Natalie Portman was bestowed quite the honor earlier this week. Her face is now the face of Miss Dior Cherie, one of Dior’s many tantalizing scents.
Accepting this honor of course comes with accepting Dior and what the fashion house stands for, which if you dig through past collections, and even the most recent, you’ll find fur, leather, feathers, wool animal enzymes -- cruelty. Now most starlets would be perfectly fine with that, not batting a lash, unless the photographer asked them to that is. But we wouldn’t expect a young actress like Portman to fall in line, even if Dior went out of its way designing her ‘cruelty-free’ footwear.
See, Portman grew up a vegetarian and in 2009 she joined the vegan ranks after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals. Before Hollywood knew it, the sweet little actress was advocating for animal rights. Portman even penned a column for The Huffington Post. Here’s a few lines to give you an idea where the newly veganized advocate stood on the issue:
Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals changed me from a twenty-year vegetarian to a vegan activist. I've always been shy about being critical of others' choices because I hate when people do that to me.
But what Foer most bravely details is how eating animal pollutes not only our backyards, but also our beliefs. He reminds us that our food is symbolic of what we believe in, and that eating is how we demonstrate to ourselves and to others our beliefs: Catholics take communion -- in which food and drink represent body and blood. Jews use salty water on Passover to remind them of the slaves' bitter tears. And on Thanksgiving, Americans use succotash and slaughter to tell our own creation myth -- how the Pilgrims learned from Native Americans to harvest this land and make it their own.
And as we use food to impart our beliefs to our children, the point from which Foer lifts off, what stories do we want to tell our children through their food?
Now, does this only work for food? Because, the last I heard fashion has this way of being symbolic, and often, what covers the body uncovers the soul. Suffice to say, there are vegans who not only shun fur, leather, wool and feathers, but they also shun brands that while they offer cotton, acrylic and spandex garments funnel millions of dollars into the slaughtering of cows, foxes, rabbits, etc. because their soul feels it’s wrong to support such a machine.
So what story does Portman want to tell through that magazine advertisement featuring her pretty face next to a bottle of perfume that most likely includes animal ingredients and most definitely produced by a fashion house that loves its fur?