Published: Mon, January 22, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Natalie Portman Shares The Horror Of Being Sexualized At Age 13

Natalie Portman Shares The Horror Of Being Sexualized At Age 13

One year after the inaugural Women's March which took place all across America and some cities all over the world in protest of President Donald Trump, women gathered again to continue the movement.

In November, Portman spoke to Vulture about how sexual harassment is so ingrained in the film industry and society generally that when other women's stories began to surface in late 2017, she didn't immediately recognize the similarity to her own experiences.

She said that the shame compounded when a local radio station established a "countdown" until Portman turned 18 - "euphemistically the date that I would be legal to sleep with", she said. "I saw immediately, even as a 13-year-old, that if I somehow happened to communicate sexually I would feel hazardous and that men would feel qualified for talk about and externalize my body to my incredible inconvenience".

Speaking at the Women's March in Los Angeles, Natalie Portman detailed the "environment of sexual terrorism" she endured in her youth that impacted the trajectory of her career. It was her first film. Movie reviewers talked about my budding breasts in reviews. "And that men would feel entitled to discuss and objectify my body to my great discomfort". Protesters also expressed solidarity with women who are reported to have allegedly faced sexual harassment by Trump before he assumed charge of the Oval Office.

Portman said she "quickly adjusted her behaviour".

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As a result, the Oscar victor purposely adopted a "bookish and serious" persona.

She continued: "The response to my expression from small comments about my body to more threatening deliberate statements served to control my behavior through an environment of sexual terrorism". And I cultivated an elegant way of dressing.

Portman, who won an Oscar in 2011 for Black Swan, said that at the age of 13 she had to develop a certain mindset.

Portman said she balanced her conduct, rejected parts with kissing scenes and underlined her "learned and genuine" side.

"The character is simultaneously discovering and developing her womanhood, her voice and her desire".

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