Christina Hendricks is minister’s role model

Christina Hendricks

Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone says Mad Men star is ‘absolutely fabulous’

BY Rachel Helyer-Donaldson LAST UPDATED AT 08:32 ON Mon 26 Jul 2010

The coalition government's equalities minister Lynne Featherstone has decided that it is time for advertising to go back to the 1960s - by declaring that Christina Hendricks, the curvaceous star of the retro TV series Mad Men, should be a "role model" for both women and the fashion industry to aspire to.

Featherstone, speaking to the Sunday Times to promote her new anti-airbrushing campaign, described Hendricks, who is said to be a size 14, as "absolutely fabulous". She added: "There is such a sensation when there is a curvy role model [but] it shouldn't be unusual."

Earlier this year Hendricks, who plays office manager Joan Holloway in the acclaimed US drama about the 1960s ad industry – the fourth series of which started on US television last night - was named Esquire magazine's 'sexiest woman in the world'.

The equalities minister said she is planning to hold a "body confidence" summit with magazine editors, fashion designers and advertising executives this autumn to tackle issues such as airbrushing. She also wants such images to carry health warnings, informing viewers that the photos are not real.

Advertisers and magazine editors have a "right to publish what they choose" she said, but added that "women and girls also have the right to be comfortable in their own bodies. At the moment they are being denied that".

But won't her enthusiasm for Hendricks's perfectly proportioned hour-glass figure now give British women and girls a new complex?  No comment from Featherstone. · 

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