February 08, 2010 12:00 PM


As Christina Hendricks got ready for the Screen Actors Guild Awards Jan. 23, there was one thing she wasn’t worried about: what to wear. Thanks to a promotion benefiting the Clothes Off Our Back charity, “the fans got to choose what I wore,” Hendricks told PEOPLE as she walked the red carpet in a body-hugging Carolina Herrera gown. “It was nice having someone else decide—it was nice having the pressure off!” And it had certainly been a pressure-filled week: After the Jan. 17 Golden Globe Awards, Hendricks, 34, found herself the focus of a media frenzy when a New York Times fashion critique of the event quoted a stylist saying of the Mad Men star, “You don’t put a big girl in a big dress.” Although bloggers immediately sprung to her defense (“Christina Hendricks is not a ‘big girl.’ She’s got what used to be called an hourglass figure and was considered the gold standard of female beauty for centuries,” wrote one), Hendricks’s husband, actor Geoffrey Arend, 31, admitted the unkind comment stung. “When people say hurtful things about you, you’re going to feel it,” he says. But he has a surefire way of cheering Hendricks up: “I tell her how beautiful she is all the time.”

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