Where Are Natalie Portman's Pants?

On the last page of today’s Sunday’s New York Times (7.10.16), there is a photograph of Natalie Portman. She is wearing a black turtleneck and a pair of underpants. Okay, maybe it’s a bikini bottom, but it’s not much in the covering up of your lower parts department. And what’s this ad for you ask? Lingerie? REI’s new line of turtlenecks? An unflinching movie where Nat plays a stylish hooker? No. This is an ad to promote her “director’s debut.” Really. Oh, and she’s pouting.

When was the last time you saw a male in his underwear promoting his new film? And when in the future do you think you will see a man in his tidy whities promoting his oeuvre? Can we look forward to Steven Spielberg promoting his next movie in his skivvies? Maybe I missed the one of Paul Feig promoting Ghostbusters in his undies. (Well, he might do it as a hoot because there is one clever, funny, non-sexist guy, but that is beside the point.)

Think about how many people at the New York Times were involved in the process of getting this idea from concept to print. The layout and copy had to be approved. Editors…how many editors approved this? A photographer had to be hired – or was on staff – but this is a splashy pose with sexy lighting. Probably an outside job.

Here’s the approved copy: 

“Actress turned filmmaker, Natalie Portman, in conversation with Jonathan Safran Foer.” Do you think Jonny was wearing bathing trunks when he talked to Nat for the article? Maybe he went shirtless to even things up.

The rest of the NYT copy reads, “The summer entertainment issue. On newsstands, Sunday, July 17th. Only in the New York Times.”

Remember in 2012 when Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked, “Where are the women?” It was the day that ALL of the witnesses on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were gathered to discuss contraception access and health care. Yup. Contraception. No women on the panel. You can’t make this stuff up.

And here’s Natalie Portman, accomplished and smart, posing in her bikini/underwear with lips parted looking for more than a film clapboard.

And where were the women involved in the editorial decision? The shoot? Did they okay this? Did they participate? Did they say nothing? And yeah, the guys should have known, too, but these days I am not holding my breath.

I guess you could ask why Natalie didn’t want to wear pants. I’d really like to know.

I wonder if, while she was directing her debut movie, anyone asked, “Who’s wearing the pants around here?” She must have been silent.

CONVERSATIONS