This article is a surprisingly insightful look at women and the images we portray and the influence we wield - either in the System of Beauty or the System of Power.

It articulates much of what I love most about Angelina Jolie. I happen to think she's pretty amazing, for a flawed human being like the rest of us; she stands up to the world and sends them a message that, holy shit, women can be more than one thing at once. She doesn't let anyone pigeonhole her and it's an inspiration to the rest of us that we don't have to either.

Sarah Palin on the other hand tries to do many of the same things Jolie does without anywhere near as much success - but she's working within the system of power, which is traditionally a male venue, rather than the system of beauty (traditionally female.) You have to wonder whether it's their wildly differing politics that make the difference, or the spheres in which they operate. I mean, I can still appreciate the things Palin has accomplished even if I spectacularly disagree with her policies.

The difference, in my head, is that while Angelina Jolie tries to reject every stereotype in the book, Sarah Palin almost seems like she's trying to be them all at once. Palin is determined to be The Perfect Hockey Mom and The Perfect International Spokeswoman and The Perfect Face Of America at the same time; Jolie has an attitude that says, "Nope. I'm not a perfect anything. So fucking what? I'm still good at what I do." I think there are a lot more women - and probably a lot more people in general - who can relate to the latter sentiment. Nobody wants to get stuck playing perfect for their whole lives. Not even if it's a role they like.


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