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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 06/ 9/2009

Why We All Want Angelina (Or Do We?)

By Liz Kelly

The object of our affection: Jolie with partner Brad Pitt at Cannes in May. (Getty Images)

Angelina Jolie is the prototypical feminist. That's why, says Naomi Wolf in an essay in the July issue of Harper's Bazaar, we all -- men and women alike -- want her:

Polls also show that if women — not just lesbian and bisexual women but straight women — had to choose a female lover, they would want to sleep with Angelina Jolie. In other words, women both identify with her and desire her.

Why? According to Wolf, Jolie is perhaps the first celebrated woman to embody the often contradictory images of a woman as good and nurturing and a sexual goddess. For some reason the term humanitarian dominatrix comes to mind.

Wolf attributes Jolie's power to the deft handling of her own image; especially for emerging from the brother-kissing, blood-in-a-vial-around-your-neck wild child to the coolly untouchable most powerful celebrity and writer of Time magazine Op-Eds who glides across red carpets unstopped by pesky mortals (Ryan Seacrest). She is, to paraphrase Wolf, a role model -- at once beautiful and beautifully concerned about the world around herself.

Not only that -- she is, says Wolf, an "übermom" who makes the average parent's complaint about a paltry one or two-kid family seem frivolous:

The clearly well-thought-out multiethnicity of her family is a delicious in-your-face countermove against conventions about who we are to one another and what "family" is expected to look like. 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 offspring.

Wolf glosses over Jolie's romance with Brad Pitt -- a romance that began while Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston -- as Jolie's rightful conquest of the world's most-desired male. I suppose those who reacted with undisguised hatred and accusations of home-wrecking just don't realize yet how much they want (and want to be) Jolie.

With all deference to Naomi Wolf, her boiling down of our reaction to Jolie is simplistic and, dare I say, anti-feminist. Wolf's characterization of Jolie as a superwoman who scoffs at paternalistic conventions like marriage makes the rest of us, by default, flawed women who haven't yet evolved to Jolie's plane-flying, continent-jumping, mixing-pot making level of womanhood. And while am admittedly in the Angelina Jolie camp, I like to think I keep her in proper perspective. I admire her work for the U.N. and for refugees and applaud her unwavering pursuit of happiness -- married man or not, but I also recognize that Jolie -- like all humans -- is flawed.

She hasn't made a truly good movie in years, despite the millions earned by "Tomb Raider" and "Wanted." And that aloofness -- the ability to rise above the usual celebrity news cycle -- that makes her seem smart and in control? Maybe that's because she, or her publicist, realizes that a gabby Jolie wasn't necessarily doing much for her image.

I appreciate what Naomi Wolf sees in Jolie, but I'd argue one can find that nurture/sex goddess duality in women from Julia Roberts to Tina Fey to my friend Amy.

So, tell me, is Naomi Wolf on the mark or overstating the case for Angelina's universal attraction?

By Liz Kelly  | June 9, 2009; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Brangelina  
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Comments

Isn't Naomi Wolf the consultant who told Al Gore to wear more flannel shirts during his election campaign?

That worked out well.

Posted by: mdreader01 | June 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I don't think she's overstating the case at all. I'll add more commentary at a point when I have more time, but I did want to correct one comment that I'd argue to be an error: she hasn't made a good movie in years.

You linked to IMDB which only provides a list of the movies she's done. The link below leads to www.rottentomatoes.com which is a meta-site that compiles all the reviews of most available movie critics. While you and I could go on to debate what a good movie is, I think the average score of the ratings of people who do this for a living would be the best independent judge that we can find on short notice:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/angelina_jolie/

Posted by: cuadro | June 9, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Oh heck no.

1. Even if I were to cross the street so to speak, it would not be for that batguano crazy stick. I do not find rib bones attractive.

2. She's a kid collector, not a great mom. Each kid has his/her own nanny. I doubt she has much hands on (excpet when carrying one for the cute pics) with the little angels.

