Angelina Jolie may not be my favourite Hollywood personality, but she is a pretty solid human being in terms of her advocacy and activism for important social justice issues and her philanthropy. Plus, she’s living proof of the fact that celebrities can have privacy and live lives out of the spotlight if they really want to – especially after she revealed the shocking news that she recently underwent a preventative double mastectomy in a wonderfully frank and quite moving op-ed for The New York Times on Monday.
Jolie, whose mother died after a decade-long battle with breast cancer, discovered last year that she is a carrier of the BRCA1 gene mutation which gave her a nearly 87% chance of suffering from breast cancer as well as a 50% chance of ovarian cancer. This is devastating news, but news which she refused to take lying down, instead opting for surgery to cut her risk drastically.
Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy. I started with the breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is more complex.
On April 27, I finished the three months of medical procedures that the mastectomies involved. During that time I have been able to keep this private and to carry on with my work.
But I am writing about it now because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience. Cancer is still a word that strikes fear into people’s hearts, producing a deep sense of powerlessness. But today it is possible to find out through a blood test whether you are highly susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer, and then take action.
My own process began on Feb. 2 with a procedure known as a “nipple delay,” which rules out disease in the breast ducts behind the nipple and draws extra blood flow to the area. This causes some pain and a lot of bruising, but it increases the chance of saving the nipple.
Two weeks later I had the major surgery, where the breast tissue is removed and temporary fillers are put in place. The operation can take eight hours. You wake up with drain tubes and expanders in your breasts. It does feel like a scene out of a science-fiction film. But days after surgery you can be back to a normal life.
Nine weeks later, the final surgery is completed with the reconstruction of the breasts with an implant. There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful.
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.
There’s more to the article – Jolie discusses how the decision affected her and her children emotionally, how supportive Brad Pitt has been throughout the ordeal and also encourages other women to seek options should they find themselves in the same position. The whole thing is definitely worth a read. Kudos to Angelina Jolie for bringing attention to this very important – and increasingly common – issue.
May 14, 2013 at 6:10 am by Jennifer
Angelina Jolie seems to have been lying low lately. She’s was in London doing good things; she appeared at the G8 Summit, raising awareness for victims of sexual violence in warzones in the Middle East. From The Huffington Post:
The Hollywood star joined British Foreign Secretary William Hague in announcing $36 million in additional funding from G-8 nations to go toward a series of measures for preventing sexual violence and ensuring justice for its survivors.
For too long, Jolie said, survivors of sexual violence have been “the forgotten victims” of wars in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.
“Today, I believe that their voices have been heard,” she said alongside Hague, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and others at a meeting of foreign ministers from G-8 nations.
Despite her charitable efforts, she still managed to land a spot on the 20 Most Hated Celebrities List (#15).
It wasn’t until The Daily Mail posted these photos of a very skinny Angelina that I thought, whoa. Yeah, she’s always been thin — hence the very sarcastic “BREAKING NEWS” headline — but this seems really extreme. Look at her hand compared to her wrist! And look at her legs.What is happening here?
She and Kate Bosworth are rapidly shrinking. I think It’s alarming. Or is this just the new normal for how female celebrities look?
April 23, 2013 at 5:30 am by Catherine St. Ives
Today in “problems I can relate to”, Angelina Jolie has apparently been using hers and Brad Pitt‘s private jet to fly some of Brad’s favourite English food back to Los Angeles for him. Apparently he’s been missing his favourite curry spots and other things that the UK just does better, like baked beans and sweets and shit. Having just returned from living in England (and looking forward to moving back ASAP), I can feel Brad’s pain. There’s no such thing as a 44p bottle of no sugar added lemon squash here in New York City. No, you have to pay $7 for an imported one. Boo! As for the curry, there’s just no substitute for that.
From The Sun:
She had a special consignment of lamb bhuna, chicken korma and chicken tikka picked up from Brad’s favourite curry house in Surrey.
A source said: “Brad is back in America and has been longing for a decent curry.
“He really misses their Indian takeaway nights from when they lived in Surrey last year. Angelina arranged as a surprise for a load of it to be cooked and flash-freeze packed for her to fly home.
“So while she was at the G8, she sent her bodyguard Ray and eldest son Maddox to collect it and to stock up with more treats.
