A role model for the ages: Angelina Jolie does ELLE

In Honour of International Women’s Day Nina Garcia decided to relaunch ELLE with a bright graphic cover featuring actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie.

For Nina Garcia, the former creative director of Marie Claire and the successor to Robbie Myers who stepped down after editing American Elle for 17 years this return is a comeback to a publication for which she has worked before and then fired.

“I don’t presume to know the exact motivations for my dismissal, but it happened at a critical moment of change in the industry,” she wrote in her first letter in the March 2018 issue.

Angelina Jolie is a blockbuster choice for a cover, especially being interviewed by former Secretary of State John Kerry and photographed with her children.

“I care that she is a role model and that she’s going the extra mile” Garcia told BoF.

“For the better part of the last decade, the 42-year-old Angelina Jolie has devoted herself to shedding light on women’s rights, or lack thereof, across the globe. Serving as a goodwill ambassador and special envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, she’s completed nearly 60 field missions, including visits to Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. As cofounder of the British government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, she’s met with rape survivors in Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Days before her ELLE shoot, the Guardian published Jolie’s call to action against gender-based violence, co-authored with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Despite all her advocacy, Jolie confesses she’s always been reticent when it comes to politics. Still, she recognizes that political action can sometimes offer a more direct route to changing things for the better. To that end, the following story is a thoughtful conversation between her and longtime politician John Kerry” notes ELLE.

“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” says Jolie.

“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” she adds.

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“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” she notes.

Discover Jolie’s agenda here