Reason modern women are unhappy: Angelina Jolie

As a pusher of far-flung theories myself, I know how tedious it can be when the raw data don’t line up with the stuff I yak about with my friends in wine bars. Like Douthat et al, when I first heard about the study, I immediately had a scapegoat too: Angelina Jolie. Her entire Oscar-winning, serial-adopting, Brad Pitt-snagging, plane-piloting, unattainably hot-looking existence makes women around the world feel hopelessly inadequate and therefore unhappy. I mean, duh.

But like all of these explanations, that’s a little bit too easy even if, to some, it also seems a little bit right. And as many have pointed out, “happiness” is ultimately an abstraction (not to mention in the eye of the beholder) and may simply defy quantitative measurement.