Elisabeth Moss’ on-screen roles have been less than glamorous. As Peggy Olson in Mad Men, her ill-fitting frocks and unflattering hairstyle gradually improve throughout the seasons, but her everyday beauty always takes a back seat to her career.
Olson’s femininity is often dwarfed on screen by the overflowing womanhood of Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks), and the sheer energy and style of Megan Draper (Jessica Paré). But on the cover of the latest New York Magazine, Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) is taking back her femininity — and keeping her feminism.
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Her cover photo presents the sexiest tomboy you’ve ever seen; she’s wearing nothing but a pair of tangled overalls, tousled hair and a wide grin as she looks like she was caught mid-laugh. And with this photo, Moss has managed to change the conversation (at least for now) about the public image of celebrity woman.
Instead of the usual focus on the overuse of photoshop, the discussion has been focused on the content of Moss’ story, which includes details of her traumatic marriage to Fred Armisen as well as her changing role on Mad Men. There has also been an onslaught of surprise and praise at Moss’ very un-Peggy Olson-like cover photo.
Huffington Post calls her “stunning” and “gorgeous.” Lena Dunham instagrammed a photo of the cover with the caption “Jesus she’s a dream.” Time published an article in reaction to the magazine titled “An Ode to Mad Men’s Peggy Olson: TV’s Most Relatable Feminist.”
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The twittersphere was aflutter with love for Moss and her clothing choice.
“Elisabeth Moss is fabulous…makes a girl wanna get some overalls!” wrote @Racey656.
“Guys, where I live, I would die happy if I never saw another bandana or overalls, Elisabeth Moss magazine cover aside,” wrote @dloehr.
While there was the occasional naysayer that criticized the need to photograph famous women in some state of undress, these comments were mostly drowned out. And if you can’t wait for more Moss in the April 13 debut of Mad Men’s final season, check her out in Top of the Lake. A Sundance original series now available on Netflix, Moss shines as a badass, lone range detective who investigates the disappearance of a pregnant teen from a secluded mountain town.
Her character is someone Peggy Olson would be proud of.
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