Jessica Simpson gender-identifies as straight fire today. She responded to a comment Natalie Portman made to USA Today about a 1999 magazine cover featuring Jessica Simpson in a bikini.
But she also remembers the virgin/vixen paradigms lobbed by the music industry as the millennium neared. “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,” she says.
For context, USA Today dropped this quote after a paragraph where Portman praised Madonna. Now sure, Portman is being honest about how she reacted when she was a teenager to seeing a bikini-clad woman promoting virginity. But wearing a bikini doesn’t equal virginity or slutting it up. Not then, not now.
Jessica Simpson read the comment and replied with a little spice:
— Jessica Simpson (@JessicaSimpson) December 5, 2018
@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. However, I was taught to be myself and honor the different ways all women express themselves, which is why I believed then — and I believe now — that 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. The power lies within us as individuals.
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.
Now, again, Portman was reflecting on her thoughts some 20 years ago. I want to be fair here. But let’s not pretend “virgin shaming” isn’t a thing. Perhaps Simpson is using Portman’s comments to make a point: looking sexy, wearing a bikini (even on a magazine cover) doesn’t equal that person having sex. One needn’t have uncrossed her legs for a man to be considered “sexy.” Virgins need not cover themselves with burlap sacks until they find themselves a person worthy of bestowing their bodily virtue. Is Simpson’s point.
Seems there’s a prevailing attitude virgins are virgins because they’re prudes. No. People who abstain from sex do so for any number of reasons, one of which is saving their most intimate part of themselves for the person with whom they’ll spend the rest of their life. Which certainly makes love, romance, and commitment a lot easier when one isn’t frolicking in naked fields of pleasure and emotional confusion. Read also Waiting till the wedding night – getting married the right way and Woman Writes Heartbreaking Account of Sex without Commitment. If Only We Had Something to Fix It.