THE POWER OF ANGELINA
Why do women dream of having the life of Angelina Jolie? Because the actress is the embodiment of having it all. Click here to see photos of Angelina Jolie. By Naomi Wolf on Jun 8, 2009
Who are our female film legends these days? Rare are the sultry, dangerous, and highly individualistic Hollywood goddesses who were so prevalent in the 1930s and 1940s.
Of these few exceptions, one thinks right away of Ms. Angelina Jolie. Ever since about 2004 — when she started crafting a new and revolutionary persona out of her prior story line as an eccentric ingenue, a story line that had been erratic and filled with missteps — she has resonated in a way no other modern female star has managed.
Related Story: Angelina: The Photos
Yes, she is conventionally beautiful: Bosomy and wasp-waisted, with that curtain of hair and those crazy pillowy lips, she is an obvious male sex fantasy. But more suggestively, polls show that her appeal and magnetism play at least as powerfully in the fantasy life of females.
Women admire Angelina Jolie, but that would hardly stop the presses. 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.
There's something more than a simply physical response. Her persona hits an unprecedented level of global resonance — and makes women want to be with her and be her at the same time — because she has created a life narrative that is not just personal. Rather, it is archetypal. And the archetype is one that really, for the first time in modern culture, brings together almost every aspect of female empowerment and liberation.
Consider how patriarchal civilization has managed to keep women in hand for all these millennia. Among other methods of social control, women are almost always given a series of either-or choices. The deal is usually...
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