In a powerful new essay, Angelina Jolie offers advice to her young daughters on how they can channel their inner “nasty woman.”
Before Jolie returns to theaters in Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil this October, she has a question for the world: “What is it about the power of a woman free in mind and body that has been perceived as so dangerous throughout history?”
In a new essay, aimed at young women everywhere, including her three daughters — Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and Vivienne, 11 — she makes it clear that there’s nothing wrong with being a little wicked. Well, except that, historically, it’s often led to tragedy like in the case of the Salem witch trials. This wasn’t lost on Jolie. “Had I lived in earlier times,” she wrote, “I could have been burnt at the stake many times over for simply being myself.”
Still, she makes the case that this world needs more women who aren’t afraid to be a little bad. Who aren’t afraid to break out of the molds society have set for them. “‘Wicked women’ are just women who are tired of injustice and abuse,” she wrote. “Women who refuse to follow rules and codes they don’t believe are best for themselves or their families. Women who won’t give up on their voice and rights, even at the risk of death or imprisonment or rejection by their families and communities.”
It’s why she’s given her daughters one important piece of life advice that other girls might need to hear, too. “I often tell my daughters that the most important thing they can do is to develop their minds,” she wrote. “You can always put on a pretty dress, but it doesn’t matter what you wear on the outside if your mind isn’t strong.”
She added, “There is nothing more attractive — you might even say enchanting — than a woman with an independent will and her own opinions.”
Maleficent 2 hits theaters October 18.