In The Media
During the first decade of her career, Jolie—who does not employ a publicist or an agent—maintained a "wild child" persona in her communication with the media. She openly discussed her love life, including her bisexuality and her interest in BDSM. After she kissed her brother during the Academy Awards in 2000, their close relationship became the subject of tabloid media speculation, which she dismissed. She spoke about her experiences with drugs and depression, and recalled the time, in 1997, when she almost hired a hitman to kill her, as well as the three days, just before her marriage to Billy Bob Thornton, that she was sectioned at UCLA's psychiatric ward. By the mid-2000s, Jolie's involvement with the UNHCR and the adoption of her son Maddox had transformed her public image from Hollywood eccentric into humanitarian and devoted mother.
Jolie has attracted notable media attention for her physical appearance—particularly her full lips and her many tattoos, being her most distinctive features. She has been named the world's "most beautiful" or "sexiest" woman by various media outlets, including Vogue in 2002, Esquire in 2004, American FHM and British Harper's Bazaar in 2005, People and Hello! in 2006, Empire in 2007, and Vanity Fair in 2009. Jolie's extensive collection of tattoos has often been addressed by interviewers. She has fourteen known tattoos, among which the Latin proverb "quod me nutrit me destruit" (what nourishes me destroys me), the Tennessee Williams quote "A prayer for the wild at heart, kept in cages," two sak yant designs featuring a prayer of protection and a twelve-inch-by-eight-inch tiger, and six sets of geographical coordinates indicating the origins of her children. Over time, she has covered or lasered several of her tattoos, including the name of her second husband, "Billy Bob", and the Chinese characters "死" (death) and "勇" (courage). Jolie holds a private pilot license and owns a single-engine Cirrus SR22 aircraft.
Today, Jolie is one of the best-known celebrities around the world. According to the Q Score, in 2000, subsequent to her Oscar win, 31% of respondents in the United States said Jolie was familiar to them; by 2006 she was familiar to 81% of Americans. In a 2006 global industry survey by ACNielsen in 42 international markets, Jolie, together with her partner Brad Pitt, was found to be the favorite celebrity endorser for brands and products worldwide. She was the face of St. John and Shiseido from 2006 to 2008, and in 2011 had an endorsement deal with Louis Vuitton reportedly worth $10 million—a record for a single advertising campaign. She was among the Time 100, a list of the most influential people in the world as assembled by Time, in 2006 and 2008. Forbes named her Hollywood's highest-paid actress in 2009 and 2011, with estimated annual earnings of $27 million and $30 million respectively, and she topped the magazine's Celebrity 100, a ranking of the world's most powerful celebrities, in 2009. People named her one of 2012's Most Beautiful at Every Age.
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“The media network has its idols, but its principal idol is its own style which generates an aura of winning and leaves the rest in darkness. It recognises neither pity nor pitilessness.”
—John Berger (b. 1926)