I was pretty ambivalent about Angelina Jolie- I understood from the Web that you were either pro-Aniston or pro-Jolie, but somehow I didn’t care much one way or other. Nor did I have much of an opinion on her good works and her adoptions, even though she is the good will ambassador of an organization I know fairly well. For the record, I don’t think her very beautiful- her face is too expression-less and her lips too shapeless for Iranian standards of beauty, which include a certain indefinable something, “namak” (salt) as we say, to achieve true beauty.
Then last night, my neutrality on Ms. Jolie’s good deeds turned to downright pure loathing and disgust. I saw an article about her in the French language Elle, displaying a huge photo of Angelina hugging some Afghan children, her “chevaux” swept under a plain rough brown scarf, though leaving her throat, neck and lots of glossy hair falling down her back visible.
The picture itself didn’t bring on my fit of nauseau, after all stars cuddling poor babies are a dozen a dime. It was the first words of the article, calling Angelina a modern-day Madonna (as in, mother of Jesus, not the singer), and praising her for her “modest” covering of her hair. First I thought the article was being sarcastic, but after scanning the first paragraph, my faltering command of French let me understand that no, they were being sincere…they really thought she was a modern day St. Mary.
Ms. Jolie, you do not have the qualifications to be hired as a cleaner in the smallest NGO operating in Afghanistan. Just because you are gracious enough to allow your hair to be covered for a few hours while photographers take pictures of you does not mean you are a saint: madam, you do not have the least concept of what life is like to forcibly cover your whole body everyday, all day, whether you are an aid-woker, or a beneficiary, while you go about your daily duties. Women get killed in Afghanistan for working with NGOs, and they are our modern-day saints, not an over-exposed lucky talentless freaky individual who gets her kicks out of adopting a fistful of impoverished children from around the globe.
Do you understand at all what life is like for a professional female aid-worker in Afghanistan? Are you ready to put your life where your big, loose mouth is? Why don’t you become an aid-woker then, instead of spending your time bitching about Jennifer Ansiton on Oprah, and graciously smiling at a few war-struck and impoverished kids whenever your publicist advises you to do so? Aren’t you supposed to be an actor? Why don’t you act then, and leave the war-struck alone, instead of using them for your publicity stunts? Is all this posturing in Afghanistan and Cambodia to divert attention from your stunning lack of acting talent? Do you get a warm fuzzy cuddly feeling when you read of yourself described as a saint- does it make up for the vicious publicity and name-calling you so harshly endured (oh you poor thing) when you started sleeping with Brad Pitt? Good thing those pretty Afghan and African girls are so photogenic, no? Did you know that in fact The West is partially, no indeed, fully responsible for what is happening in these countries? What did you have to say about that? Why don’t you take pictures of yourself in the slums of New York, or any American or European city? yes- did you know you have slums in New York? What is so magical about Asian and African children? Please do let me know.
Look at Kate Moss. That’s the kind of celebrity I like, partying, doing drugs, not bothering her pretty golden head about wars and poverty and these nasty things. She does what she is paid -very well- to do , and doesn’t feel she has to save the world on the side. Good for her. If everybody minded their own business as efficiently as Ms. Moss, then the world would be a much less irritating place.