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."