Angelina Jolie, 2013
On April 4, Angelina Jolie spoke eloquently about Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl targeted by the Taliban who became the face of the fight against the repression of young women around the world. Jolie's skin was bone-pale and tight across her face, her elbows and knees made hard angles under the baggy silk floor-length robe she wore. Little did anyone in the crowd at the 2013 Women in the World Summit know that the actress was in the midst of a grueling three month medical procedure including a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery to lower her breast and ovarian cancer risk. We bloggers were more interested in coming up with a snarky comment to share with our friends about her strange fashion choice and gaunt appearance.Their notorious W Magazine cover, 2004
Since Jolie and Brad Pitt allegedly began their romance on the Set of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" in 2004 when he was still married to Jennifer Aniston, their relationship has been under intense and often mean-spirited scrutiny. While the pair acknowledged their on-set chemistry, they have never copped to actually having an affair. Still, everyone hates a so-called "home-wrecker"—especially if its a woman. (Star Magazine named Kristen Stewart the second most hated woman in Hollywood after her affair with Rupert…Who?). For some "Brangelina" watchers, every additional child, every charitable donation, every UN speech, just seemed another PR ploy to make up for their sins.
What we've learned today is that their "sin" was falling in love. Jolie wrote in her Tuesday New York Times Op Ed about her surgeries, "I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition. Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has."The Pitt Jolie Family in France
In response, Pitt told the Evening Standard, "Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie's choice, as well as so many others like her, absolutely heroic. I thank our medical team for their care and focus….All I want for is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family."
Pitt and Jolie share eight years, six children and now a harrowing medical journey. The time has come to retire the "Team Jen" and "Team Angie" t-shirts and accept their commitment to each other and to their family at face value.