I’m not a big Angelina fan. Obviously she’s gorgeous, there’s no denying that. But I just…don’t love her. And not even in the fun love to hate her in the way I cruise GOOP and enjoy-hate Gwynnie. I just, don’t care for Angie. I’m still team Jen on that front, although I certainly think Angie did Jen a favor. If Brad’s that dude…let him go, and also someone make that man bathe for the love of God! I once had a run in with her dad, I was very pregnant with Max while she was pregnant with the twins and I was leaving a store as he was entering. He quickened his step to open the door for me and gave me the sweetest smile, then looked down at my gigantic belly and smiled wider. He said hello and asked how I was feeling, then told me to have a good day. It was so…genuine. So sweet. But that has nothing to do with this.
Angelina and cancer. Ugh.
Surely she knew there would be backlash. No matter what someone in the public eye does there will always be someone else who will vocally disapprove. But I bet it took her by surprise that it was cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge (who has since “clarified” her comments which is PR code for I said what I meant but then people got pissed so I had to make it better). In her original statement she said that Angelina had not made the brave choice by having a double mastectomy, but rather ‘the most fearful choice one could make’ and that Angelina should have faced cancer head on. What is head on?
I respect Etheridge. She is one hell of a fighter and she has experience with this that makes it hard to be objective. But is she right? Did Angie make a fearful choice?
I say no. She did, indeed, face it head on. With 6 kids (is that right? I’ve lost count, but OMG aren’t they all cute?), an 87% chance of cancer and having watched her mother pass away from cancer she did the brave thing, she nipped it in the bud. Pun unintended, but you know…whatever works. But this is brave in another area, one that most of us don’t have to think about. Angelina is a STAR. Yes, she is indeed a good actress, but let’s be honest most of her success is due to her allure, her raw sexuality. She is both powerfully sexual – almost predatory- and yet remains fragile. She is the fantasy. This? Is not a fantasy. This brings her body to a human level. Of course she has the best doctors and the best care and should she ever do a topless scene again I would wager that no one could tell anything was done.
But to put all of that aside easily and chose to have your much beloved by all breasts removed because there is a chance you might get cancer? Brave.
Another thing that makes this a brave choice is that in true Jolie fashion she is not only speaking out about it but working so that this is available for ALL women. Not that everyone would make the same choice she did, to have a double mastectomy, but to have the test which now comes in at over $3000. With knowledge comes power and if women who have a family history and meet the qualifiers want to get this test we need to make it available and covered by insurance. Then armed with that knowledge they can make the right decision for their family, whatever that might be. What is it about our cultural mindset that we can’t seem to get it into our heads that preventative medicine is actually cheaper?
Angelina did more for breast cancer awareness and research than any Facebook meme could dream about. She hasn’t shied away from speaking about it, but she waited until she was ready to do it on her terms putting her family first. That is brave.
Etheridge’s clarification reads: “I don’t have any opinion on what she ‘should have’ done. All are free to choose, I only objected to the term ‘brave’ describing it.”
I can respect that statement, although I disagree. Brave is relative to our own obstacles and fears. Angelina faced all of hers “head on” and that is brave.
What do you think?