Angelina Jolie

Two Model Behaviors

Are celebrities good role models? That’s a question clearly up for debate. Regardless of your opinion, celebrities do carry weighty star power and—as any brand who enlists endorsers can tell you— have the ability to influence their fans. At the end of the day, celebrities are human; emulating their every move may not be the best idea, but taking cues from their positive attributes can’t hurt.

On this Two for Tuesday, we’re highlighting two celebrities taking positive actions.

Angelina Jolie

Our Space Angelina Jolie Cannes 2011Today, the 37-year-old Academy Award-winning actress came out with news about her double mastectomy. She went through with the procedure to highly decrease her risk of breast cancer—the disease Jolie’s mother died from at age 56. Through BRCA gene testing, Jolie discovered she had an 87% risk of breast cancer and 50% risk of ovarian cancer.

With her family in mind, Jolie quietly underwent three months of medical procedures for her double mastectomy. After completing her proactive, preventative treatment, she reduced her risk of breast cancer to below 5%.

In her New York Times Op-Ed, Jolie stated, “I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.”

Women tend to view their female anatomy is essential to their female identity, and they fear—with a double mastectomy—they would lose their feminine persona along with their breasts (as described in Robert Hass’s poem, A Story About the Body). Jolie lent her star power in a commanding statement about her femininity in My Medical Choice, “I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

Jolie’s bravery to be proactive, undergo surgery and share her story is admirable. While the $3,000 genetic testing might only be necessary for 1% of women according to ABC News, Jolie publicly telling her story—in her own words—has priceless (life-saving) potential whether she inspires people to get checked, go through with surgeries or simply remove the stigmas surrounding mastectomies.

Demi Lovato

Two years ago, the teen pop sensation was fresh out of treatment for an eating disorder and embarking on the release of her first single since rehab. Today, the 20-year-old singer / X Factor judge released a new album (“Demi”), and some of the tracks, like Warrior, are telling stories of her struggles and road to recovery.

Far from silent about her battles with an eating disorder, Bipolar disorder and bullying, Lovato seeks to inspire her fans to live happier, healthier lifestyles—encouraging them to stay away from self harming habits, seek help if needed and treat each other kindly. As any role model should, she leads by example.

Within the last few years, celebrities including Ke$ha, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga have thrown weight behind anti-bullying campaigns—mirroring (and perhaps further influencing) the changing societal perception. One in four children experiences bulling and the results can be damaging. Lovato, who has always been an advocate for anti-bullying as she was bullied, has a habit of throwing her star power toward that movement as well.

In a recent interview on Live with Kelly and Michael, Lovato said, “With [celebrity] ‘Power’… if you’re not using it for good, you’re just wasting everyone’s time.”


Unlike celebrities who may ignore their influence, Lovato embraces it and is trying to use it to positively impact society. Although not featured on “Demi,” Lovato has written a song specifically about bullying that she plans to release. Until then, she leaves her fans with inspiring, honest tracks about the battles she (and possibly her fans) has been through.

Cover Photo Source: Remy Steinegger, EnemyOfTheState: Hekerui via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Source 1: Georges Biard via Wikimedia Commons 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.[/author_info] [/author]