3. Pick a continent, any one, stay there for more than five minutes and I am not thinking you were a decent mother.

4. She is a hypocrite. Oh, let's do something about Darfur, let's babble about something else, but those pesky journalists need to be the heck out of Zambia when I give birth. Human rights are for only the people she deems worhty of them.

Posted by: epjd | June 9, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

She was brilliant in "Girl Interrupted."

Since then, meh.

As for being a globe-hopping ubermom, when you have the kind of money she does, it's easy (or easier).

Less so for us mere mortals whose paychecks and savings accounts tend to be in the three- or four-figure range.

That's more of a slam against Naomi Wolf than Angelina.

At least she and Brad walk the walk, as opposed to some other celebs.

Posted by: memphis1 | June 9, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

What, no poll to see who would actually want her as a lover? Personally I think she's gross and would vote NO!

Posted by: GoldenBozos | June 9, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Wolfe is sooooo overstating the case. I don't find Jolie appealing at all. As for aloofness and an ability to rise above the celebrity news cycle...go through any grocery store check out and you'll see evidence to the contrary. She's just as narcisstic as the rest of the celebrities.

Posted by: mlc2 | June 9, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I mean "narcissistic"....hate to make spelling errors when I'm passing judgement!

Posted by: mlc2 | June 9, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't want Angelina.

Posted by: info40 | June 9, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I don't agree that women see Jolie as a role model. Certainly she's at the top of her game now--but she got there through her relationships with men. She was raised as the daughter of a famous actor and hooked up with a married Pitt, who gave her an instant family and credibility as an international activist. She's certainly beautiful now, but her offbeat looks were kind of strange before all the plastic surgery.

How is the average woman supposed to follow this as a role model? Since most of us don't want to be movie stars, I guess we'll have to settle for plastic surgery and instant family -- which is exactly what Octomom just did!

Posted by: PJinBoston | June 9, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I think Angelina exists at the nexus of a lot of concerns we have as a society- concerns, like Wolf says, related to being both a mother and an object of desire (and a woman with a career, and so on). So she becomes the focus of a lot of serious debate about what it means to be a woman at this time- debate that's enlivened by her fame and all the attendant shininess that comes with it (globe-traveling! beautiful homes! etc!). We're allowed- even encouraged- to use her as a prop to debate our own lives, without complicating our arguments by considering the complexities of her life as a fellow human. But I guess that's one of the purposes of celebrity. Personally, I like her; she does good work with the UN (even if she hasn't had a blockbuster movie in a while).

tl:dr; Angie is whatever you think she is, and Bawlmer likes to hear herself talk. Or write. Whatever.

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | June 9, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

It's funny how Angelina has changed her persona from a blood-vial-wearing piece of trash to that of an elegant woman...she is FAR from it. And I agree with memphis1--she was FABULOUS in Girl Interrupted...she just played that role TOO well don't you think???

Posted by: info40 | June 9, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't want Angelina.
I don't want to be Angelina.

I'll up the stakes and state I don't want Brad, either.

Posted by: cfow1 | June 9, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I think the key is keeping her mouth shut. That way, everyone is allowed to project their own ideals on her. You want to want her? Then she's demure and classy. You want to hate her? Then she's stuck-up and narcissistic. The minute she opens up in an interview, it's all over.

Posted by: crunchyfrog | June 9, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

People, people. The UN has recognized Brangelina as its own country. How can we do any less?

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 9, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I will give you this: Angelina's reticence to share her every thought with the world at the moment she is thinking it is something that Britney, Lindsay, and a whole lotta other celebrities should learn from. Mystery can be good for the image.

But it makes me crazy when celebrity mothers and fathers who have nannies and crocksh_ts of cash are held up as role models for the average parent.

Reminds of that TIME magazine rant against the NYT piece about why we should all be like the Obamas and have a "date night" despite the fact that most of us do not have private jets and a staff that numbers in the hundreds. Perspective, people!
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1903306,00.html?cnn=yes

As for Angelina:

* Pretty? Yes.
* "Girl Interrupted"? Great performance.
* Adopts children who need homes? I applaud her immensely.
* Thinks more about world issues than her next social engagement? Excellent.

