When Women Had Curves

Christina Hendricks, the gorgeous redheaded glamour girl of Mad Men, says she is a size 12 and she looks it. On the show she plays the full-bodied Joan, a very efficient and very sexy office manager who is always dressed in skin-tight 60s- style secretary sheaths or in low-cut cocktail dresses. And she always looks absolutely fabulous. On the last episode of the popular AMC series, one of her bosses declares," I understand that all men are dizzy and powerless to refuse you." Watching her lead a conga line at the Christmas office party, you understand why.

In truth, though not many women were as picture-pretty as Hendricks, her style and size were very typical for the early 60s. It was the time of Marilyn Monroe, after all, where women were expected to have curves not muscles, and "gym" was not a place to go but the name of a fellow who asked you out.

Now, there is some debate that Monroe herself, who supposedly wore a size 12 or 14, was really a lot slimmer than people think. Those who buy vintage clothes claim that a size 12 then was a lot smaller than today's 12. I am not so sure. Monroe definitely looked soft and sometimes even fleshy--no toned upper arms for her--- and nobody, from the President down, seemed to mind one bit.

Read more of "When Women Had Curves" at ThirdAge.com