Scarlett Johansson in Men's Style Australia's Autumn issue is very much the sex goddess. Set in a contemporary frame of reference, this means she looks like she's about to have her photo taken for an online porn site.
The magazine could be accused of hypocrisy. The Summer issue of Men's Style featured a very long and very shrill denunciation of cyber porn by Antonella Gambotto-Burke, in which she seems to say that the very foundations of our culture are being eroded by images of naked women in demeaning poses, that are available at the click of a mouse to anyone with a Web connection.
Elizabeth Best of Burleigh Heads, Queensland, writes a letter published in the current issue that poo-poohs AGB's assertions. She "seems terribly misinformed about internet pornography, wanting to attribute it to (sic) everything from rape to paedophilia."
Near the end of her piece, AGB quotes "Thomas", a reformed porn addict, who says: "Marry the infinite porn resources of the net to the endlessness of male sexual desire and men can end up practically frigging themselves to death."
Johansson, who is also shown in her feature shaving her legs on a kitchen bench, says "I'm not opposed to doing nudity; it would just have to be the right project. You always imagine people buying your film on DVD and freeze-framing and going back and forth, watching your boobs over and over again."
Which is what men do.
The cover of the Autumn issue shows, you guessed it, Johansson. In a very provocative pose. It's a far cry from the amusing and sophisticated image we remember her developing in the excellent 2003 movie Lost in Translation. Opposite Bill Murray, who is very funny, she was delightful, intelligent, and sexy also.
It is possible to be all three at the same time. But the Men's Style images demonstrate that she is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. She is 22 years old and has already completed 26 films. Prolific is not an adequate description of this output. What's in store in future?
"I'm proud of my breasts. I call them my girls. They're my charms, my feminine wiles." Expect the unexpected.