Jennifer Dziura writes life coaching advice weekly here on TheGloss, and career coaching advice Fridays on TheGrindstone.
I was recently on an airplane, during which I took JetBlue up on their offer of a free Blue Moon (or two) and availed myself of last month’s In Touch tabloid trash, because air travel is awful and a lady needs to do anything she can to block out the memory of a TSA agent repeatedly intoning, “I’m touching you with the back of my hand.
According to In Touch, various of Angelina Jolie’s assistants and staffers “are coming forward to share their twisted tales of working for the Jolie-Pitts.” (Short post here; I suppose they save the good dirt for the print version.)
I was supposed to come away from the article thinking that Angelina is a terrible person, but I have actually decided that her life sounds fantastic, sane, well-organized, and conducive to having both many children and lots of sex with Brad Pitt. Perhaps we can use these (possibly entirely apocryphal reports) of Angelina Jolie’s lifestyle to set gentlewomanly goals for ourselves.
According to In Touch, “an old friend” of Angelina Jolie remarks that, no matter how much Angelina tries: “In the end, she just can’t hide the crazy.”
I think that middle America (is that who buys these magazines when they’re not in an airport?) just hates women who figure out how to have children and also have serious goals and enjoy their own lives. As in, Oh that bitch, how DARE she drink and fuck the way everyone wants to?
I have gone through the article and catalogued Angelina’s alleged behavior
- Only having one bite of food. “No matter what the chefs prepare.” Unless, you know, the chefs are asking her to taste something, or the food is for the kids, or she already ate because she had a lunch meeting with Steven Soderbergh or drank blood with her brother James. Sometimes one bite of food is all you need.
- Living only on carrot juice for three days. I don’t fast, because I will murder someone if I go more than 11 hours without solid food, and that includes time that I am sleeping. But I think that half the residents of Brooklyn think that juice fasting is a good way to let the mother goddess nurture your colon. Or something. Keep in mind that your body doesn’t know why you’re not eating; anorexics and fruitarians and monks are all in danger of having their bodies cannibalize their heart muscle, which causes you to die, regardless of your feelings on the matter. But three days on carrot juice is pretty standard among people who aren’t me.
- Saving your children’s discarded bandages in a large jar. Sure, that’s gross. Moving on!
A fucking great way to live:
- “While she appears to have gotten over the drug addictions that plagued her as a teen, an employee reveals that she’s replaced them with other obsessions — such as online shopping, which she’s been known to immerse herself in for hours, buying thousands of dollars worth of clothes and jewelry.” This is very healthy! Once you have children — or before! — it would be excellent to replace your drug addictions with an online shopping “obsession” that accounts for only a tiny fraction of your disposable income! You don’t even have to leave your kids with a nanny (something Angie’s about to take some shit for) in order to shop online. Personally, I have been known to hit up BCBG online after a long day of writing. I DESERVE A BLAZER FOR ACHIEVEMENT. And then I theoretically could log in to Mint.com (see Bullish: Use The Holidays To Get Ahead While Sitting On Your Mom’s Couch) to see how much I’ve spent that month and adjust my budget. Online shopping makes it really easy to return things. Also, drugs are bad.
- “She locks herself in the basement every day and exercises for hours… No one is to bother her during that time.” OMG, she arranges child care before working on her career sometimes? Like the way almost everyone’s dad goes someplace for forty-plus hours a week to earn money? It is well-known that Angelina has an individual nanny for each child, plus there’s Brad, who presumably is capable of doing things. You know how some families aren’t supposed to bother Dad when he’s in his office doing this dad-things that pay for everything? Yes. Women can also be like that.
- “On a trip to London, another staffer reveals, Angelina and Brad more than once left their kids locked up with supervision in their hotel bedrooms, and left them behind to go out drinking — a pastime they both seem to enjoy.” Kids: you’re actually supposed to lock them inside! Just because you do not want to be locked into a room doesn’t mean that that’s not exactly how you care for young children — you lock them in the house, with yourself or a trusted adult, because you don’t want them wandering into the streets or into the loins of perverts!
- “More recently, the pair enjoyed a sumptuous meal — and lots of wine — in a suite at the Kempinski Hotel in Budapest, while the kids stayed on an entirely different floor.” So she can fuck Brad Pitt. Which is probably pretty important to keeping Brad Pitt around, so her six kids have a dad. Everyone wins!
- “Brad and Angelina didn’t even emerge from their room until noon the next day — after the kids had been up for hours. It’s not something that Angelina, who wants the world to think she’s a devoted hands-on mom, would want to get out.” Really? Why? Again: Pitt-fucking. Nannies. I think someone’s life sounds fucking amazing. (See Bullish: Extreme Advance Planning for Very Smart Women.)
- “‘Her daily diet varies,’ another family inside whispers. ‘Sometimes it will just be green tea and nuts. Other days, it will be red meat and red wine, and then, back to tea and some tiny portion of protein.’” Sometimes she drinks green tea! And sometimes wine! And then an unspecified type of tea, that may be green or may not! Protein is good for you. (See Bullish Life: Gentlewomen Don’t Crash Diet.)
- “According to another employee, Angelina, 36, becomes obsessed with certain foods — sometimes eating only one type for days at a time. ‘She became obsessed with soup,’ the employee recalls.” Soup! ANGELINA JOLIE IS A SOUP WHORE. Wait, what? Soup is both healthy and — depending on the kind of soup — conducive to fat loss. It’s exactly the kind of low-calorie food that allows you to eat a lot of it so that you don’t punch people out of hunger. I was just in the ‘burbs visiting my parents and discovered, to the dismay of my lacquered Manhattan exterior, that Ruby Tuesday is a fucking great place to eat vegetables. I’m ambivalent about salad and refuse to eat most room-temperature foods. I want my food (and my accountant) to be hot. You know what I want? A 45-calorie side dish of balsamic zucchini, and also side dishes of mashed cauliflower and spaghetti squash, and a single shrimp skewer. People gave Bethenny Frankel such shit when she said that every day she ate a salad with exactly two shrimp. That’s a “pro-ana” suggestion? Ridiculous. No one would have said a word if she had eaten a salad with zero shrimp. What do people have against small portion sizes? You eat no chocolate and no one notices; you eat just a single square of chocolate and you’re PROMOTING ANOREXIA. Pardon my all-caps; this column began with In Touch magazine.
- “She browses the blogs looking for stories about her family!” Wouldn’t you? (Hi, Angelina!)
- “She has the kids do their homework over and over until it’s perfect!” This is pretty much what you are supposed to do. (See Bullish: What I Learned About Success in a Korean Cram School.)
- “In high school, Angelina once wore the same shirt every day for nearly two months.” In high school, I learned from a discussion of Melville’s Billy Budd that sailors on long sea voyages used to get high on nutmeg, so I tried to eat nutmeg out of the jar and wash it down with water, and now the very scent of of a nutmeg cake makes me want to vomit dusty, dusty vomit-powder.
I’ve written on a few occasions about gentlewomanly living — see Bullish: How to Travel Like a Gentlewoman and Bullish: How To Run Your Career Like A Gentlewoman. Also relevant: Bullish: Financial Planning for Motherhood (Just In Case You’re Not Swedish) and Bullish: Maybe Work-Life Balance Means You Should Work MORE.
Who knows what Angelina really does in that basement for hours at a time? A bottle of scotch, a good book, googling herself, managing her investments online? Designing her awesome life?
Apparently, if you live like a gentlewoman, haters gonna hate. It’s all good.