Angelina Jolie covers Elle, talks to John Kerry about politics & women’s rights
Angelina Jolie covers the March issue of ELLE. They say at the very beginning that they didn’t give Jolie the cover to promote a movie or anything – she’s on the cover to promote International Women’s Day, which is March 8th. Considering the fact that Jolie is still a major “get” for a magazine, I would assume that she was the one who took a list of people to Elle and said those were the only people who could interview her. John Kerry, the former Secretary of State and former senator from Massachusetts, decided to do it. You can read the entire Elle piece here, and see Elle’s exclusive photoshoot with Jolie, Shiloh and Vivienne in New York. Some highlights:
On being engaged globally: “There is this question of, can you be a citizen of the world and still be a patriot? It shouldn’t even be a question….I’m very patriotic, as I know you are. For me, it goes hand in hand with being proud of what America stands for. For instance, I’m the only person in my house who was born in America… It’s only because we are a country based on people of different backgrounds and faiths coming together that I can have this family. My daughters have the freedoms they have because of being American. And we are at our best when we are fighting for others to have the same rights. Particularly other women.
On politics & humanitarian work: “I was quite anti-politics when I was young. I started working on human-rights issues and meeting refugees and survivors mostly because I wanted to learn. I also had this romantic idea that I would get my boots on and be a humanitarian. But at a certain point, you realize that’s not enough. You have to find the root of the problem. And that, so often, brings you back to the law and politics. For instance, I kept meeting refugees who were survivors of systematic rape—rape used as a weapon. Yet there were virtually no convictions. It fired me up to start working with governments and lawmakers. When it comes down to it, we still treat violence against women as a lesser crime.
Crimes against women: “That’s exactly it: changing thinking as well as laws. I think of how hard women fought to get us to where we are today. Everything counts, from the way you hold yourself in your daily life and educate yourself on your own rights, to solidarity with other women around the world….I tell my daughters, “What sets you apart is what you are willing to do for others. Anyone can put on a dress and makeup. It’s your mind that will define you. Find out who you are, what you think, and what you stand for. And fight for others to have those same freedoms. A life of service is worth living.”
Jolie and Kerry have a nice back-and-forth and she’s asking him about his life and family too. I was surprised to realize that she IS the only one in her current household who was born in America. I’m also a little bit surprised to hear her talk about patriotism, just because I’ve never really believed that she thinks in those terms, the terms of patriotism and being proud of American values. She used to be more apolitical, but with the rise of such anti-immigrant, racist and misogynistic fascism coming out of the Trump White House, I guess we all feel more politically engaged now.
Photos courtesy of Elle Magazine.