But hot? She's OK (her lips distract me a bit too much, frankly), but she's not on my short list. I'll take Penelope Cruz over Angelina any day.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | June 9, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I still standby that the only reason why she was "so great" in Girl Interrupted is frankly because she was simply playing herself-- a bipolar, messed up, self mutilating, former druggie. She was a real nutcase playing a very believable nutcase. Not worthy of praise in my books.

Or can I win an award for being myself too?

Posted by: valamondo | June 9, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Angelina is arrogant and, worse, a husband thief. Physically, she is so thin that she looks as a sick person. And I don't like her tatoos either. I do not like her or respect her (except for her humanitarian work). I like waaaaaay more other actresses.

Posted by: ericamekan | June 9, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Wolf is warped. This is more about her own twisted psyche than it is about Angelina.

Wolf wraps her corruption up in a pseudo-intellectualism and attempts to inflict it on the rest of us.

The public can't just admire someone like Angelina Jolie. Wolf has to artificially sexualize it.

She's just being calculatingly provocative to promote the buzz. That way she can pretend to herself that she's relevant. JMO.

Posted by: trwv | June 9, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Naomi Wolf is WAYYYYY off the mark. I think epjd states it perfectly: batguano crazy stick. To which I would add, self-mutilating, messed-up man-eater and child-collector. Angelina is not universally attractive; I do not find her looks or anything else about her attractive in the least.

And I agree that it's anti-feminist. To me, Naomi Wolf's obsequious fawning over and obvious girl-crush on Angelina Jolie is just that. A girl crush.

Posted by: Californian11 | June 9, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Tina Fey and Julia Roberts are NOT sex goddesses. Tina Fey doesn't even seem nurturing.

Posted by: JJ321 | June 9, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I do like her in some respects - especially her desire to adopt children of all colors. I think a lot more people are now more willing to adopt kids who are not necessarily of their race or ethnicity because of her and that's a great thing.

However, I don't entirely agree with Wolf's view. A) as most people have mentioned, it's a lot easier to be a super-mother of a large brood when you have a MASSIVE annual income. B) While she definitely appears more "hands-on" than the average celebrity parent, there is NO WAY you could travel all over the world from movie set to movie set with that many children without an army of nannies. I suspect the nannies are around even when they are not filming, as well. Again, money enables her to do this 24/7 and we all know that 99.9% of moms could not begin to afford that.

Also, while people do like to ignore the fact that she is a homewrecker, I really can't. First, she stole Billy Bob Thornton (ewww) and they eloped while he was still in a relationship with Laura Dern...then the Pitt-Aniston thing. Point being, she may be a role model in some ways, but you need to have perspective when dealing with these people. There is NO celebrity out there who doesn't spin or manipulate their image in some way.

Posted by: linz2 | June 9, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Angelina Jolie is not the prototypical feminist, and it's unbelievable that Naomi Wolf would write such drivel.

From where I'm sitting, Ms. Jolie looks like the typical standard predatory woman who uses sex to get ahead, and then gets pregnant to hold the guy. The sort who goes after the powerful rich man regardless of whether he's married or not because they want that power for themselves. And why do they need to do that? Because they are either too lazy to work for it or know they aren't capable of getting there by themselves. Does that make this woman a feminist? No, it makes her an insecure selfish woman, just like the rest of the predators out there.

Sure, she's at the top for now but if she wasn't part of "Brangelina" she never would have gotten there. She used Brad's fame to boost herself. Is that Ms. Wolf's idea of feminism? That's pathetic and a slap in the face to any woman who actually worked and got ahead on their own talent/brains.

I love the way that she supposedly "effortlessly handles the 6 kids". It IS effortless when you have an army of nannies, drivers and cooks, but the important things like giving those kids a stable home and roots seem to be missing in that equation. She's a fraud who says one thing "I'm going to take some time off to integrate Pax into the family" and yet three days later starts filming.

Do I desire or desire to be Angelina Jolie? Neither. I don't find an insecure, child collecting "fame vampire" to be either attractive, nor something to look up to. And I think that most women with an ounce of self respect would probably say the same thing.

