I’m a news junkie, I admit it, so skimming headlines is something that is not just habitual, but as ingrained into my daily reading as email and Facebook status updates. For junkies like me, it is hugely rewarding to find headlines with typos or misspellings. Even better, headlines that are misleading or altogether unrelated to the article that follows. Perhaps the best, however, is to run across the perfect ironic gem, and there has been none more perfect than this:
which links to
Natalie Portman sheds conservative image in nude Dior ad
OK, if you’re comparing her (tasteful, I admit) nudity to the prim looking dress she chose to be married in, or the fact that she chose to be married in a “traditional” Jewish ceremony. Perhaps even prim or conservative by Hollywood standards, which is why I know that the beautiful irony of the headline was wholly unintentional, and will go completely unnoticed by many (if not most) readers.
It seems a strange description to me, from many angles. Here is a woman who, though she gives the appearance of valuing Jewish tradition & culture, managed to get her self pregnant and deliver a child 14 months before she tied the knot. She names her child Aleph – a nod to her Jewish heritage – but there again, in name only. After all, he was conceived & delivered in a wholly uncommitted relationship, which is not part & parcel of Jewish tradition or culture. (And for those who disagree, engaged does not equal married, period.) Engagement is not the covenant of marriage, but the promise of the covenant to come. Neither “prim” nor “conservative” from my perspective.
Perhaps, you might argue, the headlines were referring only to her style, apparently prim and conservative by Hollywood standards. But let’s take a look at some of outfits she has worn over the years:
Gotta say, these are not what I would call either “prim” or “conservative.” When your bosoms are threatening to burst from your not quite prim evening gown, or when they run the risk of exposure in a moment of inattention (or the lack of strategically place body tape), I really can’t call those examples of conservative packaging. What about a seductive photograph, or a bikini at the beach. Not how I would define prim by any stretch, and frankly, not particularly conservative either.
Neither can her movie roles be branded with the prim or conservative moniker. Black Swan was a beautifully rendered film, with exquisite dancing, a thought provoking (and somewhat controversial) plot, and edgy costuming. However, it was sexy and provocative, and it pushed boundaries with a main character who was descending into madness, having hallucinations that involved self mutilation, sex & murder, and it ultimately destroys her. In The Professional, she played a 12-year-old gun enthusiast who is not only protected by a mob hitman, but becomes a partner of sorts. She has played a stripper/pole dancer in Closer, an pregnant (and unwed) teen in Where the Heart Is, a detective’s suicidal daughter in Heat, and a flirtatious 13yo in Beautiful Girls. Just to name a few…
I’ll say the headline accomplished what the author wanted, regardless of it’s (perceived or otherwise) irony. It got attention. I read the article, and I’ve given an undue amount of attention to it, if for no other reason than to point out the tunnel vision that Hollywood & it’s enthusiasts develop. It’s a ridiculously skewed view of reality, and it makes those of us in the real world cough a bit when it’s inhabitants are described as precisely what they are not.
This navel-gazing will never change, I know that, but my eyes are open.