Jenifer Ringer: the Less Anorexic Version of Natalie Portman
“Black Swan” is twisted and subjective—on the other hand, Portman’s adolescent-sized skeletor ballerina with multiple eating disorders has proven to be dead-on accurate, especially in light of a New York Times reviewer criticizing a real New York Ballerina for being a fat ass.
I’m not an avid ballet fan, so I really don’t consider their lifestyles often, if ever. But when a woman’s ribs begin to cut into her leotard, I assume that she’s not pounding a KFC Double Down after she leaves Lincoln Center.
As I remember, Natalie Portman eats nothing more than a grapefruit and a poached egg and a finger-scraping of cake frosting for the entire duration of “Black Swan,” and even then we see her vomiting in various toilets. This has led many to believe that the movie itself is endorsing eating disorders.
One blogger even went so far as to call the movie “eating disorder porn,” not to mention the upsurge in pro-anorexia websites that have surfaced following the movie’s opening, like “Thinspo Me Baby.”
It would be less disturbing if this dangerously-skinny phenomenon would have been left to the screen as maybe an over-dramatization of the life of a high profile ballerina, but as the recent review of one New York Times writer has shown, the anorexic dancer isn’t a negative stigma in the least, but is openly endorsed and even encouraged by the audience.
In his New York Times review of The Nutcracker, Alastair Macaulay wrote of the dancer that “…Jenifer Ringer, as the Sugar Plum Fairy, looked as if she’d eaten one sugar plum too many.” He was promptly attacked by Portman herself for the snooty fat joke—the same actress who dropped 20 pounds for her role in “Black Swan.”
It’s strange timing that all this debate about anorexia comes at the same time that President Obama signs a nutrition bill to prevent our schools don’t turn an entire generation of schoolchildren into obese little fatties—but hey, Americans are nothing if not extreme—just ask Glenn Beck.