I like Natalie Portman. Let me say that right from the off. Let me also stress that nothing I write in this a-typical blog rant is meant to in any way diminish her talent, her brains (she went to Harvard for crying out loud), her beauty, and all her other qualities which I am unfamiliar with because I don't know her personally.
I like Natalie Portman.
This rant has nothing to do with her.
It has to do with the cover of this month's Elle magazine.
Natalie Portman is featured on the cover, looking lovely, with the headline: NATALIE PORTMAN IS ONE OF THE SMARTEST WOMEN WE KNOW, WHICH IS WHY SHE'S PERFECT FOR OUR INTELLIGENT WOMEN ISSUE!
I read this headline while in the corner store, and I actually took pause and read it a few times. I couldn't help but laugh. Because, yes, I am sure Natalie Portman is very intelligent, but come on. I think we need a bit of a caveat there.
NATALIE PORTMAN IS ONE OF THE SMARTEST WOMEN WE KNOW - who also happens to be stunningly beautiful, a big famous film star and has a movie out right now that she needs to promote.
See I don't mind when a magazine lives up to its promises of superficiality. I'll read up on the latest trends in skirts like anyone else. Heck sometimes I buy Vanity Fair just for the pictures (I've even tried to emulate their style with my cast photo from last summer's production). But when the idea is to sell what is beneath the surface (in this case intelligence) by so obviously still using the surface to truly sell the message . . . I get a bit frustrated.
So I was all set to get irate and frustrated with the state of the magazine world, when suddenly it occurred to me . . . my goodness. Maybe Natalie Portman is one of the smartest women Elle knows. Then I had a lightbulb moment. It's not Elle's fault. Maybe they just travel in very different circles than, let's say, I do.
If only Elle had asked my opinion on the subject. If only they had asked me for a list. I could have rattled off woman after woman, all utterly brilliant and well worth being a cover girl, and Elle wouldn't have had to lower themselves to using an obvious film star.
How about some ladies going for their PhD's and not yet 30? I know a fair few of those. Or are you more interested in helping others? I have a girl friend out there who not only got her masters in Equity studies, but who started her own theatre company that works with the disabled to create incredibly poignant and fabulous shows. I also know doctors and lawyers if you like the helping other people theme. Perhaps Elle has a soft spot for the arts, well I have a long list of authors, actors, directors, fight instructors/masters, visual artists, singers, dancers . . . if this list of choices is too daunting may I assure Elle that many of these talents can be found within the same person.
Hey, I hear the environment is a big buzz word these days, I have a friend doing her masters on the subject and practicing what she preaches all the way in New Zealand right now.
Or how about my mom. Seriously Elle, how about my mom?
Not only is she an amazing teacher, and knows basically every book like ever, she seems to know . . . everything. You ask her a question about religion, politics, why the sky is blue, and she has the answer. The right answer. Heck, if my mom doesn't have the answer, it's so rare it is shocking. And what is super cool is that she is more than willing to admit she doesn't know the answer and then help you find it. She is also a wiz financially. She just gets numbers, and how to invest, and is ridiculously smart about it. Add onto all that a whim of hers to be my manager of my writing career, something she has no experience with at all, and has somehow managed to book me onto television shows, and events and get me interviews, and just somehow knows what to do and who to contact . . .
Elle, I'm telling you, my mom, now that's one of the smartest women I know. Smartest PERSON, I know. Also she's hot, so she'd make an excellent cover model, if we must do the whole superficial thing. I'm not above being superficial, Elle.
But I don't begrudge you Elle, you didn't know that I knew these people. You didn't know to ask me. I mean come on, when you think about it, what is the chance that one person would know so many unbelievably smart women?
But next time Elle, give me a call first. I've got a list that would give you cover models for a couple years at least.