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Pop Goes the Library: The Book » Libraries & Angelina Jolie, Again

Libraries & Angelina Jolie, Again

Are New York Times writers reading Liz’s & my book?

From a recent article about Angelina Jolie and her Carefully Orchestrated Image (which, if she is looking for a supporting band name, in case this whole international film superstardom doesn’t work out for her, Her Carefully Orchestrated Image would be a great one. You can have that one for free, Angie!):

While all celebrities seek to manipulate their public images to one degree or another, Ms. Jolie accomplishes it with a determination, a self-reliance and a degree of success that is particularly notable. The actress does not employ a publicist or an agent. The keys to her public image belong to her alone, although she does rely on her longtime manager, Geyer Kosinski, as a conduit.

[...]

But more recently, she has emphasized her philanthropic work, and her growing family. Ms. Jolie, with Mr. Pitt, now has a clan of six. There are three adopted children — Maddox, Pax and Zahara — and three biological children: Shiloh and the twins, Knox and Vivienne.

But she cut a very different, wilder figure in Hollywood during her marriage to the actor Billy Bob Thornton. After their divorce in 2003, Us magazine asked Ms. Jolie if she would agree to an interview and be photographed. According to two people involved, she declined — but then offered the magazine another photo opportunity. Ms. Jolie informed it what time and place she would be publicly playing with Maddox, essentially creating a paparazzi shot.

The resulting photo, the origin of which was not made public to Us readers, presented Ms. Jolie in a new light — a young mother unsuccessfully trying to have a private moment with her son.

Meanwhile, here’s what we wrote, about a year ago:

Pop culture is overflowing with examples of people who successfully combine advocacy, marketing, and public relations — they’re called celebrities. Few celebrities acknowledge or admit the degree to which they create their own “spin,” and not all do it well. And, of course, while celebrities can spin, they cannot control the media [though that NYT article puts the lie to that assumption]. What they can do is decide how and when to release photographs (Suri Cruise’s Vanity Fair cover) and give smartly timed interviews in magazines like InStyle, Us Weekly, and People.

Look at Angelina Jolie: In the early 2000s, she was Hollywood’s “wild child”, giving interviews about her bisexuality and fondness for S&M (Lindsay Lohan looks tame by comparison!). Now, Jolie is the beloved mother of a growing family, giving interviews about playdates and humanitarian issues. We’re not saying that Jolie is not a loving mother or a dedicated worker for various causes, just that she recognizes how the public reacts to the story of her happy family. With each additional child she has, by adoption or birth, Jolie tells a story about how that child entered her lief and how that child adds to and completes her family. This involves advocating and marketing an element of herself that the public reacts to favorably. As for public relations, open almost any popular magazine and you’ll see a photo of Jolie as a proud mother walking her smiling child to school or with her children playing contentedly together on the beach. If Angelina Jolie can do it, so can the library. [p.63-4]

Indeed. Perhaps ALA could schedule an advocacy @ your library preconference with Ms. Jolie the next time we’re in New Orleans for Annual?

Cross-posted at Pop Goes the Library: The Original.

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