Femme Fa­tale

An­gelina Jolie cel­e­brates to­day’s strong, free, sen­sual fem­i­nin­ity in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view

Philippine Tatler Traveller - - Contents - PHO­TOS: BEN­JAMIN DE LAPPARENT

What does fem­i­nin­ity mean to you?

So many dif­fer­ent things. There is not one ver­sion of fem­i­nin­ity. It means dif­fer­ent things at dif­fer­ent times and in dif­fer­ent places. It can be a cer­tain soft­ness and grace, but it is also women march­ing or fight­ing for their rights or the rights of oth­ers.

At what age did you feel the most at ease with your fem­i­nin­ity?

When I first be­came a mother, and now. That sense of ease grows and changes with each pass­ing year and each stage in life. For me, it is about learn­ing to ac­cept your­self and what life brings.

You are the spokesper­son of a French per­fume, we of­ten hear about fem­i­nin­ity “à la française,” how would you de­fine it?

philip­pine tatler trav­eller Clas­sic, re­fined, un­der­stated el­e­gance com­bined with strength of mind and char­ac­ter. Poise.

How would you ex­plain this out­dated idea that fem­i­nin­ity fades af­ter 40 whereas men get bet­ter with age?

It is just sim­ply not true. Wis­dom, un­der­stand­ing, clar­ity of thought—all the things that come with age—are also beau­ti­ful and fem­i­nine qual­i­ties. I’d like to think we all get bet­ter with age, men and women.

Which fe­male lead role have you played that rep­re­sents best fem­i­nin­ity? Fem­i­nism?

A Mighty Heart, be­cause Mar­i­anne is a woman I ad­mire and learn from. She has over­come so much with strength and grace.

Women have never had to take on so many roles at once: mother, lover, busi­ness woman, etc. How to be ev­ery­thing all at once?

Women have al­ways taken on a lot, and we are pre­pared to take on much more. It’s in our na­ture. But we need to re­mem­ber to take care of our­selves, too.

How can a per­fume rep­re­sent fem­i­nin­ity?

By lend­ing it­self to your ev­ery mood, and es­cap­ing def­i­ni­tion. That is what I love about Mon Guer­lain.

How can a woman be truly at ease with her fem­i­nin­ity when she is pulled in so many dif­fer­ent direc­tions: be beau­ti­ful, sexy yet don’t give in to the dic­tates of fash­ion and male dom­i­nant so­ci­ety?

There is noth­ing more at­trac­tive than some­one be­ing fully them­selves, with­out in­hi­bi­tion, in what­ever form that takes. We all recog­nise it when we see it—those women whose beauty is their spirit, and their in­abil­ity to be any­thing other than true to them­selves.

Are fem­i­nin­ity and fem­i­nism in­com­pat­i­ble?

Equal­ity is not about us all be­ing the same, it is about the free­dom to make our own choices and live our own lives fully, not at the ex­pense of men, but along­side men. It is not about tak­ing each other down but build­ing each other up. I think it is not said enough how much we need the men in our lives to be strong and ca­pa­ble and the best they can be.

Can we imag­ine a so­ci­ety where men and women will be equal but where a woman won’t be­come like a man?

Of course!

How do we in­tro­duce / ed­u­cate chil­dren ( girls and boys) to fem­i­nism?

Through strong and di­verse fe­male role mod­els, and also a study of the past: un­der­stand­ing how much the free­doms we have, had to be fought for and need to be de­fended, and just how many women live in coun­tries where they aren’t free to­day. Some of the peo­ple my chil­dren most ad­mire are women who’ve lived through con­flict or over­come ad­ver­sity. They hap­pen to be women, but that is not what de­fines them. It is their strength and their ex­am­ple.

What would you like your girls to learn / take from your fem­i­nin­ity?

To be them­selves, fully. But hon­estly, they teach me, ev­ery sin­gle day. They are each so dif­fer­ent, yet each in their own way is such a strong char­ac­ter.

If there was one core value you would like your chil­dren to trans­mit to their chil­dren, what would it be?

Free­dom and kind­ness

You’ve been com­mit­ted for many years, how do you keep your dreams alive?

It’s not al­ways easy. But I don’t think we ever stop dream­ing. Hav­ing peo­ple in your life who be­lieve in you, want you to suc­ceed and share the same goals—that’s im­por­tant.

Guer­lain has been work­ing for the last 10 years to pro­tect bio­di­ver­sity and the planet. What re­la­tion­ship do you have with the en­vi­ron­ment, ecol­ogy, and what are you pass­ing down to your chil­dren?

We have projects help­ing to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment in Cam­bo­dia and Namibia. In our fam­ily, we of­ten talk about how it is all con­nected— wildlife, the en­vi­ron­ment, and the well­be­ing of peo­ple. To pro­tect one you have to pro­tect all. The beau­ti­ful thing is that we can each do our part in dif­fer­ent ways.

“Women have al­ways taken on a lot, and we are pre­pared to take on much more. It’s in our na­ture. But we need to re­mem­ber to take care of our­selves, too.”

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT An­gelina Jolie be­hind the scenes; Mon Guer­lian eau de toi­lette

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