Home / Social Circles / Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Support Shiloh’s Wish To Be Called “John”

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Support Shiloh’s Wish To Be Called “John”

Angelina Jolie’s entire family recently stepped out on the red carpet to support the actress’s new movie, Unbroken. The superstar couple’s oldest biological child – daughter named Shiloh – joined brothers Maddox and Pax wearing sharp suits and short haircuts.

Pitt and Jolie have been fairly open over the years about Shiloh’s interest in all things considered masculine. In an interview with Oprah in 2008, Brad Pitt discussed how Shiloh wanted to be called John.

The eight-year-old’s family fully supports her decision to self-identify — from an affinity for suits and ties to shorter hair to the name change.

joliepitt-embedJolie told Vanity Fair in a 2010 interview that John has been exploring her identity since the age of three. “She wants to be a boy,” Jolie said. “So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys’ everything. She thinks she’s one of the brothers.”

The Telegraph used the Pitt-Jolie story as an opportunity to educate adults on how to handle a child’s cross-gender explorations. It’s easy to dismiss a child’s tendency to gravitate toward toys and clothing generally assigned to its opposite gender as a phase.

The Telegraph spoke with clinical psychologist Linda Blair who advised parents to not jump to the conclusion their child is trans. “It’s normal for children with older siblings to want to copy them and be like them,” Blair explained. The healthiest and most respectful action a parent can take is to follow the Jolie-Pitt’s example and allow their child to go through a normal human experience exploring their own identity at their own pace and on their own terms.


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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11 comments

  1. really, come try this one for african parents dey will just beat the living daylight out of you!!llloooollll bt for real i think they are doing the right thing but they should still guide her about accepting herself the way she is.

  2. Oh kk……hmmmmmmmm.hmmmmmm…..uhm…….*sigh*I really dnt knw wht to say hia. I’m on d fence hia. I hv to applaud ma and pa pitt on d way dey handled dis matter.hving said dt…..didnt cher’s former daughter go thru dis phase? Presently cher has a “son”.smh…..with Hollywood, nthin is innocent.today itz just a phase, tomorrow it will be a way of life. #justsaying

    • shakespeareanwalter

      This kind of issue is best tackled delicately and not with heavy handed parenting. Because, like it or not, gender identification is a real problem, an issue that can be exercebated in a child if not handled well

  3. I find this a bit disturbing. As much as I applaud Brad and Angelina’s handling of the situation, I also think it would have been better to tea their daughter to accept and love who she really is, which is a girl. God makes no mistakes. Growing up, I also went through the phase of wanting to be a boy; I asked my mom to cut my hair, stopped playing with dolls and began riding bicycles, refused being chosen as a flower girl at weddings but delighted in being the clown at parties. My parents ( and yes, they are Nigerians) did not stop me from doing all these, but I remember my Mom constantly reminding me of how I was such a beautiful girl and will one day grow up to be an amazing woman. Gradually, the whole euphoria began to fafe, and I grew back my hair, went back to wearing earrings and skirts. Now, I am so delighted that I am a woman, I cringe that I ever wanted to be a guy at some point in my life.
    All I am saying is that this is a phase, and naturally she is expected to grow out of it. But encouraging her to wear suits and change her name, then they are fueling the fire. Soon she will begin to see so many wrongs in being a girl bodywise, and before long she will say she wants a sexchange. This is why Africans are to me the best parents: they let you shine but to an extent. As a child, everything does not have to be your way, there must be modertion, and this is what every African parent tries to make their children aware of. I wish them the b3st, but I See a future of this girl becoming the next Ellen…without the breasts and girly name, of course

    • Apt. Very on point.

    • I like this comment very well…we all need to know that “freedom” always has boundaries. she is free to explore her gender and try out the other phase, but she also needs her parents to tether her to her identity, and gentle encourage her to embrace who she is…every child needs her parents to guide him/her no matter the bravado that they put up of wanting to be independent of their parents….

    • Totally on point. Every word, every statement.

  4. Chai, na so…

    I think I read somewhere once about Angelina being bisexual….anyway, for me this little girl is just trying to create her own identity in the Hollywood world…she doesn’t want to live in her own parents popularity shadow…she wan shine in her own way…

    What me I don’t know is if there is a fakeness” to it all…

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    • shakespeareanwalter

      I’ve got one question for you though, Fey.

      At eight?

      • Yes o Walter….at eight!

        I have children of my own & I know when they are faking stuff…

        Shiloh is their first biological child: both parents are very popular in their own right and their first child should be popular too abi na? And though I’m not in a position to say whether they are good parents or not, methinks they are encouraging her in this ‘identity crisis’ whether real or fake.

        That said, I think she needs more guidance and counselling….i wish her & her parents all the best..

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