The Great Mother

reflecting on life: stories, wisdom, inspiration, aggravation

Angelina Jolie, Not My Icon June 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — emlott @ 10:11 am

Naomi Wolf has written a serious girl-crush article on Angelina Jolie for the current Harper’s Bazaar.  It’s weird.  Our culture is far too celeb-obsessed, but I find this piece to be extremely odd.  As Wolf goes on and on about Jolie as the new archetype for bold, liberated, creative women, she points to Jolie’s life as proof that women really can have it all.  I have written about that fallacy before and asked why one’s goal should be to do and have all things.  But what really burned me up was this statement from Wolf on Jolie as the supermom:

She seems, without breaking stride, to care for half a football team of children while the rest of us tread water with our own biological children.

Give me a break.  This woman is a ridiculously wealthy, and her partner is ridiculously wealthy.  Jolie reportedly has one nanny for each child plus a rotating nanny to fill-in as needed.  She has a staff of people who work to feed her, clothe her, clean for her, drive her, shop for her, and to do all the same for her “half a football team of children”.  She is not doing it all and does not have it all, she has a staff of people who are doing it all.  I think it is likely a safe bet that she feels ragged and torn and worn out even with her staff of parents and cooks and managers all around her.  I would not trade places with her and do not envy her, nor to I hold her up as a healthy, wise, centered image of the woman I aspire to be.

Naomi Wolf’s perspective on Jolie is unhealthy for women.  Women, particularly mothers, already look at one another with a slanted view of what the other is accomplishing.  “Her daughter is already potty-trained.  Her son is already walking.  Her twins have been pre-enrolled at Princeton.  She lost all her baby weight in two weeks.  She never loses her temper.  Her  house always looks fantastic.  Her career is flawless.”  It is a sickness, and Wolf’s flawed argument that Angelina Jolie is the women we all desire (or should) to be like is just asinine .

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One Response to “Angelina Jolie, Not My Icon”

  1. suzannsmith Says:

    Sing it, Sister. I too have enough love, desire, energy, instinct, etc. for a dozen children, and then some. If only I had upstairs and downstairs maids, a cook, a driver, and more money than God. I applaud any efforts Ms. Jolie makes, particularly her philanthropic donations, but the mothering part is really unremarkable considering her team approach.


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