All I can say is, thank god we live a world in which it’s perfectly acceptable to comment on a stranger’s breasts and/or her decision to have them removed in a preventative mastectomy. My greatest fear is that one day I’ll wake up and America will no longer be a place where I can weigh in on Angelina Jolie‘s decision to be proactive about her health. Medical decisions will go back to being left up to the people involved, or maybe sometimes their family and friends, and loud-mouth opinion havers won’t have a thing to do with their flapping gums! Think how fat everyone’s tongues are going to get, without all that exercise. What a nightmare. I shiver to think about it.
But I should put it out of my mind, because it’s a distant reality. Thank god we’re still able to throw opinions around with impunity in regards to situations we know nothing about. As you may recall, earlier this year, Angelina elected to have both of her breasts removed after she tested for the BRCA1 gene and an 87% chance of developing breast cancer, the same disease that killed her mother and aunt, both at young ages. It was a decision that she made for herself and so that she could be around longer for her family, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s the last we should’ve heard about it. Her partner Brad Pitt expressed his gratitude and awe for her bravery, her kids weren’t frightened by it, and Angelina now has a risk of breast cancer that’s below 5%.
That’s great and all, but doesn’t anyone else in Hollywood want to weigh in? Maybe Melissa Etheridge, who used to be friends with Brad back in the day and fought breast cancer herself? Doesn’t she have anything to say? This seems right up her alley, and like a totally appropriate opportunity for her to speak up:
“I have to say, I feel a little differently. I have that gene mutation too, and [a preventative double mastectomy is] not something I would believe in for myself. I wouldn’t call [having a preventative mastectomy] a brave choice. I actually think it’s the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer. It’s the stress that will turn that gene on or not. Plenty of people have the gene mutation and everything, but it never comes to cancer, so I would say to anybody faced with that, that choice is way down the line on the spectrum of what you can do and to really consider the advancements we’ve made in things like nutrition and stress levels. I’ve been cancer free for nine years now, and looking back, I completely understand why I got cancer. There was so much acidity in everything. I really encourage people to go a lot longer and further before coming to that conclusion.”
Perfect, yes! This is completely appropriate, because there is only one way to beat cancer, and once you do it, it confers your doctorate onto you and you become qualified to speak about everyone else’s experiences and judge them however you see fit! I’m so glad you said something, Melissa, because I was worried we were going to respect Angelina at this time, since she already shared something really private with the public in hopes that her decision could help others.
But doesn’t anyone have anything to say about Melissa’s comment? And I don’t mean you, Brad, you’re actually qualified, so that’s no fun. I mean someone else, someone completely separate from the situation. I just need more people to tell me their opinions on this, because Angelina making her own decisions and speaking about them is so incomplete without other celebrities piling on. Brooke Burke, don’t you have anything to say? Don’t hide your light under a bushel, girl!
“I feel like to comment on somebody else’s decision and their motivation and to criticize it in any way feels really inappropriate for me. And I bite my tongue because Angelina is not a personal friend and I can’t speak about her experience, but doing something electively to avoid greats odds that you can have a fatal disease, not only is it brave, but I think it’s pretty intelligent.”
Preach! PREACH, sister! Continue doing exactly that which you’re speaking against! And you’re so right to point out that you don’t know Angelina! That just gives you more credibility as a source. But what am I saying? You guys don’t need this kind of instruction, you’re already out there killin’ it with the interviews. Just keep it up, ladies, and I’ll see you at the national Mind
Your Her Own Business Convention in July. Can’t wait!