Angelina Jolie Tells Her Daughters the Most Important Thing They Can Do Is 'Develop Their Minds'

Angelina Jolie encourages her daughters to be the best version of themselves

Angelina Jolie knows just how to encourage her young daughters to be the best version of themselves.The actress and activist appears on the September cover of Elle where she wrote a personal essay on the plight against women who are labeled wicked or witches just for speaking their minds. In the essay, Jolie, 44, also touched on how she encourages her three daughters — Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and Vivienne, 11 — to be bold.

“I often tell my daughters that the most important thing they can do is to develop their minds,” Jolie wrote. “You can always put on a pretty dress, but it doesn’t matter what you wear on the outside if your mind isn’t strong. There is nothing more attractive—you might even say enchanting—than a woman with an independent will and her own opinions.”

The Maleficent: Mistress of Evil actress also took the time to praise her three sons — Maddox, 18, Pax, 15, and Knox, 11 — for how they’re growing into respectful gentlemen.

“I could not be prouder of my sons for the men they are becoming, the way they respect their sisters and are respected by them,” she wrote.

Jolie shares her six kids with ex Brad Pitt.

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Earlier in the essay, Jolie also touched on how hard it is for women to be their true selves while struggling under the pressure to be perfect. But Jolie has some simple advice to help women get there.

“Who we are meant to be in life is something we all have to work out for ourselves,” Jolie wrote. “I think we can often go offtrack as women, because our instinct is to nurture or to adjust ourselves to society’s expectations. It can be hard to take the time to ask ourselves who we truly want to be—not what we think other people will approve of or accept, but who we really are. But when you listen to yourself, you can make the choice to step forward and learn and change.”

Jolie is set to make her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in The Eternals next year, and she recently told PEOPLE that her children are excited to see her in such a powerful role.

“What’s really moving to me is that they want to see me strong, and so it’s less to see me in a film, but they’re just happy I will be strong and having fun,” Jolie said.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil hits theaters Oct. 18.

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