Feminist’s Forum: Angelina Jolie is an inspiration for all ages

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Jillian Leiby, JagWire opinions editor

Angelina Jolie made her first public appearance this past weekend at the Kids’ Choice Awards since having her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as an act of cancer prevention.

As a frequent fan of awards shows, the Kids’ Choice Award is pretty low on the list of highly regarded awards. Nevertheless, Jolie made it a complete class act with her inspiring speech. By uttering the line “different is good,” she inspired young people across the country.

This is definitely not the first time Jolie has been an inspiration.

Jolie famously chronicled her cancer prevention surgeries (her mother had breast cancer and eventually died from ovarian cancer) to deserved acclaim. In early 2013, she had a double mastectomy after she was found to have an 87 percent risk of developing breast cancer. This past month, Jolie wrote about further preventative measures that were done after she was found to have a 50 percent risk for ovarian cancer.

Jolie’s account of such a private matter has created outcomes that many are unaware of. By going public with her measures, she brought to light many of the options available to women at-risk of cancer. She also helped advocate for lower costs for genetic testing and for more women to have the option to be tested for the cancer gene.

Besides her health advocacy, Jolie has been a humanitarian, working on multiple United Nations boards to stop human rights violation in Africa and the Middle East.

So next time you see the media criticize Jolie for being too skinny or too busy with her kids, just remember what she has done for  all kinds of people. Also, maybe check out a few movies of hers such as “Girl, Interrupted,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “Changeling,” because she is a really good actress.

P.S. Vote for Women on 20s on their website so that a woman can replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. I voted for Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman and Eleanor Roosevelt. Feel free to vote for whoever has impacted you the most. Once it gets enough votes, the W20 organization will go to the White House and hopefully get more attention for this fantastic cause.

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