So Angelina was clearly not sober at the Oscars, and tbh between presenting and Brad being nominated, it really doesn’t surprise me that she felt the the need to loosen up and overestimated what she’d need to do so. But I keep seeing this comments about people hoping that “crazy Angie” is back, and it weirds me out to no end. You mean, crazy Angie who was always spilling her guts about her drug addiction, her sexual insatiability, her self-mutilation, her drug use, her eating disorders? Who killed a string of pets? Who was weirdly fixated on death? Whose bisexual experiences formed the basis for interrogating young female actresses about their “girl crushes” for years to come? I mean, kids, she shared an anecdote about how she had a live-in boyfriend at 14 and started self-injuring immediately afterwards, and the media responded by turning it into something borderline pornographic. If you heard the same about, say, your coworker’s kid, you hopefully would not respond by gushing about what a free-spirited and passionate sexual libertine she was. But that’s exactly what happened. Almost every article about her back in the “crazy Angie” days seemed to contain a nudge-nudge-wink-wink undertone that said “hey, this chick is nuts and is probably willing to do anything you’d want her to”. It was not an Angelina interview if you couldn’t wheedle a new, tawdry detail out of her. This bullshit was dressed up in lots of platitudes about being a free spirit and independent, unconventional woman, but, at its core, it was about the allure of an attractive woman not in control of herself, and how sexually available she was because of it. And hey, in 10th grade, I really did think these articles profiled a devil-may-care badass who just didn’t care what anybody thought. As an adult who has dealt with my own mental health issues, the perspective’s much different. She was really ill, and it was sold to us as a sign of her self-empowerment.
Angeline got boring when it all caught up to her and almost caused her to lose out on adopting her first child. It’s true that if she wasn’t also wealthy, white and famous, her sudden turnaround probably wouldn’t have been sufficient, nor would the public have been so quick to forgive. There’s still a point to be made about how obvious mental illness in women is often ignored if it can be written off as sexual voracity (a moral failing that no man can be blamed for taking advantage of), “passionate temperament”, or simply as being an attention whore. The romanticization of her erratic behavior most importantly illustrates the fact that a woman’s actual mental health is irrelevant if her illness manifests in ways we find entertaining or attractive. There is no reason to celebrate a crazy woman getting better if she becomes less exploitable in the process.
I don’t think Angelina showing up drunk at the Oscars means that she is on a downward spiral. A momentary lapse in what ultimately appears to be the self-protective stiffness of her current public persona is not a crime, nor is it wrong to find something so harmless entertaining. However, it’s important to consider what exactly you’re wishing for when you wax nostalgic about the good ol’ days when Angelina Jolie was really, really sick, and everyone thought it was awesome.