Natalie Portman makes going to the park with your child glamorous

Natalie Portman has been to the park with her young son. This is great news for humanity, because it's easy to think that going to the park with a child is boring. But when Natalie does it, a spotlight of attention and interest momentarily shines down in a useful way. By seeing an ordinary act in the light of glamour, we renew our appreciation of it. Natalie gives us greater confidence about our routines. They're not so different from those of a Hollywood star.

It isn't usually enough that something is valuable in our own eyes; we often need other people to recognise its worth before we are fully convinced.

We are familiar with this mechanism around fashion: you might buy shoes similar to the ones Natalie wore to the Golden Globes. You see their appeal once she's in them. That's an important power. The proper job of famous people is to shine glamour in the right places.

Some things have too much prestige (Grand Prix racing, getting drunk, Spanish tomato throwing festivals). But many things have too little prestige (modest cars, being polite, playing Lego, tidying the kitchen, filing, having regular medical check-ups).

Falsely low prestige means it is harder to motivate oneself to do certain things and they carry added costs: you have trouble explaining them to other people (loneliness).

Thanks to Natalie Portman, for a time at least, anyone heading to the park with a three year old can do so with an extra sense that they're doing something worthwhile.


The School of Life