A very happy World Bee Day to us all. And how are you celebrating the crucial pollinators? Perhaps sprinkling a teaspoon of bee-pollen granules over your yogurt, or maybe blowing a kiss to your local colony? Is anyone allowing a swarm of bees to buzz and crawl about their body as they remain completely motionless for 18 minutes? Just Angelina Jolie? Ah, well, yes, that makes sense.
According to National Geographic, Jolie — a longtime friend of bees — decided she “wanted to do a portrait covered in bees” to mark the holiday and highlight Women for Bees, a joint initiative between UNESCO and Guerlain that aims to restock bees and support female beekeepers. (Jolie was recently named “godmother” of the initiative, whatever that means.) And so commenced her preparation. Three days before she transformed into a sentient beehive, Jolie had to abstain from washing herself in any capacity. “They told me, ‘If you have all these different scents, shampoos and perfumes and things, the bee doesn’t know what you are,” Jolie explained. When it came to the day of the stunt, Jolie says she had put “a few things” in her nostrils and ears to prevent the bees from entering, as well as rub herself down with pheromone. And then, she sat still for nearly 20 minutes, as a swarm of bees crawled over her chest, neck, and face. Also, the room was silent and dark, so as “to keep the bees calm.”
As for the execution of her vision? Well, she certainly accomplished what she set out to do, at least from what I’ve seen with my own eyes. (Admittedly, I only got through half of the video, as I found the footage to be extremely unsettling.) Now, surely, there must be a simpler, less intricate way to raise awareness of the insect’s plight. That being said, if the intrepid actress’s stunt in any way helps the bees, then we simply must applaud.