Channeling Joan Harris: Mad Men’s Vixen

by Ilinap on August 2, 2010

Few women walk into a room and really make people take notice. I mean straighten their posture, wipe the spittle from the corners of their mouth, brush off the lint from their lapel, and really take notice.
Most women enter a room with no fanfare, silently slipping in among the crowd with nary a head turned or breath taken.
Some women make a grand entrance into a room. I’m not talking about the women who strut into a room with an entourage and unseemly demands. I mean the woman who sashays elegantly and makes a grand statement without even trying. Or even realizing she’s doing it.

There are those women who make us take notice when she turns and leaves a room. The kind of woman who is so confident she doesn’t even look back over her shoulder to offer a tiny wave while masking her desire to see everyone’s reaction. This kind of woman makes us slouch upon her exit and reach for an extra canape that we had deprived ourselves of in her presence.

And there’s Joan.

Joan is the rare breed who makes people take notice when she walks into a room and when she leaves it. She’s Mad Men’s femme fatale who reminds me to suck in my stomach and stand up straight(er). She makes me yearn for a wardrobe of pencil skirts, nipped-at-the-waist dresses, and blouses (not shirts!). Also on my shopping list: a good brooch. It’s not just men who notice Joan’s va va va voom; women gasp at her sultry presence too. She’s sharp, gorgeous, and oh so confident. It’s this confidence that makes her so steamy. Confidence is sexy.

Ladies, take note.

When Joan sashays out of a room, all heads follow. We can’t help it. It’s an unconscious decision, and our eyes can’t divert from her aura. It’s not just the perfectly coiffed red hair, nor the snug dress that accentuates her um, assets. Joan houses an inner beauty that makes us want to reach in and grab a piece to tie to our kitten heels like tin cans on the bumper of a Just Married convertible. We want to brush against her to see if she’s real, and if she is, perhaps some of that mettle will rub off on us. When Joan leaves a room we take mental inventory of our closet and are reminded to reapply lipstick and blot. When Joan leaves a room, we maintain our stomach-sucked-in-Pilates-perfect posture and excuse ourselves to the powder room. Where we toss our safe shades of beige into the trash and reapply lipstick. In a daring hue.

A girl like Joan takes our breath away. And she lives in all of us. Let’s unleash her.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

IlinaP August 2, 2010 at 4:26 AM

I know what the “je ne sais quoi” is! I learned it from watching Mad Men.

This comment was originally posted on Twitter


IlinaP August 2, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Any advice on how to be a vixen? I’m trying to channel Joan from Mad Men, but it ain’t workin.

This comment was originally posted on Twitter


Corina August 2, 2010 at 5:30 PM

There are days I want that kind of confidence. Never feel it though. I am perpetually understated..


Cindy Fey August 2, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Did you see her samba Sunday night? Glorious. She’s not just sexy, but elegant and wise and understated. “This will pass,” she consoles Don Draper after he blows an interview and everyone who ever envied him gets to remind him of his blunder. Joan takes the high road.


Ilinap August 2, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Cindy, indeed you are right. Joan takes the high road and is wiser than anyone else at the office. Her samba made my jaw drop. I’d need electric hips to have those moves.


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