face indicates that a joke has been made, though many a true word is said in jest.

; >
What's wrong with fat women? If Christina Hendricks was fat, she'd still be beautiful, talented and intelligent. It's the nitwits who insinuate that fat is ugly, or fat is evil, or women with extra padding don't deserve to live, who are the truly ugly people of the world.
Engaged to Neil Gaiman? ... I didn't know this, and now she is my new favorite person. After Neil Gaiman.
Holy Macaroni! What a pic(s)!!!
Cowards at NYT! I can't believe we're still having these conversations with such serious stuff going on in the world. The starved woman look doesn't light my fire, sexy women (like Christina) do.

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