Editor’s Note: Disclaimer, I didn’t do much research into this, it was written as a sympathetic piece from one woman to another.
Some are calling her a hero, others are still labelling her as an ‘attention-seeker’/’PR-stuntwoman’, some are asking why she’s supposedly the former, and the rest aren’t particularly interested.
But with Angelina Jolie’s revelation this week that she’s had a double mastectomy, you can’t deny that it’s an incredibly brave choice to even consider, let alone tell the world about it.
After discovering she had the rare gene that increased her chances of getting breast cancer, Jolie threw away her image and beauty for health; a rarity amongst the Hollywood elite. It didn’t go unnoticed that she the fallen off the media map these last few months, but as classy as ever, Angelina handled this privately before making the revelation in her New York Times blog post. Raising awareness is a trait we definitely associate with Jolie, and she’s certainly introduced the existence of the gene to her many fans – who no doubt will be sure to get themselves checked.
There’s somewhat of a taboo in the media when it comes to cancer, particularly breast cancer. Perhaps it’s censorship to not seem misogynistic, maybe it’s full-blown misogyny, or maybe we’re just incredibly awkward and scared to breach the matter. I don’t entirely know why it is the way it is, and it shouldn’t take an A-Lister to change it, but being in the spotlight can make us feel like we’re ‘friends’ with the celebrity we see, and seeing an illness happen to a loved one is much more earth-shattering than just reading or hearing about it.
Personally I cannot begin to fathom how heart-breaking and distressing her diagnosis must have been to her or her family, especially considering Jolie’s mother died from cancer. The surgery doesn’t guarantee immunity, but it reduces her chances by a huge amount, and there’s certainly something heroic in that.
Angelina Jolie is a beautiful woman and incredibly brave, and luckily has a wonderful supportive family around her at this time. I’m sure that regardless of our personal opinions on the woman, we all wish her a speedy recovery and a healthy life.