Joan Holloway Barbie Proves Plastic is Less Fantastic

By Mara Betsch,

Joan Holloway, Christina Hendricks’s character on Mad Men, is known for two things: her attitude and her curves. “She’s got fire to her. She snaps back. And men love her because she’s in touch with her sexuality and femininity,” Hendricks told USA Today in 2008. So what would Joan Holloway have to say about her Barbie counterpart?

Mattel recently announced that they will create Barbie and Ken dolls of four popular Mad Men characters: Roger Sterling, Don Draper, Betty Draper, and Joan Holloway. They will sell as collectibles for $75 apiece.

Though Joan’s dress, accessories, and hairstyle are a perfect imitation of the show’s femme fatale, there’s something missing: her curves! In fact, her body looks exactly like Betty Draper’s. It just makes me wonder why there’s so much attention to detail, except in the shape of her body.

Especially with the slow addition of plus-size models to fashion magazines – and even fashion shows, it seems like there has been a recent move toward embracing a healthy, curvy figure. I can’t help but think that downsizing Joan’s curves is a step backward.

Though I agree that sometimes people confuse curvy and healthy with obese and overweight, Christina Hendricks has an enviable figure. She appears to have a healthy BMI, dresses well for her shape, and has body confidence. And, for young girls (and women), that’s a more realistic expectation than Barbie.

What do you think of the Joan Holloway Barbie?

via: Joan Holloway Barbie Loses Curves – Diet & Weight Loss –

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2 thoughts on “Joan Holloway Barbie Proves Plastic is Less Fantastic

  1. I know this is a long-delayed response, but in defense of AB, this article is a direct repost from Is it a crap article, should it have been vetted further or should someone have actually typed up an article rather than directly quoting one that was so negative? Yes to all of those things, but still one shouldn’t be so quick to attribute this thinking to AB writers.

  2. I’m sorry but these kinds of stories just add to the confusion over what makes a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ body. Using phrases such as ‘she appears to have a healthy BMI’ and ‘she dresses well for her shape’ are as problematic as any other body judgements. Professing to be fighting for positive body image just comes undone when it becomes a message of ‘don’t be too skinny but also don’t be too fat’. You don’t know how ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’ Christina Hendricks is by her shape. It does not undo body image anxiety, it just adds to it if there’s an invisible limit that it’s ok to be as long as you don’t go above or below it. So it’s crap that the doll is smaller than the actress but throwing in the ‘oh but being fat is still bad, we’re not saying it isn’t’ doesn’t help anyone who is confused over whether their body measures up in terms of looks or health.

    It’s a shame because the book this site is based on has essays by fat women in it. Did they measure up to your criteria? Did you read what they have to say about bodies and body image? I’m not surprised by this kind of judgment but I am disappointed. It’s not helpful and it’s insulting to fat women. Health isn’t measured by shape and size and there’s plenty of good work being done out there which is arguing this. I’m surprised you aren’t aware of it or if you are that you’re not taking it into consideration when writing these pieces for your site. Girls and women who happen on your site and who are unsure about these issues are just going to get confused as to how they can possibly measure up and what is going ‘too far’ – which is basically what I assumed you were fighting against, not perpetuating.

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