Posted by: jpg_44 | June 9, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

jpg,
Angelina was already the HIGHEST paid actress in the business BEFORE Brad came along.
Tombraider and Mr. and Mrs. Smith paid her $20 million. (she met Brad on the set of M&M Smith)
And I would definitly not kick her out of my bed.
Of course she is not a role model, but no actress or actor is.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | June 9, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

td likes Penelope Cruz. Stop the presses.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 9, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I read in Women's Health magazine that women develop crushes because the object of their desire has some sort of behavior or quality that they don't have. Is it the cat eyes, or the ability to lure Brad Pitt away from his wife and completely domesticize him?

Posted by: highlander12 | June 9, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

This is getting ridiculous. I don't judge her as a woman, mother, global citizen or a sex partner. Why does my opinion matter about a woman I have no relationship with and never will have a relationship with? She may be who she wants to be regardless of whether or not any of the public think she is or is not a good mother, good actress, good person, etc. Let's stop talking about her and pay more attention to who WE are and whether or not we are a good parent, a good partner, a good citizen.

Posted by: andrea414 | June 9, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

She's hot. I would love to explore every hole in her body.

Posted by: wangbang747 | June 9, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Iowahoosier,

You aren't honestly trying to tell me that Jolie was paid the same as Pitt for the Smith movie, are you? Pitt earned 20 million and Jolie was paid 10.

In 2006, she was still only up to 10 million a movie, well behind Kidman, Diaz, Barrymore etc.

She is making 15 million + backend on Salt.

Posted by: jpg_44 | June 9, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm a girl who wants neither to bed or be Angelina. Baby do not got back, that is for sure.

Posted by: caroleg1 | June 9, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

jpg,
Please look up what Angelina was paid for Tomb Raider. I bet you will find she made $20 million for the second one.
But, even if it was "only" $10 million that still means she made more for that one movie then the vast majority of people earn in a lifetime. She definitely did not need a man to help her out in anyway.

Simple math - $100,000 a year salary times 35 years of work equals $3.5 million. -- and still more then most people make

Posted by: Iowahoosier | June 9, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The woman is an actress, someone who pretends to be someone else for the entertainment of others. Dimwitted millions gape at her as the personification of something excellent. She is a baby-collecting freak show, and we are forced to stare at her like motorists passing a particularly grusome auto accident.

In reality Jolie is a walking carnival, desperately craving attention and struggling to convince her adoring fans that her lifestyle is the norm, or perhaps the ideal to be sought after, like salvation or the Holy Grail. She is neither well-educated or particularly skilled at anything beyond her craft. Were she to fall off the earth tomorrow, most terrestrial life would continue without a pause.

Why so many people pine for her lifestyle and pant over the details of her every move is beyond the understanding of intelligent people. She is a parasite on society, totally dependent upon it for sustenance. She clings to it until the host tears her off, after which she dies and the host moves on, barely noticing the change.

Paddy Cheyefsky's character Howard Beale hit it right on the head:

"We deal in *illusions*, man! None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds... We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality, and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you! You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even *think* like the tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God's name, you people are the real thing! *WE* are the illusion!"

Posted by: sheehanjc | June 9, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I am a woman. I do not have a girlcrush on her. I do not want to be her. I do not want Brad either. I am not a fan of Ms. Jolie as an actress and I do not care much about her as a person. I just wish certain members of the media and her superfans would stop trying to convince me that she's the second coming or whatever they think she is. I do not like her. I am entitled to not like her. I have been lambasted for not liking her for years, long before she hooked up with Pitt.

I agree with those that said that this piece speaks more about Naomi Wolf than Jolie. It's just so sad to me that such a well-educated and ardent feminist has stooped to this level.

Posted by: jmw1122 | June 9, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

(Hey now, reddragon1. Work with me. We guys gotta stick together.)

I have to find a way to use "fame vampire" in a sentence before I leave work today. Nice one, jpg_44.

And iowahoosier, I think Angelina being the highest-paid ACTRESS -- meaning she gets less than the highest paid ACTORS -- says more about the dearth of women's roles (and Hollywood's being skittish about building movies around actresses) than about Angelina as a major draw.

