Hooters and Chi Chis and Boobies, Oh My

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I am tired of hearing about Angelina Jolie’s boobs.

For those of you who live in caves or have had no access to the most important news story on every possible outlet, Angelina Jolie recently announced that she has undergone a “preventive double mastectomy” because she tested positive for the BRCA1  gene, which shows an increased risk for breast cancer.   Reporters are singing praises for her bravery, and Brad Pitt has gone public to say, with moist eyes, how much he still loves her.  She says she did it so that she can be there for her kids in the future.

Let me see if I’m understanding this correctly.    A famous millionaire was able to pay for a very expensive medical test that most of us can’t afford, and which is not covered by most insurance.

She then chose the double mastectomy, followed by expensive reconstructive surgery that made her famous breasts even more beautiful and famous than they were before.

Her loving man still loves her despite the best, most lovely set of tits that money can buy.

She wants to be there for her children.

Aww, let’s nominate her for sainthood.

Unlike the average woman, who can’t afford to be tested for the BRCA1 gene, she was able to make an admittedly difficult decision.  And unlike the average woman, that decision wasn’t made more difficult by the prospect of living the remainder of her life with a disfigured body – because, unlike the average woman, she could afford a terrific plastic surgeon afterward.

She is being lauded for raising awareness of the genetic test for BRCA1.  I find that amusing because awareness isn’t the problem.  Most women are aware of the test.

I know that I have been aware of the test since I had the first lump removed from my breast ten years ago.  My doctor told me about the test, told me how much it would cost, and explained that my insurance would not cover it.  Then he reminded me of my high-risk status because of my mothers’s diagnosis at age 38, and sent me on my merry way for my biopsy.

Awareness of the test isn’t the problem.  Affordability is the problem.  It needs to be made affordable to the average person, and it needs to be covered by medical insurance just like any other preventive testing.

Let’s talk about bravery.  Lori, who survived and became an outspoken advocate for her Sisters in Pink.  Her best friend Dee, who lost the battle before her thirtieth birthday but never, ever stopped fighting.    Kay – my Mom – who fought it twice and only survived long enough to hold one of her seven grandchildren.  Kristy.  Delores.  Sherry.  Donna.  Aunt Noni.  Chris.  Even Pam, the first Mrs. Big Guy.   The list is too damn long.

Every one of those women loved her children and wanted a future with them just as much as Angelina Jolie wants a future with hers.

Every time I hear someone on TV talk about Angelina Jolie’s bravery and difficult decision, I get angry.  I can’t help it.  I’m sorry, but she’s no braver than the women who fight breast cancer every day.  The only difference between them and her is that she has the money to be proactive.

This whole thing strikes me as being a bit Marie Antoinette-ish.   If the poor were starving, Marie Antoinette declared, then “let them eat cake!”   And now, if you’re worried about breast cancer, Angelina Jolie crows “let them be tested!”

Angelina Jolie is not a role model in this situation.  She’s a woman who was rich enough to find out if she was at risk, and rich enough to do something about it.  That’s all.

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16 thoughts on “Hooters and Chi Chis and Boobies, Oh My

  1. Very good point about the cost. I was wondering about that yesterday when I saw the article in the paper, the news feed, Facebook, etc. The new thing is that she is supposedly having her ovaries removed too.

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  2. I wasn’t sure about how aware most women were about the test, so I’m glad to hear you say that most women are (I haven’t seen my wife to ask her). I was trying to root for her and tell myself that any discussion that comes about is a good thing, but she shouldn’t be made queen of breast cancer prevention when so many other women have actually had breast cancer and fought it and won. God bless all the beautiful ladies you mention and I pray as well for all the ladies in the world to never have to deal with this terrible cancer.

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  3. Well, bless you for speaking the truth. I’ve been searching for the words but, by gosh, you found them! By the way, I’m from the UK and am horrified/gobsmacked/appalled by the news coverage given to Angie and her boobs. I also work in Africa in one of the poorest countries in the world (Sierra Leone) where the average life expectancy for a woman is 48 years old. There is so much more I want to say… but, for now, thank you for speaking out and dispelling some important myths. You have my profound respect. All best wishes, Michele

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    • Thank you! I was afraid I was the only person who wasn’t impressed by her.

      Remember when Ann Jillian went through breast cancer in the 1980’s? What a classy lady. She didn’t hide it or lie about it, but she just went right on working. She did much more to promote awareness — and to help people realize it was nothing to be ashamed of.

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  4. Yess, somebody said it!!! I was thinking the exact same thing when I heard about it! Now everyone is acting like she’s a martyr. How about cutting off the boobies and not getting new ones like the average woman would have no choice but to do? Then I would look at her differently.
    -Ms. Bliss

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    • Absolutely. I will feel a little sorry for her if she decides to have the ovaries removed, although most of us wouldn’t have that option unless it was deemed “medically necessary”. And most of us wouldn’t hold press conferences to tell the world we were having it done..

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  5. Thank you for saying what needed to be said and isn’t for some reason being said anywhere. You are right, she isn’t the average woman who cannot afford the test, the elective surgery or the reconstruction afterward.

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  6. […] to help me deal with recovery from a horrific car accident.  I have written about everything from Angelina Jolie’s boobs to fanfiction to flushing toilets in a power outage.  I’ve re-lived my accident and mourned my […]

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