“They even got a load of Kingfisher and Cobra beer for Brad to wash it all down with.”
It helps when you can pack it all in on a private jet. It would be a struggle with the Easyjet baggage allowance.
Angelina and Maddox were reunited with Brad and the rest of the brood in LA at the weekend.
It was a sweet moment.
Because as well as the curry — and cans of sausages and baked beans — they’d also stocked up on jelly babies, Galaxy Ripple bars and several six packs of Irn Bru — which isn’t sold in their posh neighbourhood of Los Feliz.
Galaxy doesn’t hold a candle to Cadbury and Irn Bru isn’t really my jam, but hey, to each his own. I can’t really speak for the beer thing as I’m more of a cider girl myself, but I guess they weren’t all that into their own wine. Ugh, now I want cider and blackcurrant. And, you know, a private jet. Damn you, Brangelina!
April 16, 2013 at 11:30 am by Jennifer
Chris Brown is a hated celebrity but apparently not as much as Anne Hathaway (which James Franco totally gets, btw). Star magazine released their super scientific list of top 20 most hated Hollywood celebrities. Weirdly Jay Leno is more hated than Chris Brown, which is making me laugh really hard. Here’s the stupid list:
20. Chris Brown
19. Jesse James
18. Taylor Swift
17. Shia LaBeouf
16. Lindsay Lohan
15. Angelina Jolie
14. Jay Leno
13. Ashton Kutcher
12. LeAnn Rimes
10 and 11. Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian
9. Anne Hathaway
8. Justin Bieber
6. Matt Lauer
5. Katherine Heigl
4. John Mayer
3. Jennifer Lopez
2. Kristen Stewart
1. Gwyneth Paltrow
This is a pretty good list. I’m shocked to see that Kanye West isn’t on here. I love him but I thought he was one of the most hated people around. I’m not sure if he’s psyched or pissed not to be included. I also didn’t realize that people hated Matt Lauer this much. Damn. Too bad this poll was taken after Justin Bieber’s idiotic Anne Frank statement or I’m sure he would be higher up. Kristen Stewart now has the dubious honor of being one of the most hated and least attractive female celebrities. Hey, good for her! At least she’s good at stuff!
Who is your ultimate most hated celebrity?
April 16, 2013 at 4:30 am by Catherine St. Ives
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are apparently getting married sometime soon and everyone (especially Jennifer Aniston, LOLZ) wants to know when, but they’re not telling. The reports of a possible secret wedding during Christmas 2012 have been circulating for months, ever since Angie started wearing a wedding ring on her wifey finger, so of course every reporter she deigns to give a few precious moments of her time wants to know if they’re already married or what.
LOL, “No, it is not [a wedding ring].” Well, that’s convincing.
Personally, I couldn’t care less when (or if) these two walk down the aisle. I think they should just buy a private island and take their 8,000 kids and just be away from society as large forever. What do you think, though? Secretly married already?
March 29, 2013 at 9:30 am by Jennifer
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt decided to put out their own wine earlier this month and it was apparently a pretty shrewd business choice, as it’s all sold out already pretty much everywhere in the first 24 hours. Note to buyers: this shit is not polyjuice potion. You will not suddenly look like Brad or Angie by drinking their shitty alcohol. At $139 for a case, it needs to have magical properties because I’m a cheapskate.
From Yahoo News:
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s first wine has gone down a storm with buyers.
The Hollywood couple have unveiled their Miraval Rose 2012, which was produced at their southern French estate of Chateau Miraval.
It’s the first Miraval vintage stamped by Brangelina, in a joint venture with established vintner Marc Perrin. The back label reads “bottled by Jolie-Pitt and Perrin”.
A Perrin family spokesman said the first 6,000 bottles put on sale online on Thursday were bought within five hours. The wine sold for 105 euro (£91, $139) for a six-bottle case.
The wine, in a bottom-heavy, champagne-like bottle, goes on sale to restaurants and wholesalers later this month.
I don’t know, I kind of don’t get the draw. I suppose Brangelina fans are going to grab it up, but do Brangelina actually have 6,000 fans? (Well, 1,000, since that’s how many cases there were.) I guess I’d try it for a laugh – so long as it was free.