“My Medical Choice” by Angelina Jolie
In a beautiful and moving article written by actress Angelina Jolie, readers are taken on her journey to decide to have a preventive mastectomy (make sure to check out the full article in the link above). When I read this, I instantly was overcome with a renowned sense of empowerment. All too often we hear stories of celebrities getting arrested, divorced or making adult videos, but not often enough do we hear of their battles with real-life problems. Celebrities are people too, they just have a greater platform to speak out and be heard. I’m sure many celebrities keep their personal struggles to themselves for fear of media backlash and to protect their privacy, but Angelina’s choice was not just for her children, but for women.
My grandmother died of breast cancer when I was three weeks old, and my mother has had her share of scary doctors visits in regards to breast health. I, being a patient at Children’s Hospital for CVID (best described in this article on Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_immunodeficiency#Table_II:_Predominantly_antibody_de.EF.AC.81ciencies, see “Table II: Predominantly Antibody Deficiencies”) and Early Stage Lung Disease (due to increased B and T-Cells in the lungs, not smoking), hate thinking breast cancer may also one day be on that list.
However, if being a patient at Children’s has taught me anything, it is that humans are resilient. Angelina did not shrink in fear. She chose to be proactive and not shy away from public backlash. When I heard of men on Twitter and other social media complaining she had ‘cut her boobs off,’ I wanted to collectively slap the dumb out of them.
Women are not defined by our appearance. Whether we are bald (if you haven’t read my post about my mother’s experience with Alopecia, check it out https://ruizsar.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/my-mommy-is-bald-and-oh-my-is-she-beautiful/), or “boob-less,” we have much more to offer our loved ones than parts of our bodies. Angelina gave up some natural assets yes, but she has gained her life and a life for her family. I hope one day we reach a point where the sacrifice or loss of socially “beautiful” things show not what is gone, but what has been gained.