Does the world need more Angelina Jolies?

Using your fame to draw attention to those who suffer is commendable. Angelina Jolie has for a long time done a fantastic job of increasing awareness of the plight of victims of conflict. Her latest venture, with British foreign minister William Hague, is focusing on women in war zones and conflict areas. In this short video they highlight their initiative:

The video speaks for itself.  Don’t believe anyone can disagree with their conviction that sexual violence in conflict areas should always  be punished and that the victims should not be disgraced because of what happened to them. Or as Angelina Jolie put it: “We must send a message around the world that there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence”.

Giving a voice to refugees and victims

Angelina has for fourteen years made countless efforts to show-case the plight of victims of conflict. Her determination to help the displaced and lobbying for international assistance has been constant. She has made numerous visits to conflict zones to highlight what happens to millions of uprooted people and their need for protection. Needless to say, people all over the world who normally don’t pay attention  to victims of conflict have been reached by the Hollywood actress’ plea for assistance to their plight.

She has also donated millions of dollars since 2001 to build schools in for instance Afghanistan and improving the lives of the forcibly displaced. It’s fitting that she this week was made made an honorary dame for services to UK foreign policy and campaigning to end sexual violence in war zones.

William Hague and Angelina Jolie at the G8 meeting last year.
Angelina Jolie and William Hague  at the G8 Summit last year. She was at the time undergoing treatment.

Went public about having double mastectomy

When Angelina Jolie went public about having preventative surgery to avoid breast cancer she gave a face to what many women fear and are ashamed of.  It clearly shows how brave she is when highlighting that if you, as she, has the  BRCA gene mutation your risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer is incredibly high. She now plans to have her ovaries removed as well. She made the statement wearing a daring dress showing that her reconstructive breast surgery has been a success.  How many celebrities have ever gone public with something like this? If it’s become known to the public it’s usually by default.

Does the world need more brave and caring celebrities like Angelina Jolie? Is what she is doing having an impact on how refugees are perceived? Will women feel better about having to remove their breasts after she went public about her double mastectomy? Do you believe we need more initiatives highlighting what victims of conflict have to go through? Would the world be a better place if more famous people were devoted to humanitarian causes and made efforts to show the world the plight of the vulnerable? Will sexual victims of war move up the diplomatic agenda as a result of the conference in London? Has it contributet to removing the taboo surrounding sexual violence in conflict?

Video: The Telegraph

47 thoughts on “Does the world need more Angelina Jolies?

  1. Yes, the world needs more people like this amazing woman, and more celebrities should get involved, as they have the power to truly make changes because of their fame.

  2. There's no question that more celebrities should use their public profile to support important causes, and Angelina Jolie has really done a wonderful job in this regard – hence being made an honorary Dame in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. The publicity surrounding her mastectomy had very positive results for women with breast cancer, and her ongoing fight for the plight of refugees and others keeps this in the public eye. She sets a first-rate example.

  3. Just yesterday I was seeing a couple of celebrities who are doing good works towards charitable causes, who do not seek publicity for it and are not recognized for it. The world is not really after the good that celebrities do but the bad that sells news. One can bury heir head in the sand all they want, but these celebrities do shape our world as they lead trends. So what they do is highly likely to be replicated. Yes we need more Angelina Jolies.
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  4. I think the world could use more people like Angelina Jolie who are using their fame for a good cause. However, we also need more “normal” people to also do these things. We can start by talking to our children about these issues as well as helping people we know who are in need.

    1. True, Karoly. But neither you nor I can have the impact Angelina Jolie has. Her fame makes people who wouldn't take any interest in the causes she highlights take an interest. And the more people that understand what it's like to be a victim of war, the better.

  5. She’s using her voice and her money to make a difference with important causes. Her passion and conviction make an impression and sway people who would never care about government reports and other, more mundane news sources. How could that be anything but good and yes, we could definitely use more Angelina Jolie’s.

  6. Absolutely the world needs more Angelina Jolies, and not specifically to advocate for this cause. But we need more brave and selfless people in general. People who are willing to spend 1/3 of their income in charity (I don't do this), people who are willing to take a stand to help others, and people who know what it means to bring good into this world. If we had more people with these values, then the world would be ssssoooo much better!

  7. I absolutely agree that it's wonderful when celebrities use their fame and fortune to further causes in which they believe. That's what we all do in our own small ways, by supporting charitable orgs with our small donations. If I had more $$, I'd definitely be using it to better the world. Hats off to Angelina and others like her.
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    1. Personally think it's more than that, Pat. She is enormously brave, caring and really go out of her way to highlight the plight of victims of conflict. How many celebrities, or ordinary human beings for that matter, would be prepared to travel to conflict zones to show the world what it's like there?