Yes, she tops the highest-paid list. But without Tomb Raider, she wouldn't have gotten far on the likes of "Life or Something Like It" or "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow." Even with a ten-year-old Oscar gathering dust on her shelf.

Right now Mira Sorvino is reading Naomi Wolf's piece and thinking, "My God. Angelina's brilliant! I shoulda just hitched my wagon to Brad Pitt. What was I thinking with 'Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion'?! Maybe Lisa Kudrow has Brad's number since she used to work with Jennifer Aniston. I'll call....

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | June 9, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who has seen the movie "Beowulf" (2007) would understand how attractive Angelina Jolie is. It's her cause in supporting the refugees that deserves merit. Being the Goodwill ambassador of United Nations Refugee Agency is awesome. Now she's ranked the most powerful celebrity in the world according to Forbes magazine. http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/03/forbes-100-celebrity-09-jolie-oprah-madonna-intro.html

Posted by: RedCherokee | June 9, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

This thread is so catty, it's actually meowing through my computer speakers.

Posted by: VTDuffman | June 9, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Being the Goodwill ambassador of United Nations Refugee Agency is awesome"
_____________________________________

Nothing says "Do-Nothing title" like Goodwill ambassador. Perhaps she can also be the pledge representative to the social committee.

Posted by: sheehanjc | June 9, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Did I skim the article too quickly? Where did Naomi address the fact that Angelina was babbling about buying one of her children (Maddox? Pax? Ax?) KNIVES a year or so ago?

How does that fit in with the whole sexy blah blah whatever fixation?

I think it shows that Angelina has learned to shut up - b/c everything she says is weird/stupid/self-aggrandizing, etc.

When she's quiet, Naomi can fantasize away about her w/o having to listen to the weirdo stupidity.

Posted by: Amelia5 | June 9, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't dislike Angelina Jolie. Heck, I don't even know her. She is an actress.
What I do know is that Naomi Wolf must be attempting to justify her existence to her employer because that piece is the biggest bunch o' hooey I've read in a long, long time.

Posted by: pras40 | June 9, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Angelina is a goddess. Like all the gods she is not held to mortal standards. Hence stealing away a fellow god as a lover from his beautiful but mortal spouse, is sad but not a sin. The true mate of a goddess can only be another god. Her propensity to tattoo herself, and to don a vile of blood around her neck from one of her mortal lovers is also perfectly understandable in view of her goddesshood. Her many children both mortal adoptees and her natural goddling babes, makes her more fascinating as she maintains her immortal beauty despite the exhaustive chores of motherhood that wear down mortal women. Just so her usual stinky acting is also understandable, afterall how can a goddess act like a mortal? And then there is her mercy and understanding for ordinary mortal people that has led her to shower gifts of charity upon them. Yes, We all worship and adore her.

Posted by: maddymappo | June 9, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

What is the big idea with Angelina, yawwwwnn, Joilie?
What is so great about her? Can someone explain this without referring to her money or the fact that she "stole" someone's husband.

Posted by: brndmnd04 | June 9, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I think Liz got this just right. I'm an admirer, I think Angelina is gorgeous, I like her movies, etc but the archetype thing is too much and misplaced in a lot of ways.

Brad did not give her an instant family, she already had Maddox before she hooked up with Brad. She was arguably equally as famous as he when they did Mr. and Mrs. Smith. And of course she has a bunch of nannies--she's a working mother with a bunch of kids, I should hope she'd have nannies. Which by no means should qualify her as some kind of mother of the year or anything--don't get that either.

While also a damaged character, Jolie was unmistakeably brilliant as "Gia" prior to "Girl Interrupted". I thought her most recent turn in Eastwood's "Changeling" was excellent and the movie highly underrated.

To me she's just an actress who uses her visibility to do some good works. Good for her. As for being a publicity hound (or worse)--you can't have it both ways: laud her for keeping her mouth shut and yet slam her continually for appearing in tabloids and the like (as if she/they could keep the paps at bay if she/they tried).

