Mad Men's Betty Draper fat or fat suit?

Paula Duffy's picture

The character of Betty Draper Francis on "Mad Men" appeared in season 5 last night and she was so fat she couldn't fit into her cocktail dress.

The "Mad Men" character of Betty Draper Francis, ex-wife and mother of Don Draper's three children, now married to Henry Francis is played by actress January Jones.

Ms. Jones gave birth to her first child late last year as the cameras were ready to roll on filming of AMC's Emmy Award-winning drama, "Mad Men".

The shocking sight of Betty being unable to zip up her dress to accompany her husband to a political dinner and cocktail party was shocking to longtime viewers of the show. Even with help from daughter Sally, the usually impeccable Betty had no luck closing the gap.

January Jones as the character Betty has been the Grace Kelly-like figure on the show who along with ex-husband Don cut a dashing and glamorous profile wherever they went.

Watch the new Mrs. Draper, Megan perform a little number from episode one: "Zou Bissou Bissou"

Betty intimidated many a woman in her social circle because of her perfect looks and figure that held up despite three births, but that wasn't the case when "Tea Leaves", the second episode of the new season opened.

The shot of Betty's face, with a thick neck and more than a hint of a double chin set off the Twitter universe with one big question. Did January Jones still have baby weight to lose or was the look created by the makeup designers on the set?

Ms. Jones was pregnant during the hiatus between the production of seasons 4 and 5 and viewers were interested to know if Jones looked like that in real life. Link to photos posted below.

According to Hollywood celebrity site, Jones gave birth to son Zander on September 13, 2011. As of October 11, 2011, she was back on the set of "Mad Men".

Photos taken two weeks after Zander's arrival show Jones dressed in some baggy pants carrying her son and her face, while not as chiseled as it has looked in the past is nothing like the thick-necked Betty Draper Francis that appeared in last night's episode.

The site has photos of January Jones at work on that October 11 day, in a sixties-inspired flowing robe and the fat suit neck sticking out from above the collar. Link to photos posted below.

In "Tea Leaves" it is revealed that Betty has done the proverbial "letting herself go" routine as she sits on her couch in her home, snacking on chips. Her mother-in-law, a woman who has no love for her son's new wife visits Betty at the Francis' new mansion in Rye, New York.

Betty is told that she better get her act together because Henry, her husband, isn't happy when she cancels a business dinner appearance and advises her to get some diet pills to lose the weight she has put on.

A doctor tells Betty he won't prescribe them without an exam. In the process he tells her that he found a lump on her thyroid and that tests will be necessary to determine if it is benign or potentially cancerous.

Her shock and fear are played out in her dreams as well as her immediate call to ex-husband Don for reassurance. Don in turn is stunned and fearful not only for Betty but for the fate of their three children. In telling new wife Megan about it, there is a bit of tension when the 26 year-old trophy wife claims that Betty just needs a reason to call Don and reach out to him.

When tests prove that Betty's tumor isn't cancerous, while relieved she tells someone. "I guess I have the one that only makes me fat." It is expected that Betty will be back to her slim and trim self with medication for the rest of the season's episodes.

Link to photos of January Jones after giving birth and on the set of Mad Men in her fat suit costume.


Submitted by TheVodkaParty (not verified) on
It was great to see Betty back, even if she had lost some of her edge. She’s a compelling character and the storyline of her medical issue had me involved (no spoilers here) . The period detail was again magnificent from every satin frock to every madras print to every cocktail in every glass. I’ve been archiving original, early-60s party recipes on my blog and love the real Mad Men-era flare of the swinging vintage hors d'oeuvres and cocktail recipes. Even if you can’t duplicate the fashion, you can party in authentic Mad Men-style. Here’s my guide to throwing the perfect 60s vintage cocktail party:

That sounds fantastic. I was also impressed with the detail for her wardrobe, particularly the robe. Those were very popular in the mid-sixties through the early seventies.

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