The Brangelina Saga – Victim vs Vixen

Posted by Irresponsibility

Poor Brad...

The press has been devoted to proverbially kicking Angelina in her perfect white teeth almost from the moment she hooked up with perennial pretty boy Brad. Not out of any personal animosity, I assumed, but because it made a nice script. Hapless ‘can’t-hold-a-man’ Aniston with her tame blonde hair and tight smile versus ex-druggy-lesbian-vamp brunette bombshell Ang whose lips pout unspeakable things. Convenient means of reinforcing jaded stereotypes while endless reprinting photos of beautiful women. Newsstand gold.

Things have taken a turn for the much-nastier in the last couple of years though. There was always an undercurrent of hostility for Angelina. She is too outre to be truly welcomed to the Puritanical bosom of middle-America. The press grudgingly played nice while she was safely pregnant and hanging dutifully on Brad’s arm all the time, but at the first whiff of imperfection it unleashed the hounds.

Striking, but not surprising, is that Brad is emphatically cast as the victim (much as Jen was in the initial go-round). “Brad’s Misery” shouts the cover of a recent Us Weekly. Inside, half a dozen pages are devoted to painting Angelina as Queen Bitch.

“She’s a perfectionist and a control freak. She screams and badgers him about everything,” a ‘source’ alleges. Her reputed meanness extends to disagreeing with him about politics and wanting to “watch what the kids eat”. Cruel harridan Ang even “disapproves of Pitt’s penchant for spending money on art and architecture” because – que horror – “helping the poor is her biggest priority”.

I can’t help but applaud that final comment. It takes serious editorial chutzpah to cast helping the poor as a BAD THING.

The upshot of this is that Brad is “increasingly [miserable]” — a construction as bizarre as it is fascinating. Brad is not a child. He is an exceedingly rich, powerful, famous, talented, grown-up 46-year-old man. Twelve years Angelina’s senior, in fact. Isn’t it a little insulting make him into a victim? I think so, but I don’t write for the tabloids.

Angelina gets almost no sympathy. There is mention that she is “exhausted and … overwhelmed” but that comment is immediately followed by “despite the stress, Jolie still wants more kids”. In other words, don’t feel sorry for her, she brought it on herself.

Even if every word of the tittle-tattle is true, which is far from certain, the construction of the story is vicious. If Angelina really is a tearful, screaming, controlling hellcat surely her unhappiness merits concern? Why does she get null points for being a working mother-of-six while the tabs lick Brad’s boots every time he takes the kids out for a burger?

It’s the script. In this particular fairytale Prince Charming was wooed away from his demure true love by a curvaceous wicked witch. To complete the fantasy and punish the ‘witch’ he needs to fly back to the chaste arms of his gold-tressed princess.

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