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Comments: Week of March 8, 2010

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1. For a whole assortment of reasons—aesthetic, political, libidinal—commenters seemed to like the cover of New York’s “Spring Fashion” issue (February 22–March 1). “Glory hallelujah, Christina Hendricks graces the cover looking as scrumdiddliumptious as usual,” wrote the bloggers at the Zeitgeisty Report. Commenters on nymag.com were equally stunned: “It is your fashion issue and it is Christina Hendricks on the cover, putting all of those skinny models to shame—bravo!” … “Holy smokes, is she hot!” … “She is super-sexy and very talented.” A blogger at Jezebel was happy to see a curvy woman on the cover, but took issue with the outfit. “Hendricks is photographed in lingerie, not the usual fashion-issue editorial. She may not be Beth Ditto or Gabourey Sidibe, but when fashion includes women with a little more meat on their bones, it often strips them first.” And Liz Kelly at Washington Post’s Celebritology blog encouraged Hendricks to own the body-talk. “[She] says she’s tired of talking about her body. But maybe she’d do better to embrace the curve controversy. Hendricks is one of [Mad Men]’s standout performers (no mean feat in a strong ensemble cast), adding a crucial snapshot of the limitations women of ambition had to face in a pre-feminist working world … So here’s the thing, Christina: Own it. Your bod has sparked a debate. One well worth arguing and, like it or not, you’re in a position to advocate for women in the most public of forums. So get to work.”


2. Meanwhile, the response on nymag .com to Andrew Rice’s story on the sample-sale website Gilt Groupe (What’s a Dress Worth?,” February 22–March 1) confirmed Rice’s observations about the giddy effects of a bargain as well as the danger deep discounts pose to traditional retailers and designers alike. “Gilt is empowering,” claimed one. “The industry had to realize that at some point, the customer would chafe at outlandish prices and say ‘Enough!’ I hope that Gilt’s success will encourage designers to rethink their price points.” Another shared their Gilt-shopping strategies. “I keep abreast of what sales are coming up, and when that clock hits bargain time? You best believe I’m getting what I want.” But old-school retailers will be happy to hear that not everyone is smitten with Gilt: “I much prefer Saks and Neimans to these impossible ‘flash’ sales.”

3. John Heilemann’s column on how Scott Brown’s election and the death of the senatorial supermajority might actually boost Obama’s chances of passing legislation, including health-care reform (Does Brown Have a Bright Side?,” February 22–March 1), tossed meat into the cage of political wonks. Some, like Clive Crook at the Financial Times, saw only positives for Democrats: “It gives them cover. It lets them blame Republican nihilism rather than their own divisions for the failure.” A commenter on nymag .com observed: “I don’t see the public punishing the Democrats for leftism so much as for their complete ineffectiveness. Whether you want to attribute that to the centrists for selling out the party or the far left for failure to compromise is a matter of personal taste.” Another saw Scott Brown’s election as a ray of hope for Republicans—though maybe not in the standard way: “I think Brown would be rewarded electorally if he can carve out a niche as a moderate New England Republican in the mold of Jeffords, Snowe, Collins, Chafee, etc. While he’s unlikely to win many Republican friends doing so, he could become someone courted by both sides if he strikes out as an independent thinker—he could become indispensable.”


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