Gilligan's Island faced criticism over Mary Ann and Ginger's clothing

Who knew wearing shorts and gowns could cause backlash?

Fashion isn't a top concern when you get stranded on an island with few clothing options. On Gilligan's Island, Mary Ann (Dawn Wells) and Ginger (Tina Louise) were seen in everything from short shorts to crop tops and luxury gowns. Since they were on an island, sweaters and turtle necks weren't needed.

Their clothing became a topic of discussion during the series' reign, with some people disapproving of how much skin was shown. In an interview with The Record in 1996, Dawn Wells spoke about how people would get worked up about her and Tina Louise's wardrobe.

The article started with the statement, "Times have surely changed: CBS censors used to get worked up about a navel or a little cleavage on Gilligan's Island." In the '90s, when the interview was conducted, television evolved, which meant that many things became somewhat acceptable.

"We were always covering ourselves up. TV is certainly more liberal these days," Wells began. "My navel and Tina's cleavage were always the subjects of debate."

Wells' character, Mary Ann, was a farm girl, so the clothing had to match her personality/upbringing. Her signature look was "daisy duke" shorts, fitted blue jeans, crop tops, or collared shirts.

With Louise's character, Ginger, as a glamourous movie star, it was fitting for her to look like she was on her way to a red carpet event. For example, the character would wear gold and glittery silver dresses and off-the-shoulder gowns.

Whether Mary Ann and Ginger wore "daisy duke shorts," red carpet dresses or were fully clothed, they were part of the reason for the show's success.

Even years after the show ended, Wells couldn't escape the island. She was often asked about her castmates and time on the show. "Everyone wants to ask me about Gilligan and the Professor and my days on the island," the actress added. "And I love to talk about them."


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27 Comments

Wolfie 13 days ago
I will take Ginger and Mary Ann vs today's cosmetically changed slop! Maybe we have lightened up on censorship on TV since the 60's, but today's Generation idolizes the fake (fake reality!) - completely different from the innocence of characters used in a sitcom!
MichaelVegas 14 days ago
Remember this was a time when I dream of Jeannie was in trouble for showing her Navel so they had to make her pants higher to cover it, who knew showing a navel would drive men wild
sierra127 15 days ago
Miss them truly .. glad they got off of that island
RachelR 15 days ago
I didn't mind the cleavage or belly button but I was put off when Ginger would wake up and appear outside only wrapped in a blanket, inferring that she was sleeping naked. JMO...
THOMASTERRYJR RachelR 15 days ago
There is a way you can think of Ginger's being wrapped in a blanket. She is not wearing a bra under the blanket. She did not have a robe available since she wore only the white gown when she boarded the S.S. Minnow, thus, to remain discreet she has to use a blanket to cover herself. The same goes for Mary Ann. She is wearing someone's dress shirt, maybe the Professor's shirt. That is all she has to cover herself when she goes to bed and has to walk around outside the hut after bedtime. You may have noticed, with the exception of Mr. Howell, all the men sleep in their clothes.
THOMASTERRYJR 15 days ago
MeTV is running on their website the Top 10 Mary Ann wardrobe looks. They did touch on the Dawn Wells red top and blue short shorts wardrobe combination with her walking with Ginger in her white gown dress from the "Mine Hero" episode. But they could have used the famous entrance Mary Ann made when she walked into Gilligan's hut in her red top and blue short shorts from this very same episode, "Mine Hero". That wardrobe and Mary Ann's entrance is what every man's dreams are made of.
wallyandbagfan 15 days ago
https://youtu.be/X2PJSgZQG_w
dmirarh wallyandbagfan 15 days ago
I really enjoyed watching this. I laughed and smiled through the whole thing. Thank you so much,
wallyandbagfan dmirarh 11 days ago
I am happy that you enjoyed watching The Gilligan's Island Reunion on the FOX network.
Runeshaper 15 days ago
The times have definitely changed drastically over the years for what is and what is not acceptable.
Muleskinner 16 days ago
The great boys’ debate of the 1960s: Ginger or Mary Ann.
Lou Ann Poovie (Elizabeth MacRae )
And Mary Ann Summers (Dawn Wells ) and Daphne (Kate Jackson )
Of Dark SHADOWS and Daphne
*Hillary Horan) -All beautiful and
Wonderful Women!!!!!!!
Daphne Hillary Horan was on Happy
Days Daphne played the Drums in
Richies band after BAG and STICKS and before CHACHI.
15inchBlackandWhite 16 days ago
I remember being a teenage boy and thinking that the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader uniforms were just about the sexiest things on the planet. Today you see women walking down the street wearing less than that all the time.
JHP 16 days ago
how times have changed (and I AM not a prude) and times have changed for the worse

but then (and I love this band)

Huey Lewis and the News "If this is it" - watch the vid
Mblack 16 days ago
Those people from the sixties woukd have a great time today. I recently rewatched Band of Brothers, and a sex scene, the woman quite uncovered. A nice contrast to the inhumanity in the rest of the episode.

Though, a lot of shows still have people in bed with clothes on. One wonders how they have sex. At least they share the bed.
JHP Mblack 16 days ago
how about separate beds for the married couples...back in the day
Mblack 17 days ago
How could they be "daisy dukes" years before the Dukes of Hazzard and Daisy?
birddog Mblack 16 days ago
all those hot shorts are " Daisy " :))
Mblack birddog 16 days ago
DaIsy Mae, from Lil Abner.
dmirarh Mblack 15 days ago
They are not "Daisy Mae's" they are "Daisy Dukes" and that term is from "The Dukes of Hazzard".
LoveMETV22 dmirarh 15 days ago
Mblacks mention of Daisy Mae from Lil Abner is accurate, as the clothing style is portrayed in the comic strip, and the comic pre-dates the "Dukes of Hazzard."
LoveMETV22 Mblack 15 days ago
Your correct Mblack, perhaps they should have used Daisy Mae's, the style pre-dated the
" Dukes of Hazzard" by many years.
I would also like to see The Dukes Of Hazzard on METV.
Pacificsun 17 days ago
Totally accepted is the context of the story. Print interviews (and some seemed to originate from the most obscure corners of the country) were opportunities for publicizing the series., and often for local affiliate stations working on their ratings. There happened to be two beautiful ladies, and a lot of the interviews were done by men anyway. So what's going to be the topic of conversation??
Something that focuses on appearance no doubt. The Producers of GI weren't dumb and knew how to enhance all their assets! Conversation (sensation or controversy) is exactly what they wanted. I don't think the ladies were under any more censorship than was suggested of the times. Network censorship was situational, probably overseen by men. And I'm convinced that some Series brokered a deal by giving studio passes to those interested in visiting the shoot. To relax their (perhaps) otherwise critical eye and meet and greet with the Talent.

Just look at what ST:TOS got away with. And a few other Series of the day can also be named. It's not so much the clothing by itself, but who and how the wearer is projecting themselves. That was probably the delight about Tina Louise and Dawn Wells, who knew how to tease, but in a very tasteful manner!! What they were wearing wasn't much different than the popular styles of the day.
LoveMETV22 Pacificsun 16 days ago
LOL. All this discussion of wardrobe made me think of an early Gilligans Island promo. Thought I'd share:
murgatroid45 LoveMETV22 15 days ago
Best fat/skinny slapstick comedy team since Laurel and Hardy.
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