A few days back when I read about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy, I was in awe. It was more of an inspiring, astounding and applauding expression (the awe, I mean) and I just wanted to thank her for being what she is. After that, I read a number of articles about her decision to come out in the public and make people aware of her medical choices. There were some pieces where there was a lot of scepticism as a few individuals believe that this is more of a publicity stunt. Oh! Come on! Why would a lady as grand and renowned as Jolie get her breasts removed for media hype? Of course, her mastectomy did get the hype which evidently wouldn’t have been attained by any medical procedure undertaken by an ordinary woman but see, that’s what makes the difference here: We are talking about it because that woman is Angelina Jolie and we all hear when she speaks; we all see what she shows us because she is powerful and she has been using her influence in just the right direction. Her choice to speak out about the faulty gene that she carries from her mother and her increased risk of developing breast cancer has definitely made a lot of oblivious women more conscious about the varied medical options they have right in front of them. She has been quite proactive because she promotes the long-standing proverb that says: ‘Prevention is better than cure’ and she has shown us how to work out on this.
I read Kelly’s piece about the same on ‘The Outlier Collective’ (one of my most favourite blogs). Her post is called: ‘Sometimes you have to let the boobs do the talking’ and it sparks an impressive conversation on mastectomies and women’s choices. Let’s get straight here: If you’re a woman, you have to accept that a woman’s breasts make her body comprehensive. They are perhaps the most significant physical feature of womanhood. Now, if you’re a man, even you know, blatantly and unquestionably that a woman’s breasts complete a woman for you. At least at some stage in life, you must have probably associated a woman with just those two things she carries; yes I know you were a douche bag then (or are even now) but here we have come down to this decree again: A woman’s breasts are her assets. So, when a lady who is considered the ‘Sexiest Woman’ on the planet takes a step as huge as this and talks about it, then you do not have to doubt her intentions, you just have to stand up and clap for her.
Additionally, a number of people are speculating the consequences that Jolie’s announcement might bring forth. One explicit positive outcome is that women will become more sentient and upbeat and they will be motivated to deliberate on the existing medical alternatives. However, we say that every woman is not as advantaged as Jolie to correctly get her genes tested and opt for a double mastectomy; yes, you need ‘money’ (a lot of it) for walking in her footsteps, but what more you need is the nerve to actually do it. In one of the comments in Kelly’s post, I read this statement– ‘Cash doesn’t always give you guts.’ That is so true. Hence, we can’t deflect from the fact that she did do something commendable especially by using her mastectomy as a way to communicate with women all over the world.
Another wonderful article worth mentioning here is the one that appeared in The Guardian a few days back. You can read it here. In this article Hadley Freeman talks about other well-known women who have gone through similar procedures in the past but how Jolie is the only most high-profile, celebrated and eminent woman to have believed in standing up for the feminine population in this way. Hadley concentrates on the verity that part of being a “real” and “human” woman is facing the possibility of breast cancer and dealing with it accordingly. Her article did help me form an opinion and reflect on the extensive media enthusiasm in relation to women, cancer, Jolie and boobs.
As I wrap up this post, I’d just ring a bell. This Angelina Jolie is the same girl who endured severe depression in her teens and early twenties. She is the same young woman who tried to destroy herself umpteen times and was deeply addicted to drugs. They say she was a rebel, a party-animal, had a complicated love life, a troubled childhood and was in a string of affairs with men and women. Look all over and see where she is today.
I am rooting for her and I hope you’re doing the same!
Note: Though I am sure you must have already read Jolie’s article about her mastectomy that she wrote for The New York Times; still if you missed that one, you can read it here (and thank me later)!