Jessica Simpson will wear a bikini wherever and whenever she wants, thank you very much.
On Wednesday, the 38-year-old pop star publicly responded to a quote Natalie Portmangave in a recent interview with USA Today.
“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,” the “Vox Lux” star, 37, told the outlet. “Like, I don’t know what this is trying to tell me as a woman, as a girl.”
The “With You” singer attempted to clear things up for her on Twitter, posting a photo that read:
@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.
Continued Simpson, “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,” the star concluded. “In this era of Time’s Up and all the great work you have done for women, I encourage you to do the same.”
After the initial backlash, Portman issued an apology via Entertainment Tonight, telling the outlet, “I would never intend to shame anybody and that was absolutely not my intention. I was really talking about mixed media messages out there for young women and completely apologize for any hurt it may have caused because that was definitely not my intention.”
She added, “What I said was I was confused by mixed messages when I was a young girl growing up, and there are a lot of messages for how women should be, and women should be allowed to do whatever they want. It is a mistake to say anyone’s name. I could have made my message without naming.”