When we started to plot her first appearance in Amazing #42, Stan wasn’t sure if she should be beautiful or hideous. I was recently looking through the volume of Essential Spider-Man that reprinted some of Ditko’s issues, and they referred to Mary Jane as beautiful. Stan has a terrible memory and obviously forgot. It’s a good thing we didn’t make her hideous, because we would have looked really foolish. Anyway, once we agreed on making her beautiful, we had the problem of trying to make her look really spectacular. Stan wanted her to look something like a go-go girl. I used Ann-Margret from the movie Bye Bye, Birdie as a guide, using her coloring, the shape of her face, her red hair, and her form-fitting skirts. I exaggerated her dimples and the cleft in her chin.
— John Romita, Sr.