a.k.a. How to Understand Angelina Jolie
TIME and PEOPLE Magazines have come out with their year-end issues, so it must be December. For coverage of what was chosen as stories of the year by TIME MAGAZINE, see How You Know 2014 was a Good Year http://wp.me/p5jxvv-6v. Angelina Jolie was chosen as Woman of the Year in People Magazine‘s Year-End Issue. Before I explain why I agree with PEOPLE’s choice, some background information on Jolie is needed. Angelina Jolie is the ex-wife of actor Billy Bob Thornton, the current wife of actor Brad Pitt, and the sometimes estranged daughter of actor Jon Voight who won fame for his film “Midnight Cowboy”.
Reason 1: She is a Director/Humanitarian
It is not possible to separate these reasons. Jolie wants to affect positive change which makes her a humanitarian. Her vehicle for improving the world is through her films. For instance, Jolie’s directorial debut was in 2011 when she released In the Land of Blood and Honey about the Bosnian genocide. Although I found the movie disappointing, it was clear she felt women were treated badly (and victims they were indeed) and wanted to send a message that this was wrong.
Jolie has continue to champion women’s causes. She recently co-chaired a Global Summit to end sexual violence. PEOPLE even has photos of her visiting abuse victims in the hospital.
Ultimately, Jolie has expressed a desire to continue her fight for causes through the political spectrum even going as far as to say she might eventually prefer politics to acting.
Reason 2: She is a Talented Actress
When Angelina wasn’t nominated for Maleficent when the Golden Globe nominations were announced, the pundits had a field day. Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a … rat’s patootie. I saw Jolie in the Changeling where she played a grief-stricken mother of a kidnap victim. Grief-stricken she was. Her acting was so convincing, I still get so freaked out I worry about my children when I remember it. Nomination or no, Jolie can act!
The pundits also expressed that it added insult to injury that Jennifer Aniston, Brad’s Pitt’s ex-wife, is nominated for a Golden Globe for the movie Cake while Jolie was snubbed. Pundits, I have a message for you: no one cares. Jolie is Pitt’s new bride. The former Mrs. Pitt has moved on. No one cares about ancient history, not even me, and I used to teach it!
Reason 3: She Sounds Like a Good Mother
Women, many of us are good mothers, and PEOPLE is not bestowing this honor upon us. I know, right? What are we, chopped liver? There is a reason Jolie’s parenting is relevant to her being given this honor. First and foremost, she sounds very down-to-earth. With her money and gorgeous looks, I would not have expected her to sound as down-to-earth as she does in interviews. For example, I read that she buys her children second-hand clothes. Wow! Is she frequenting a Goodwill Store where the money goes for charities? Whatever her reason, she can afford designer clothes for her children, but she is instilling in them important values instead.
Also, she is an involved parent despite her many obligations. I once heard Oprah Winfrey in an interview explain her reason for never having children is that she would have too many responsibilities to be able to do all of them well. Yet, somehow, Jolie is able to combine career and parenthood. She takes her children on her sets, on her United Nations trips, and even employed her son on her set when he got old enough. We all know the Jolie-Pitts don’t need the money. Rather than growing up spoiled rich kids, it is clear Jolie is teaching her children down-to-earth values and the value of money and responsibility.
Bonus Reason: She Sounds Like an All-Around Nice Person
Jolie sounds like a role model. She is so beautiful (I mean check out her cover photo above if you don’t believe me), she has been compared to a goddess. I would expect vanity from such a beauty. Instead, she doesn’t go out of her way to promote herself. I read that Kim Kardashian has millions of Twitter followers and got millions more in 2014. Angelina Jolie doesn’t have any. Why not? She doesn’t have a Twitter account or even an Instagram account, the usual ways celebrities look to increase their celebrity status. She commented in her interview to PEOPLE that by directing, she wants to help other actors increase their celebrity status instead of her own.
Finally, she believes in a higher power. She claims that “religion and faith are uniting and beautiful”. On top of being down-to-earth, selfless, an involved parent, and a talented performer, she is spiritual as well.
What do you think readers? Do you agree that Angelina deserves to be PEOPLE’s Woman of the Year? Why or why not? If not, is there a better choice? I look forward to your views.