Wednesday, 15 May 2013


I have been meaning write to Angelina Jolie for some time and was thinking of mentioning her breasts.  I'm glad I didn't write as intended, because I can now write to her without embarrassment and focus entirely on her breasts.

I know lots of people have written about this, but what would be the point of not blogging about it when it has affected me so utterly?

You may remember there was a bit of controversy, although not so much disagreement I seem to remember among pubescent males of all ages, when Lara Croft 2 was unveiled (so to speak) with eye-catching (literally if you were too close and of a certain height), enhanced and somewhat gravity-defying female protuberances. There was little such controversy when Angelina was chosen to play the part, for fairly conspicuous reasons.  Not much of what I have read about her brave decision to undergo a double mastectomy has referred to that fact.

I am just so impressed and in awe when anyone willingly subjects themselves to so dramatic a procedure. Of course she rationalises it with statistics and makes somewhat light of the unavoidable nature of the decision.  But that doesn't make it any easier in fact. There are plenty of women (even now coming forward because of her action) who didn't take the decision, despite the logic of the numbers.

The reports have referred almost entirely to the campaigning nature of Angelina's recent work and how this surgery fits in with that.  It praises her for the influence her action will have on the decisions and lives of others.  That is undoubtedly true.  She has done some very special things.  And this latest act and her decision to publicise it will certainly have an impact - already is having an impact. I laud her actions.

But I just wanted to add that this is not just another celeb doing good work; not just a person in the spotlight taking advantage of publicity; this is someone who no doubt considered her breasts among her most important assets (I know I did and no doubt the director of Lara Croft did too).  How much braver can you be than to submit yourselves to surgery to lose something that is so important to your image.  OK, she isn't losing them exactly and these days one never knows what's real and what isn't, but to then reveal your actions to your public, that is something else.

Angelina, I salute you.  And I'm sorry about that last letter, please tear it up now.


  1. I knew a woman who found out through a cousin that they had the gene in question here. She went to get tested, and she too was a carrier.

    She went in for a double mastectomy, which she felt good about even though the girls came back clean. She then went in for a hysterectomy. She had already had her children, and wasn't really worried about this either, as she thought it was prophylactic.

    It was not. By the time they went in, even though she was symptom free, she was pretty late in discovering ovarian cancer. She found for ten years and eight rounds of chemo. She lost her battle last year on April 14.

    The kicker is...even though the fight was long and brutal, she was able to leave behind two sons who were 18 and 20, not 8 and 10.

    1. I hadn't realised that so many women have ovaries removed to prevent ovarian cancer. Heard it on the news this morning in a discussion following on from the Jolie item.

    2. Sorry your acquaintance lost her battle though. I do think these treatments are brutal and life-prolonging at quite a cost. I wonder what I'd do . . .

  2. As I've probably mentioned before, I'm not one who reads or watches the news much, so I wasn't really aware of this story. I've just done a bit of reading up on it. I have to agree, it was brave of her, not to actually take the action she did, but to make it public.