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Natalie Portman Calls Madonna a Role Model but Says Jessica Simpson Calling Herself a Virgin in ’99 Was Confusing

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Jessica Simpson had a few words for actress Natalie Portman, who recently commented about a ’90s magazine cover with Simpson in a bikini.

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Portman, 37, expressed her confusion by the publication’s cover in an interview with USA Today released on Tuesday.

Portman said:

“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. Like, I don’t know what this is trying to tell me as a woman, as a girl.”

The actress’s comment gained the attention of Simpson, who expressed her disappointment on Instagram.

In the post, Simpson said she was “disappointed” in Portman’s comments and that the actress should know that a celebrity’s image is not always in their own control. She went on to express her beliefs regarding the way women dress and behave sexually.

She wrote:

… being sexy in a bikini and being proud of my 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.

Portman apologized to the singer and provided further explanation on why she said what she did about the cover.

She commented:

I completely agree with you that a woman should be allowed to dress however she likes and behave however she likes and not be judged. I only meant to say I was confused — as a girl coming of age in the public eye around the same time — by the media’s mixed messages about how girls and women were supposed to behave. I didn’t mean to shame you and I’m sorry for any hurt my words may have caused. I have nothing but respect for your talent and your voice that you use to encourage and empower women all over the globe.

Portman told Entertainment Tonight that her intention was never to shame anyone and that she should not have named anyone during the interview.

In the same USA Today article, Portman praised Madonna for being a role model for her growing up.

Portman said:

“I felt really lucky to have her as a little kid, because I saw someone who was brazen and disobedient and provocative and trying to mess with people and always changing — I thought it was a great thing to see in a woman growing up.”

Simpson has not made any further comments regarding the issue.

What do you think?

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  1. Personally, I have a problem with Madonna as anybody’s role model…her act, based on something of an outlaw, “bad girl” image, is, getting more than a little old now..

    • Agreed. She never has and never likely will be a role model for women. The two women are so polar opposite (Jessica and Madonna) maybe that’s what was confusing to Portman. Many young women are confused “by the media”. Things are slowly changing, somewhat. We have plus size models now, but my perception is sex still sells. Madonna knew it and used it, Jessica was used by the media because she had a beautiful body. I disagree that wearing whatever you want and “dressing for sex” should somehow be empowering. Meaning what? I have something you want, I’m going to flaunt it at you to remind myself I can say no? You can say no in jeans and a t-shirt too, whose confusing who.

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