Hollywood actress, humanitarian and mother Angelina Jolie underwent a double masectomy after she got genetic testing that found the BRCA gene. Her mother died at 56 of ovarian cancer. How may the media have influenced her decision? How is the media communicating her decision to their audiences? I have seen most “mainstream” media outlets framing her decision as a positive and courageous one. I’ve also seen alternative news sources like Natural News put the actress under fire for her decision, referring to it as one that “inspires women to maim themselves.” Harsh words.
Regardless of your standpoint on the issue, her decision was not an easy one. In my opinion, we should refrain from passing judgement on people especially when it comes to issues of personal health. Losing a close loved one to cancer, as she did, is extremely difficult. Knowing you might be at risk, however small it may be, is hard. As a culture, we still have an extreme fear of “the C-word.”
I also worry about how she will communicate her decision to her young children, and whether or not they’ll make the same decisions as their mother regarding their possible cancer risk.