Jessica Simpson Responds To Natalie Portman's Comments On Her Virginity
It's 2018, and we were not expecting to be telling you about a fight between Jessica Simpson and Natalie Portman, but here we are!
Here's the background info you'll need to follow along: Natalie Portman is playing a pop star in her new film Vox Lux, and this week, she did an interview with USA Today. During the interview, she spoke about the sexualisation of female pop stars in the late '90s and early '00s, specifically mentioning Jessica Simpson as an example.
“I remember being a teenager, and there was Jessica Simpson on the cover of a magazine saying ‘I’m a virgin’ while wearing a bikini, and I was confused,” she said, adding: “Like, I don’t know what this is trying to tell me as a woman, as a girl.”
That brings us to this morning, when Jessica responded to Natalie's comments, releasing a statement on Twitter and Instagram that said how "disappointed" she was to read that Natalie had used her as an example.
Addressing her directly, the singer wrote:
"@Natalieportman — I was disappointed this morning when I read that I ‘confused’ you by wearing a bikini in a published photo taken of me when I was still a virgin in 1999. As public figures, we both know our image is not totally in our control at all times, and that the industry we work in often tries to define us and box us in."
Jessica went on to say that she was "taught to be [herself] and honour the different ways all women express themselves", explaining that this is why she believed, and still believes, "that being sexy in a bikini and being proud of [her] body are not synonymous with having sex".
"I have always embraced being a role model to all women to let them know that they can look however they want, wear whatever they want and have sex or not have sex with whomever they want. The power lies within us as individuals," she wrote, concluding: "I have made it my practice not to shame other women for their choices. In this era of Time’s Up and all the great work you have done for women, I encourage you to do the same."
A source for Jessica told People magazine that the singer "feels very strongly about being a role model" and was "hurt by those comments".
“She believes strongly in supporting women’s choices and their individuality,” People's source added. “She understands that the pop music industry at the time had a vision for her and she chose to put on that bikini for the photo shoot and she was okay with it.”
UPDATE: Natalie Portman has now apologised to Jessica Simpson, after telling People magazine:
“I would never want to shame anyone and I fully respect her and her choices. I was talking about the confusion I felt as a young girl seeing the messages that I felt the media was sending out to young girls about very specific ways we should be. I made a mistake to say a name. It was absolutely not directed at her. I feel bad that she was hurt.”
Feature image: Getty Images