Since 2006, people have been divided into either Team Jen or Team Angie. Obviously I was Team Jen, some predatory woman had stolen her husband and she was Rachel in Friends. How could I NOT be on her side?(read in Chandler’s voice, obviously )
I even had a Team Jen T-shirt. Sad. I know. But the t-shirt WAS from the Kitson store, back when Kitson was cool and trendy, before Paris Hilton started shopping there and ruined it for everyone. But I digress.
Still, for a long time I hoped that bloody Brad would realise the error of his ways and that he would go back to Jen after he…… well, had got Angie out of his system I suppose. It never happened of course.
I thought Angelina was faintly ridiculous, you know, with the adopting children from all over the world and everything. Too perfect, too altruistic…….too fake was the way I saw it.
I can’t pinpoint the moment when my feelings towards Angelina changed. It must have happened without me realising, but what I do know is that when I read about her double mastectomy today, I felt deep pity for her. As Twitter and the web went into meltdown over it, I read Angelina’s own account of what she went through…..the difficult decision of having a mastectomy, the actual operation, how it brought her and Brad together……and I just wanted to give her a long and affectionate hug.
For “sexy” Angelina, ultimate symbol of the “femme fatale” to tell the world that her breasts are now fake and that she lost what most women see as an essential part of their femininity……well, it was brave. Nobody had to know, she didn’t have to share, so the fact that she did is courageous and bold.
That leaves me with this weird and strange feeling of…..shall I say it……actually admiring Ange.
I guess all the years of reading about her flying around the world trying to raise interest in various good causes must have seeped in somehow. Gradually and without realising, I must have stopped seeing Ange as “the bitch who stole Jen’s husband” and unconsciously decided that she actually did a lot of good.
There was the piece she wrote on how girls’s education is under threat in Pakistan, Afghanistan and around the world. She recently visited Congo, a country the press rarely talks about, to highlight the plight of raped women there. Once again the fact that Angelina went to Congo turned the spotlight on a corner of the world nobody usually cares about. This is just two of the things that come to mind as they are the most recent, but there are many more.
Angelina doesn’t use her star status to sell shampoo and she has never told us she was “worth it” in an TV advert. She flies to desolate parts of the world and she tells people about the misery and tears she encounters there. She tries to help. She gives herself wholeheartedly to it.
Now I feel sorry for Jen, how could she ever compete with a sexy Mother Teresa? The answer is, of course, that she couldn’t. She didn’t have a chance in hell. Poor Jen…….