Saturday Night Social: Natalie Portman Doesn't Like It Either

In discussing a march by hundreds of thousands of normal women who came to stand for equality today–including equal pay and grassroots activism–it’s admittedly hypocritical to elevate the voice of a millionaire who’s been ordained queen of all women many times over by our fashion overlords.

But Natalie Portman speaks for all of us who were conditioned by creepy scenes like this one from Beautiful Girls, in which 13-year-old Natalie Portman comes on to an adult man, like that was okay. She wasn’t okay with it, either. Here’s an excerpt from her speech at the Women’s March in LA:

I turned 12 on the set of my first film, The Professional, in which I played a young girl who befriends a hitman and hopes to avenge the murder of her family. The character is simultaneously discovering and developing her womanhood, her voice, and her desire. At that moment in my life, I, too, was discovering my own womanhood, my desire, and my own voice. I was so excited at 13 when the film was released and my work and my art would have a human response.

I excitedly opened my first fan mail to read a rape fantasy that a man had written me. A countdown was started on my local radio show to my eighteenth birthday, euphemistically the date that I would be legal to sleep with. Movie reviewers talked about my budding breasts in their reviews. I understood very quickly, even as a 13-year-old, that if I were to express myself sexually that I would feel unsafe. And that men would feel entitled to discuss and objectify my body to my great discomfort. So I quickly adjusted my behavior, I rejected any role that even had a kissing scene and talked about that choice deliberately in interviews. I emphasized how bookish I was, how serious I was, and I cultivated an elegant way of dressing. I built a reputation for basically being prudish, conservative, nerdy, serious. In an attempt to feel that my body was safe and that my voice would be listened to. At 13 years old, the message from our culture was clear to me.


Okay, in this ONE case, the celebrity speaks truth.

Also Cardi B.

Happy Women’s March, everybody!

Correction: An earlier version of this post identified Natalie Portman as white. Portman is Israeli-American. Jezebel regrets the error.


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About the author

Whitney Kimball

Staff reporter, Gizmodo. wkimball @ gizmodo