Angelina Jolie is taking more preventative measures to avoid cancer, of which she is high at risk. Or, was, until she got a double mastectomy. I’m starting to feel weird reporting about all of this. Here’s why. These are all very personal decisions and her body is her business. HOWEVER, she is making it public, and by doing so, is inspiring millions of women and raising awareness about how important it is to get regular screenings for cancer. For women who have had mastectomies, she is an inspiration for coming forward and talking about it, and showing that this surgery doesn’t make you any less of a woman. Yes, I used “inspirational” and “inspiration” very close together, but I really don’t know what else to say. She’s just…damn.
Now she’s about to go another major surgery. From People:
The mother of six is also planning to undergo surgery to remove her ovaries. Because of her “faulty” BRCA1 gene, she still faces a high risk of developing ovarian cancer, which her doctors estimate at 50 percent. Some doctors recommend patients undergo the surgery by age 40 or when a woman is done having children, though it may trigger early menopause.
Yesterday Brad Pitt released his own statement, calling her “heroic.”
Salon posted an article titled “Angelina Jolie’s Most Thrilling Decision: Robbing Her Breasts Of Their Cultural Power” and I’m really not sure what I think or feel about that. The crux of the article is,
From now on, her breasts will no longer be big, firm or “supple.” They won’t even serve as a public symbol of her fertility or of her interest in the task of mothering. Her breasts are now something more matter-of-fact. They are simply dispensable physical objects. She absolutely robbed them of their cultural, symbolic power. And what’s so completely thrilling about this, is that she did it on her own, one single woman — one single decision — against the machine.
I just don’t know how I feel about calling a mastectomy “thrilling.” She didn’t do this to entertain you. What do you think?