The nerve of Angelina Jolie. I mean, this is the woman that millions agree to be the sexiest woman alive (she nabbed Brad Pitt for crying out loud). How could she do this to herself? It’s almost like she thinks her own body is, quite simply, her own body and not the property of everyone else to be ogled at. What does she think she’s doing, making a choice about her health so she can prevent a life-threaetening illness in order to live long to watch her kids grow up or something?
Where there is a woman making a choice about her own body, somewhere there is someone with an opinion about that choice. If she wants to wants to wax her body hair or let it run wild – someone has an opinion about it. If she wants to shave her head or dye it pink – someone has an opinion about it. If she wants to eat cake for breakfast or only eat fruit – someone has an opinion about it. So why would it be any different when a woman makes the decision to have surgery to prevent breast cancer? It should come as no surprise that when Angelina Jolie publicly announced in The New York Times op-ed piece ‘My Medical Choice’ that she had a preventive mastectomy, many people jumped on the bandwagon to voice their opinions.
In came the inevitable “RIP Angelina’s boobies” comments and the “there were other options dummy.” Right, I’m sure she made the decision to go under the knife without doing her research to make the best possible decision for herself. I’m sure Angelina is probably reading your comments now and thinking damn, I wish someone had told me earlier so I didn’t have to get my boobs removed.
What is important is that she is shining a light on an issue that does not get spoken about enough – particularly the genetic test that helped aid Angelina and her decision. Of course people need to make their own decisions when it comes to their health, but opening the doors to the option of preventing illnesses and removing a stigma is not a bad thing. Most importantly, focusing on taking good care of yourself despite hectic careers and family lives is not easy but worthwhile.
“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”
Aside from the inevitable negativity, there has been an outpouring of support as well, from this hilarious comic about the response to her article and the inspiring story of CNN’s Early Start host Zoraida Sambolin announcing plans for her own double mastectomy.
“Life comes with many challenges,” Jolie wrote. “The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”