Angelina Jolie Reveals the Advice She Gives Her Daughters

Angelina Jolie is on the cover of Elle magazine’s September 2019 issue, on newsstands August 27.

Angelina Jolie Elle Magazzine Cover
Angelina Jolie Elle Magazzine Cover

Instead of giving a traditional interview, the 44-year-old actress, director, and humanitarian wrote an essay for the magazine. Here’s what she had to say…

On the definition of “wicked women” and why the world needs more of them: “But looking across the world, we have to ask, Why is so much energy expended to keep women in a secondary position? Looked at in this light, “wicked women” are just women who are tired of injustice and abuse. Women who refuse to follow rules and codes they don’t believe are best for themselves or their families. Women who won’t give up on their voice and rights, even at the risk of death or imprisonment or rejection by their families and communities. If that is wickedness, then the world needs more wicked women.”

Angelina Jolie Elle Magazzine
Angelina Jolie Elle Magazzine

On finding who we are meant to be in life, reflecting on her nearly twenty years of work with refugees and survivors of conflict: “Who we are meant to be in life is something we all have to work out for ourselves. I think we can often go off track as women, because our instinct is to nurture or to adjust ourselves to society’s expectations. It can be hard to take the time to ask ourselves who we truly want to be—not what we think other people will approve of or accept, but who we really are. But when you listen to yourself, you can make the choice to step forward and learn and change. I remember when that moment first came for me. I was in my twenties, meeting refugees in Sierra Leone during the closing stages of a brutal civil war. I understood for the first time the level of violence that exists in the world, and the reality of life for the millions of people affected by conflict and displacement. And I discovered [in my international work] my life’s work and purpose.”

On what she tells her daughters that the most important thing they can do is and the most attractive quality a woman can possess: “I often tell my daughters that the most important thing they can do is to develop their minds. You can always put on a pretty dress, but it doesn’t matter what you wear on the outside if your mind isn’t strong. There is nothing more attractive—you might even say enchanting—than a woman with an independent will and her own opinions.”


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