Posted by: sorcerers_cat | June 9, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Angelina's not much of a role model for me. I tend to look up to the moms who are working hard - in and/or outside the home - for their families and still are able to give their time, love, and attention without outsourcing those jobs to the hired help. It's easy to be a "great mom" when you've got someone else cooking, cleaning, and changing the diapers for you. It's a lot harder when you're the one doing all of that yourself. Millions and millions of moms manage it, and manage it very well, and THOSE are my role models.

Posted by: jaybbub | June 9, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to Angelina, Naomi Wolf has it bad. And that ain't good. I just tried to read the full article but stopped due to my limited appetite for hyperbole and drool. Big Bad Wolf clearly spent the entire time typing with her tongue hanging out in an unhealthy way. This is much more than a "girl crush."

But I did get a chuckle out of "[Jolie] began to immerse herself in her work as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees." Just how did she "immerse herself"? One finds it hard to imagine her poring over U.N. reports, fact-checking refugee rates and demanding better accountability.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | June 9, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

She's fascinating in the way a speeding train is as we watch it careening toward a wreck. At least as many are hoping for a wreck as a smooth landing, in part because she's so 'holier than thou.'

Posted by: linda30 | June 9, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations on a BKD, Liz.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | June 9, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

There are only two good things about angelina jolie and you can't really see them in that picture. Yuck.

Posted by: MisterJ8 | June 9, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

She's fascinating in the way a speeding train is as we watch it careening toward a wreck. At least as many are hoping for a wreck as a smooth landing, in part because she's so 'holier than thou.'

Posted by: linda30 | June 9, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Linda30, Who is she were you referring to? Naomi Wolf or Angelina Jolie?

Posted by: RedCherokee | June 9, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I never liked Angelina Jolie and it really annoys me that she's in the news so much.

Posted by: kls1 | June 9, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

A good movie in years, most critics gave her high marks for A Mighty Heart and Changeling. Its amazing how much time people who complain about her spend on her.

Posted by: ProgessiveVoter | June 10, 2009 4:23 AM | Report abuse

wow. this lady really does polarize. Well first, I think the wolf article is too much. BUT I think it is a bit unfair to blame angelina jolie for the the flood of gushing, pedestal placing, and over enthusiastic girl crushes (ahem, Wolf) she illicits. Compared to the flood of interviews, commentary and personal confessions coming from other celebs, she surprisingly keeps mum when it comes to the media. Other than her UN work and the handful of magazine spreads she's done, she really doesn't give out much when compared to her peers.

the issue of her being a role model: I guess it depends. I admire her work with the UN and any light she brings to issues of refugees - despite some of the unnecessary vitriol here about her selfish intentions, it comes across as genuine to me. I also admire her work ethic and how in particular she's been able to conquer the male dominated action-film genre. to ppl who keep saying she's latched on to men to do it, I really don't think so. billy bob thorton and the blood vial brother kissing thing didn't really do anything for her career. and the whole brad pitt , jennifer aniston thing actually hurt her public image and her fan base.

so in sum, there are better role models in hollywood- meryl streep, nicole kidman career wise, julia robers if u want to talk about motherhood (she actually placed her career on hold to devote time to her kids). and she's not the 1st hollywood star to be thrust down ppl's throats as "the most beautiful" = I remember when jessica alba was on every magazine cover being touted as the hottest thing since sliced bread.

so yeah, I really don't get the visceral hate she illicits.

Posted by: praxis22 | June 10, 2009 6:02 AM | Report abuse

I agree with prior comments that this flurry is really about Naomi Wolf and her desire to stay in the public eye. It's truly ridiculous that adults would linger on this topic. There may be a certain segment of society that obsesses about actors but really now, how many of us spend more than 30 seconds a week (month?) thinking about these people? As for myself, I see a nice looking if troubled child-actress who has mated with another nice-looking, less troubled child-actor. I don't wish them ill. I just don't see anything about them that distinguishes them from the entire youth-worshipping Hollywood colony.

Posted by: novaescapee | June 10, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Seems like the comments negate the reasoning that she is loved by all. I personally despise her. She is an arrogant, husband stealing, POS.

