By Jennifer Lipman
March 7, 2011
Last week, Natalie Portman was my heroine. Not because she won the Oscar (although Mazel Tov Nats, sure the family is schlepping nachas) or because she looked radiant in that dress despite one helluva baby bump, but because she did what every public figure could do and so often doesn't.
She used her - not inconsiderable - star power for good, telling a Galliano-plagued Dior "It's me or him, mate." Or some such.
Within hours, Galliano was a goner. The fashion house might have fired him anyway - that Hitler video was a little unpalatable even for the most dedicated couture-lovers - but it's hard to argue that Natalie helped him along.
It's rare for celebrities to overtly declare themselves Jewish (we do it for them) but even less common for them to bring their religion into a public political debate. All things considered, Natalie did good.
Which brings me to my new heroine – this model at the Galliano “presentation” for Paris Fashion Week (note, not a catwalk show – the press officer was very clear there was a real difference).
No idea who she is or if she has any Jewish connection at all, but kudos to her for her Star of David tattoo as she modelled the creation of a man set to go on trial for his antisemitic slurs.
Whether intentional or not, it’s a small gesture of defiance.
And after a week where the Jewish people were the punching bag for all the assorted crazies out there, it’s nice to see a Jewish symbol out there representing something positive.
Because ultimately, all the Gallianos in the world can’t take that away from us.