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,
I agree. This habit of couch potatoes to judge everybody else for being too thin/fat/ugly has something medically wrong in it.
Just read your article on Angelina Jolie. I think it is excellent. You hit the “nail on the head”.
You addressed the media frenzy and spin which “sucks” people in and brought to attention the “my” “choice” in her article, PERFECT!!!
People often mistake “choice” as telling others what to do, wrong!
Ah, Angelina, the Mia of our generation…
I agree with 100%. This is her choice and her body. She can not and should not be held responsible for what other people do. There is nothing wrong with telling people that they have options, which is what she did.
Thank you for being such a good voice of reason!
You’re absolutely spot on, I think she was super-careful of staying away of any advice or even hinting that this route is good for anyone but her because she of course knew this was going to happen. So it’s very brave for her to step out knowing that the critics will come.
Well said, Roza. It’s a tough enough choice without having to carry the burden of other people’s personal choices as well. I appreciate you empowering women to think and make choices for ourselves.
As a man there are plenty of people who might say sense I’m not a woman I don’t have a “right” to have an opinion on the subject. Well sorry I do have an opinion.
Like so many, I’ve been affected by breast cancer though family and friends. The fact that advances in medical science can allow both women and men to make medical decision is amazing in and of itself.
That being said I believe those decisions belong to the individual as long as they are not in violation of current law. If you have problems with the law, work to change it.
100% agree that every case is different and it is up to the individual to make the best informed decision for their body – just because AJ did it does not mean it is good for everyone…
anyone that judges others, is a worse self-judger… no one walks the path of another… I wish people would ‘get that’ simple concept. Everyone is always doing the best they know how for themselves, and that IS (and should be for others) enough.
I agree! It is important to respect her choice AND make our own choices with awareness and intention., Thanks for raising an important point and sharing something so timely.
Stellar work on this website.