Posted by: mbrumble | June 10, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I saw her in real life at the premiere Tomb Raider II:

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2005/09/hottest-woman-ever.html

She is both tinier and hawter in real-life (this was several years and a few kids ago), so I can't knock her looks.

I think a night with her would damage me permanently, but I'd be willing to take that risk if I could get a kitchen pass.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 10, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

"I mean "narcissistic"....hate to make spelling errors when I'm passing judgement!"

Posted by: mlc2 | June 9, 2009 11:26 AM

It's spelled "judgment".

Posted by: vetmanager | June 10, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Naomi Wolf is a moron. Angelina Jolie is a skank and hasn't made a decent movie in years. This sort of nonsense used to be written about Madonna. And what exactly is her contribution to the U.N.? A few speeches (written by soomeone else) and well timed photos of her with refugees? The bar is sooo low.

Posted by: dbunkr | June 10, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

My guess is the poll suggesting Jolie is the most powerful "celebrity" was generated by Jolie herself. She is the master of her own PR spin. Nothing is said about her that she has not directed herself. Her newfound maternal instincts are founded on her age old tendency for excess and extremes and her philanthropy is no greater (as a percent of total income) than the average person, she merely has tools and resources to package her giving in such a way that it promotes the image of her being responsible, unusually generous and, yes, maternal. My memory is not so short. I remember the vial of blood, the tongue kissing her brother, the having sex with Billy en route to an awards show and gushing about it, and the routine role she seems to play in breaking up other people's relationships (Laura Dern was with Billy Bob back when he met Angie). I think she appears at least 10 years older than she really is, she is freakishly skinny and as fake as a person can be. She is a fabrication of her own making and a weirdo at that. I sure as hell have no interest in the likes of THAT!

Posted by: amycwest | June 11, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Naomi Wolf must be craving a invite to meet Brad or something. Really. Who cares about these nitwit people? It is pathetic to think a whackjob like Jolie is some kind of role model. Personally, I find her kind of creepy and I feel sorry for her destined-to-be whackjob kids.

Posted by: isthisajoke | June 11, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I think she is COMPLETELY overstating the case. First of all, not all women want the same things simply because they're women, so right off the bat she's over generalizing. But beyond that, it's little more than celebrity worship. There are many, many women in the world who work harder and do more with a lot less than Angelina Jolie.
I think she's a good enough actress, and if she wants to use her fame to promote charity, great. But I'm not blinded by her stardom enough to forget that it benefits her as well. Her image, including her own family and do-gooding, seems like a very careful crafted brand, and it's one she continues to sell.
Like everyone else, she's by no means perfect, and should not be held up to be the shining example of what all women wish they were, no matter how much Wolf or Jolie herself would like to be. Superwoman? Give ANY mom a bottomless bank account, nannies, cooks, housekeepers, designer gowns, professional hair and makeup people, and time off to do whatever they want, and you'll get a Superwoman too.
Keeping perspective is a very good thing.

Posted by: lucy23 | June 11, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

'so in sum, there are better role models in hollywood- meryl streep, nicole kidman career wise, julia robers if u want to talk about motherhood (she actually placed her career on hold to devote time to her kids)'

This is what drives me mad. Julia Roberts also got together with a married man (as hundred of other hollywood actors!) . Yet everyone keeps going on about Angelina Jolie. What about Sandra Bullock? As for place career on hold. Such an archaic attitude. Why should Angelina give up her career for children, especially in an industry where you have a limited shelf live? The woman only makes one movie a year for god sake. And when will people move on from Angelina's crazy past. The woman has grown up and moved on. Lots of people have wild years growing up. People keep bring up stuff she did like 8 years ago. Enough already. Angelina Jolie is a wonderful role model and a Feminist icon who doesn't bow to the norm. I love her for that. Who wants a perfect role goody-two shoes role model (who probably leads a secret life). Angelina made her mistakes, admitted it, reformed herself and moved on. No skeletons in her closet.

Posted by: dupsie2001 | June 16, 2009 6:05 AM | Report abuse

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