  8. Hi Catarina.
    Thank you for one of the best posts I've read in some time. What powerfully thought provoking questions you've asked. I wish more Hollywood stars would use their fame as a platform to get humanitarian messages across. Yes, the world definitely needs more Anglina Jolies. As long as there is violence and suffering, there needs to be the voice of reason to stand up and be heard.

    Kind Regards,
    Bill

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  9. Celebrities seem more inclined to shed light on social issues more so than many politicians and business leaders do these days, so it would be good to see celebrities continue to do what they do for various causes, and other segments of society to catch up to that standard.

    1. Not sure I agree that more celebrities are shedding light on social issues than politicians and business leaders, Jeri. What about Bill Gates? And what other celebrity is doing what Angelina is doing? Politicians outside the US are pretty good at highlighting social issues. Other celebrites do a bit but nothing compared to Angelina. We have to go back to Princess Diana to find someone who is comparable to her.

  10. If even 1 out of 10 celebrities were like Angelina Jolie, imagine what a difference it would make in the world. It is truly admirable that they use their influence, money and power to make a difference in the world. And what a wonderful example and role model for young people instead of the mindless reality star families or the former Disney stars gone off the deep end with so much money they don’t know what to do with it. They should really take a clue from Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt because the world could definitely use more celebrities like them.

  11. Angelina really is an amazing woman, and yes we could do with a million more people like her. It's one thing when celebrities take on humanitarian work with a big show, but the fact she has also done things to herself like the double mastectomy and been brave enough to show herself as an example for other women , then it makes me feel her generosity of spirit is genuine. So any publicity on these issues she generates is fantastic. Excellent post Catarina. Thankyou.
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  12. We could indeed use more Angelina Jolie's. If for no other reason than to draw attention to the issues Jolie draws attention to. No matter how you feel about issues surrounding celebrity, it can be used for the greater good.
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  13. The other day I saw her on TV exactly about the sexual violence thing and I made the comment about her commitment to highlighting issues that need to be discussed. The thing that really impresses me is that she doesn’t just donate money, she actually gets out there and rolls up her sleeves. She’s a great role model for celebrities. Wonderful article, Catarina.
    Lenie

    1. Thank you, Lenie. She doesn't just roll up her sleeves she travels to war zones such as Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Syria. You have to be really brave to do that.

  14. I drove by her foundation Battaumbang, Cambodia during a trip there Catarina. What a kind person! Awesome post!

  15. I commend Angelina Jolie for using her celebrity status in such an important cause. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop sexual violence. But more needs to be done to counsel and heal survivors. I admire her willingness, too, to go public with her double mastectomy so that other women at high risk won't feel ashamed if they decide on this course of action, too. Many celebrities over the years have volunteered in service to the disadvantaged. I think of Audrey Hepburn and Princess Diana as two examples. Hopefully, more will come forward.
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  16. I think celebrities can do a lot to bring attention to issues and initiate help for those suffering, especially if it is a cause they are passionate about and dedicated to. The can also do a lot of harm if they are ill-informed and have a passing fancy. Do we need more Angelina Joiles? Probably.

  17. Excellent article. I think it's easy to be dismissive of her efforts if you don't note how much time, effort and money she has put into the causes she cares about. There was a fair bit of criticism leveled at her after she came forward with her double masectomy, it infuriated me. I think that she makes an amazing case for how women can be sucessful, beautiful and change the world.
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  18. I think that celebrities have an obligation to use their fame to spread awareness to the public on social issues. Like it or not, famous people have tremendous influence. It is refreshing to see someone like Jolie using it to better society.

    1. Interesting, Dana. How do we get more celebrities to do what Angelina Jolie is doin? We have to take into account that it's less than 1 percent of them that are using their fame for humanitarian causes.

  19. Yes. Between her and her husband Brad Pitt, they are shining examples of the good that can come out of using celebrity for good reason. She, Angelina Jolie, deserves a lot of respect.

  20. Angelina Jolie is a fantastic ambassador for all her charities and the world needs more like her who could speak out about such sensitive topics. She is speaking out for people who are afraid to speak out. I hope that her London Conference helped to reach out to a very wide audience.

  21. Absolutely we need more folks like Angelina Jolie. She is one of a few that really live their convictions. And let me be clear that she and I are on total opposite sides of the political spectrum! However, I so admire all that she has done and continues to do. We can only hope that her voice and actions make a difference for all the causes for which she has given so freely. She talks the talk, but more importantly she really does walk the walk, too!

    1. Absolutely, Jacqueline. Don't know her personally. First time I ever heard about her was when a friend of mine had met her and Brad Pitt in Dubai about ten years ago. Got the impression they were the typical Hollywood couple. But they really are not. How many actresses travel to war zones, go public about removing their breasts and take on tabus like sexual violence in conflict. There are other celebrities that are do-gooders but not in her league, actually.

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