I’ve never been a big believer in “if a celebrity does it, we should follow” camp. Somehow, the first-world problems of rich actresses don’t relate to my content suburban existence. The same goes for celebrity marriages—oh, how lovely it is that you’re managing a life balance with kids and work. I’m certain that army of staff around you, from nannies to housekeepers and trainers, affect that not at all.
And yet, hearing Angelina Jolie speak about her health issues, the fear of dying from cancer—a very real one in a family riddled with cases—and how she has dealt with them, inspires and at least adds substance to the conversation, with a finely tuned perspective. Somehow I missed her March essay in the New York Times (you can read it here), but it is an extremely honest and straightforward look at her choices and how she addressed each. The best part is that she keeps it personal, and does NOT suggest that her preemptive strikes—double mastectomy, removal of ovaries, et al—may not be for everyone.
You may be one of those who delight in the fact that those who have it all—looks, money, a drop-dead gorgeous husband who supports your work, and great kids—also deal with bad news. You’ll be thrilled then at the fact that her latest surgery plunged this forty-year-old young thing into menopause. Quel dommage! I remember when I had uterine surgery around that age, and all of the literature screamed “don’t get a hysterectomy!” Evidently, unnatural, induced menopause is even worse than the real thing. I lived a whole ten years more before it hit…
So as I can enjoy Angelina’s “Today Show” interview (with Tom Brokaw, no less), and even her new, reportedly unsettling movie with Brad about a marriage in trouble (By The Sea, due out mid-November), I can still have some compassion for what she has in store. Welcome to the emotional roller-coaster, the hot flashes, the waking up to a set of unexplained conditions that came out of nowhere. Hopefully, that loving family and attentive staff will make it just a little bit better.
Now can we still be just a little bit jealous?