Since Angelina Jolie’s revelation on the NYT’s Op-Ed page five days ago discussions and opinions about her decision took several turns and twists. Yesterday The Times’s editorial board published a disclosure – as many people commended her for the brave decision, yet many others criticized her. I decided to write this post to offer my viewpoint specifically to those people who criticize her.
Speaking generally, we obsess about celebrities to such extent that we watch every step of theirs under the microscope, we barge in to their private lives, we monitor their weight losses and gains… But oftentimes we don’t just follow their steps, we judge – and sometimes we judge intensely and ferociously. Even the news media spends a huge amount of time on such topics – when there are so many important topics and events that urgently need to be discussed.
Now let’s get back to Angelina Jolie’s decision. This is Angelina’s health and Angelina’s body – and I am certain that she is fully capable of making the best decision for herself. She is a smart woman, who has access to the best doctors and all the information and resources that she needs. From her article it is clear to me that she weighed different factors and considered various opinions before making her decision.
Some people are concerned that Angelina’s choice will lead to many unnecessary mastectomies. What a burden to put on one person’s shoulders and keep them accountable for other people’s choices – especially when the person never talked anyone into making any decisions about their health. Angelina isn’t the first woman and celebrity undergoing mastectomy as a preventative measure, and she is definitely not going to be the last one. All Angelina did is she made a decision about HER health, shared her decision with her fans, and raised awareness for others. In no part of the article does she give prescriptions to women. She just says that she hopes that women will be able to get the test (note, “to be able to” and not “should”) and that she hopes women at risk will know that they have options.
Also, please keep in mind, the title of her article is “My Medical Choice”. The key words here are “my” and “choice”. Also, she specifically reminds her readers that every woman’s case is different – something that we should know and remember anyhow. So please always keep that in mind. Also:
• educate yourself about your health;
• know your risk factors;
• never make rushed decisions;
• assess your lifestyle;
• take necessary adjustments to your lifestyle for improving your quality of life!
Wishing you health and happiness,