Angelina Jolie is celebrating her strength and the “wild within.”
The “Maleficent” actress, 44, graced the December/January cover of Harper’s Bazaar and also posed for a series of stunning photos. In one gorgeous portrait, she struck a powerful pose while wrapped only in sheer, gauzy fabric.
Jolie opened up to the magazine about finding her inner strength and rediscovering her true self with some help from her six children.
“The part of us that is free, wild, open, curious can get shut down by life. By pain or by harm. My children know my true self, and they have helped me to find it again and to embrace it,” she said. “They have been through a lot. I learn from their strength. As parents, we encourage our kids to embrace all that they are, and all that they know in their hearts to be right, and they look back at us and want the same for us.”
Jolie also revealed how her tattoo — one that reads "a prayer for the the wild at heart kept in cages," which she got at age 20 — still inspires her to embrace all parts of herself.
“I was with my mom one evening, and I was feeling lost. I was restless — always. I still am,” she said. “We were driving to dinner, and she talked about spending time with Tennessee Williams and how much she loved his words. She told me he wrote that, about the wild at heart. We drove to a tattoo parlor, and I got it inked on my left arm. What she did for me that night was to remind me that the wild within me is alright and a part of me.”
The actress has long championed humanitarian causes, working with the UN Refugee Agency and even teaching students about peace, security and women’s rights as a visiting professor at the London School of Economics.
Jolie talked about her ongoing fight for freedom worldwide, especially in the area of women’s rights.
“If you feel you are not living your life fully, try to identify what it is or who it is that is blocking you from breathing. Identify and fight past whatever is oppressing you. That takes many forms, and it is going to be a different fight for everyone,” she said. “I say this with a deep understanding that for so many women, freedom is simply not an option. Their own system, community, family, government works against them and is part of what is shutting them down.”
She highlighted the ongoing threat that domestic violence poses to women everywhere, as well as the plight of displaced refugees worldwide.
“There are still more than a dozen countries where violence against a wife or family member is legal. And more than 10 countries where perpetrators of rape can still escape prosecution if they marry the victim,” she said. “And there are more than 70 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, including nearly 26 million refugees. None of this is just ‘the way the world is.’ It is something monstrously out of balance. And our response can’t be to shrug or to think only about our own countries, because we are all connected. This is a time to fight.”
The December/January issue of Harper’s Bazaar hits newsstands Nov. 19.