Announcing it in such a personal and classy way can only enhance Jolie's stature in Hollywood. With family and philanthropic work, Jolie has eased back on film projects, with future prospects including a possible sequel to her action hit "Salt," in which she played a sexy CIA agent on the run.
Will the mastectomy have any effect on Jolie's sex-symbol image?
"I feel like she is the kind of person who will do whatever it takes to still look fantastic. I think she has a discipline that is unmatched," said Dave Karger, chief correspondent for movie-ticket seller Fandango.com. "She will make sure that she looks just as great as she has in the past.
"I don't think that's going to make much of a difference, and I think a lot of people are going to have more respect. This humanizes her in a way. She's not that perfect specimen sticking her leg out at the Oscars anymore. She's a real human being with real health issues like any other human being."
A real human being, and no less of a woman, to hear Jolie tell it.
"I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity," Jolie wrote.