Zahara Jolie-Pitt's Height Transformation Is A Sight To See

Warning: The following article mentions sexual assault.

At just 6 months old, Zahara Jolie-Pitt left a rundown orphanage in Ethiopia and flew straight into the spotlight. Between then and now, the second of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's six kids has gone from cute baby to college student. Despite her parents' efforts to keep her away from prying eyes, Zahara has hardly ever been able to leave home without being photographed alongside Jolie or Pitt. And while she ended up being the shortest of the Jolie-Pitt bunch, she has done quite a bit of growing up as well.

As the daughter of two of Hollywood's biggest stars, Zahara was bound to attract media attention. When she arrived in the U.S. in July 2005, when Jolie and Pitt's relationship status was the subject of intense speculation and scrutiny. Even though A-list actors had yet to address what was going on between them — and though Pitt was still legally married to Jennifer Aniston — the two went to the Horn of Africa to adopt a little girl together.

Pitt wouldn't formally adopt Zahara and Jolie's first child, Maddox Jolie-Pitt, until 2006, but she hinted that the two came up with the idea of bringing Zahara into their lives together. "I loved Ethiopia, Brad loved Ethiopia, we'd both been individually. And so it just felt like a natural place to adopt," Jolie said on "Anderson Cooper 360" in June 2006. A lot has changed in the family dynamics since then, and Zahara's height transformation serves as a reminder of how much time has passed.

The well-traveled baby Zahara

By the time Zahara Jolie-Pitt was one, she was already a globe-trotting citizen. In November 2005, a 10-month-old Zahara arrived in Tokyo in the arms of Brad Pitt, with Angelina Jolie trailing close behind with Maddox Jolie-Pitt in tow, as seen above during a trip to Japan to promote "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." A few months later, the family jetted off to France, where they were seen spending quality time at a park in Paris. Later in 2006, Zahara enjoyed a boat ride in her father's lap during a trip to India.

She was living a life her biological family could never have pictured just months earlier. Zahara was born to a rape victim who ran from home after struggling with breastfeeding, leaving her child in the care of her mother in a small village south of Addis Ababa. "My baby was on the verge of death. She became malnourished and was even unable to cry," Mentwabe Dawit told Reuters in 2007. "I was desperate and decided to run away, rather than see my child dying."

Unable to care for Zahara, her grandmother put her up for adoption. "Her motive was to save the child from dying, which I fully understand," she said. Dawit is grateful for the life Zahara went on to have. And so was Pitt, who became more interested in the root causes of Africa's issues thanks to his daughter. "[I] imagine what her life could have been," he told Newsweek in 2006.

Zahara was a girly girl at 6

By 2011, Zahara Jolie-Pitt had turned into a slender kid who had grown up to her mom's waist. Despite her growth, 6-year-old Zahara looked a bit shorter than Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, who is almost a year and a half younger. During those days, Angelina Jolie was often seen having girl time with her oldest daughters. In September 2011, she took them to get their ears pierced in London, though only one of them walked out of the parlor with jewelry on her lobes.

Zahara picked out gold studs and volunteered to go first. After all, she was the eldest. However, it didn't go as planned. "The piercing gun was a bit too painful for her and she screamed then burst into tears. She was saying it felt like a stapler, so her little sister changed her mind about having hers done," a source told The Sun (via Us Weekly). It wouldn't be long after that Zahara and her siblings convinced their parents to consider getting married.

"We're getting a lot of pressure from the kids," Brad Pitt told CBS News in January 2012. "Yeah, it means something to them and they're, you know, they have questions when their friends' parents are married and why is that?" Three months later, Pitt and Jolie confirmed their engagement in a statement that made sure to mention their children. "It is a promise for the future and their kids are very happy," their rep told People in April 2012.

Zahara was 9 when Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt wed

Just shy of her 10th birthday, Zahara Jolie-Pitt had nearly reached her mother's shoulders, even though Angelina Jolie was wearing high-heeled boots during the November 2014 outing seen above. And Zahara continued to indicate she would be shorter than Shiloh. At that point, Zahara and the rest of the Jolie-Pitt brood had successfully become the children of married parents. In August 2014, Jolie and Brad Pitt tied the knot in a secret ceremony in France that had their children's fingerprints all over it — both literally and figuratively.

Jolie donned a dress adorned with the kids' drawings and each child had a role in the wedding. Zahara, then 9, was a flower girl alongside 6-year-old Vivienne. "It was such a special day to share with our children and a very happy time for our family," Pitt told People in September 2014. It was around then that Zahara and Shiloh became interested in soccer.

By the following year, she and Shiloh had been photographed playing together several times. Often, their parents watched from the sidelines, as was the case in May 2015 when Jolie and Pitt were caught exchanging a kiss. Zahara and Shiloh's games became an important distraction for Jolie when she opted to remove her ovaries after undergoing cancer testing. "I passed those five days in a haze, attending my children's soccer game, and working to stay calm and focused," she wrote in her March 2015 New York Times essay. 

Zahara turned into a stylish teenager

When Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were declared legally single in 2019, Zahara Jolie-Pitt was 14 and no longer the skinny kid she had been pretty much up until the previous year. As she demonstrated at the London premiere of "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" that October, Zahara had turned into a stylish teenager who wasn't afraid to rock a strapless gown on the red carpet. She had officially been outgrown by Shiloh, too. While her 13-year-old sister had soared to about her mother's height, Zahara had stopped at her chin.

Though Shiloh opted for a casual outfit, she soon began to show up to events in dresses and heels. And Zahara may have had something to do with that. "Shiloh loves music, dance, acting and lately, thanks to her sister Zahara, fashion," a source told Life & Style in 2021. When Shiloh is feeling like dressing up, Zahara is the one she turns to. "Zahara is the real fashionista in the family," the insider added.

As Zahara continued to grow into herself, she also faced a difficult time at home. Jolie and Pitt continued to fight over the details regarding custody, including how much time Pitt had with the kids. In May 2021, a judge awarded him more time, but the decision was reversed two months later when the judge was disqualified from the case. "Brad believes there is overwhelming evidence that the current situation isn't good for the kids," a source told People.

Zahara appears to have taken her mother's side

When Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt in September 2016, Zahara Jolie-Pitt was 11 and still a part of the custody case. As Jolie and Pitt's divorce continues to drag on, their children have started to outgrow court-ordered visitations. In January 2023, Zahara turned 18 and has a say in whom she spends time with. She appears to be as close with her mother as ever. She has no problems being photographed walking hand-in-hand with Jolie, as they did during a New York outing in December 2023.

Conversely, Zahara's relationship with Pitt is a bit harder to grasp. Pitt's relationship with Maddox and Pax Jolie-Pitt has seemingly been damaged beyond repair, and it's looking like Zahara may have taken her mother's side as well. There have been signs Zahara hasn't been on the best terms with her dad for a few years. In 2019, for instance, she joined Maddox, and Pax in skipping his Christmas. But the biggest hint that her relationship with Pitt has deteriorated further came in November 2023.

When she introduced herself at the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority induction ceremony at Spelman College, Zahara shouted: "Zahara Marley Jolie" — no Pitt. While it looks like Zahara is team Jolie, her father is seemingly not taking his daughter's feelings personally. "I'm so proud of her," he told Vanity Fair in August 2022, when Zahara announced her choice. "She's so smart. She's going to flourish even more at college."