This is apparently the first-ever issue of Vanity Fair France, so it amuses me that they photographed Scarlett Johansson looking like she’s arriving somewhere terribly late and bursting through a door.

This woman is beautiful, and chic, and so very rushed in a sexy, polished, chiseled-and-blow-dried way, like women in perfume commercials who drift through looking purposeful and flipping their spun-gold hair while men swivel their heads to inhale one more wisp of divine feminine mystery.

I don’t generally think of Scarlett Johansson as that woman. But, and this is my real quibble here, nor do I think of this woman as Scarlett Johansson. Because she looks very little like Scarlett Johansson. he more I stare at it, the more I see it, but it takes a while to settle over me. You could have told me it was Sienna Miller and I might have believed it. You probably also could have told Scarlett Johansson it was Sienna Miller and had her believe it. I do love magazine covers that transport us somewhere else, and show us a celebrity in an entirely new way, but there’s a difference between exiting one’s comfort zone and exiting one’s own face (not that this is a particular departure from her comfort zone, either, as I’m confident in her life she’s exited a lot of hotel rooms in expensive clothes with jewelry and a blowout). Ergo, at heart, I’m sad that a magazine celebrating Scarlett Johansson has simultaneously diminished a lot of the features that make her discernibly Scarlett Johansson.

Or doesn’t it matter? I guess in her shoes, a lot of people might say that looking unrecognizable but hot is better than looking recognizable but mediocre. In that sense, this does beat the Katy Perry zombie-hayfever Vogue error, but then again, it was a low bar to clear.

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