Every time I watch Mad Men, I get floored by Christina Hendricks. She captures the vavoom esthetics of the late 50’s and 60’s as personified by Sophia Loren. The standards of beauty shift and change over time, but the large mammaries and the male obsession with them are unique to humans among terrestrial mammals.
Neolithic hunter-gatherers, when they figured out how to shape stone into figurines, created an industry around figures of women with curves.
Breast augmentation is a large industry driven by not only popular tastes but probably something innate in our psyche. When I was an intern, the plastic surgery clinic was an eye opener, with perfectly healthy patients willing to undergo an operation at some risk to their health to sculpt themselves.
It was a time of transition away from silicone implants which were popularly (and erroneously) believed to cause autoimmune disease, to saline implants, and the quintessential moment for me was in filling what were plastic bags to the “correct” volume which was a subjective process. The whole OR got to voice their opinion with the surgeon having veto power.
With the recent red carpet productions, Christina Hendricks came up and it hit me that she looked different from when she was on Firefly, my favorite cancelled science fiction series. In it, she is incredible as an interplanetary highway robber and grifter. Five years later, she presents an entirely different profile.
At first, I thought she achieved her transformation with girdles and a few extra doughnuts a day, but the picture at the very top convinced me that some augmentation has occurred. When I mentioned this among my Facebook friends, TW, an old buddy from high school and a physician, categorically felt that these were real.
After intensive research, I would have to disagree. The tipoff are the bald men hiding in her dress. The placement of prosthetics causes a lifting of the skin and sometimes muscle which changes the profile from the “natural” which in profile looks like a nice sledding hill to the “augmented” which looks like a bald pate. This convexity is a giveaway, and with the lift and separate presentation bras, this convexity is enhanced. Gravity flattens this top area with time and no convexity is seen in latter day images of the all natural Sophia Loren who looks like she underwent some reduction.
That said, Hendricks is amazing in bringing her character to life, a Sad Woman among Mad Men.