Why We Love Angelina Jolie

Written by: Shin Kitane/Sunday, Oct 16, 2016 03:42 AM

Header Image: iStock.com/verve231

Most of us are probably still heartbroken about the Brangelina split—I know I am. However, I think it’s also about time to remind ourselves that apart from being one half of the power couple that she and Brad Pitt were, Angelina Jolie remains one hell of a woman and an icon of empowerment in and out of her Hollywood career. Even her decision to leave Brad despite what seemed like a perfect, modern-day fairy tale kind of relationship mirrors how strong she is as a woman.

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SLAY. iStock.com/verve231

I think it’s an important message for us women to remind ourselves of every time—that at the end of the day, you need to love and respect yourself before you can do it for anybody else. In the words of Emmy-award winning TV host and drag queen extraordinaire Rupaul Charles, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Can we get an amen?

So, in the spirit of female solidarity and empowerment, here are a few reasons why Angelina Jolie remains high on our list of strong female role models. Feel free to add your thoughts through the comments section below!

 

She’s portrayed a lot of badass women in her films.

 

Angelina-Films.jpg

Who's your favorite Angelina Jolie character?

Really, who hasn’t admired her as Lara Croft in her signature boots and braids, always ready to kick some bad guy’s ass? I personally am more of a Maleficent kind of girl, you know—all that black clothing, red lipstick and pretending to hate children is my aesthetic. However, Angie has portrayed roles that don’t just fit nicely into the usual badass, larger-than-life female stereotype. Instead she’s portrayed women who are vulnerable, flawed, disturbed, yet strong in their own ways, as in Girl, Interrupted, Wanted, and A Mighty Heart.

 

She’s a humanitarian and women’s rights activist.

 

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OFF-SCREEN WORK. Angelina was appointed as Special Envoy in 2012 after years of dedicated service to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. This role allows her to focus on major crises that result in the displacement of mass populations worldwide. flickr.com/United Nations Photo

Having been initially exposed to the plight of people suffering in war-torn Cambodia while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001, Jolie has since then dedicated her life’s work to humanitarian causes, with particular focus on helping refugees worldwide. Time reports that Angelina has visited over 30 countries including war zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq, doing humanitarian work. She has also adopted children from different races to raise them as her own, all of who she encountered in orphanages during her visits related to charity work. 

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Okay, this family photo triggers Brangelina feels. *sobs internally* flickr.com/Paladin Justice

A firm believer of gender equality and women empowerment, Angelina Jolie is a fierce woman both on-screen and off. During her speech at the African Union Summit in 2015 which she attended as a U.N. Special envoy, she sums up the cause into a crisp thesis: 

“There is no greater pillar of stability than a strong, free and educated woman, and there is no more inspiring role model than a man who respects and cherishes women and champions their leadership." 

I know, right? Total #EqualityGoals.

 

She acknowledges her body and sexuality and encourages us to do the same.

 

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Yazz, queen. flickr.com/Gage Skidmore

In 2015, Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy and her ovaries removed caused a ruckus, but also promoted breast and ovarian cancer awareness among women. In her New York Times essay entitled “My Medical Choice,” Jolie stresses that her decision was rooted on her personal history (she lost her mother to cancer) and her conscious decision to arrest the 87% risk of having cancer due to a faulty, although very rare BRCA1 gene. She reveals that at the core of her action is the desire to be able to assure her children that they don’t need to fear they will lose their mother to breast cancer. In the essay mentioned above, she also addresses women in a powerful message about choice: 

“I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.

Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”

 

She’s flawed and imperfect, just like the rest of us.

 

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Even though Angie looks every bit like a star in this photo, it's important to remember that even the biggest celebrities like Angie are imperfect humans who face personal challenges and crises just like everyone else. flickr.com/Gage Skidmore

Hey, she may be an A-list celebrity and all, but we're not fawning over her because she’s perfect. She isn’t, and that’s the reality about being human, celebrity or otherwise. She’s weathered the storms of failed marriages, a troubled relationship with her dad, and has dealt with eating disorders and substance abuse. It’s important to remember that we can’t keep holding ourselves and others against unrealistic standards of perfection or beauty, because really, having it all together one hundred percent of the time is a myth.

Expecting someone to be good at domestic chores because she is a woman, or expecting men to be extremely career driven because he is a man is setting ourselves up for disappointment. When we look closely, all of us get really beat up in life, in one way or another. The best thing we can do is learn to forgive ourselves and other people and acknowledge that all of us are flawed, with a few redeeming qualities that allow us to kick ass despite our so-called flaws.

Next: Catch The True Story of Angelina Jolie on Lifestyle Network. Call your cable provider to inquire.

About Shin Kitane
Shin Kitane is the Editor-in-Chief of LifestyleNetwork.TV. She is also a gender equality advocate and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Creative Writing. For what it’s worth, she also claims to be capable of reciting lines from Mean Girls by heart.
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