Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 5:17 AM
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Never mind that this awareness is now so mainstream that every football player was sporting the symbolic color pink somewhere on his uniform during Sunday’s NFL games – with some players even wearing pink shoes.
But there’s no gainsaying that the focus of this awareness these days is more on women like Angelina Jolie who have prophylactic breast surgeries (aka boob jobs) than on those who have breast removal surgeries to actually prevent cancer metastasis. In fact, oncologists are referring to the alarming number of women with no symptoms of breast cancer who are having double mastectomies for cosmetic implants as “the Angelina effect.”
(Why not skip the mastectomies and just get boob jobs like normal women? Probably because the pretext of cancer operates like a form of Munchhausen syndrome for these wannabe breast cancer survivors….)
Indeed, the media have been hailing Jolie, without any hint of irony, as some patron saint of breast cancer survivors, which was the effect of TIME magazine making her elective surgery the cover story for its May 27, 2013 edition.
But here, in part, is how I pooh-poohed their beatification of her:
Alas, in our celebrity-obsessed culture, having an A-lister like Jolie do so somehow makes it okay, perhaps even fashionable…
Jolie did not opt to remain au naturel (i.e., flat chested). Now that would have been heroic, and truly worthy of media beatification. Instead, she got a boob job … too.
Which raises the question: why hail Jolie as the patron saint of breast-cancer survivors when all she did was elect to look like every other actress in Hollywood who makes a living by showing off the most titillating fake breasts money can buy?
(“Angelina Jolie’s ‘Heroic Decision’ to Get Breast Implants…? The iPINIONS Journal, May 16, 2013)
Well, you can just imagine the hate mail this incited. Except that there’s also no gainsaying the superficial regard far too many women now have for this radical surgery:
We’re seeing a large number of women requesting a preventive mastectomy for peace of mind, women who’ve been diagnosed but don’t have a genetic predisposition so wouldn’t benefit.
These are patients who say, ‘Can you do for me what Angelina Jolie had done?’ They’re on the increase.
This was Professor Kefah Mokbel, of the London Breast Institute, being quoted in an October 3, 2013 report in the New York Post.
But, with all due respect to the notion of getting some “peace of mind,” it seems far more likely that “More women [are] requesting double mastectomies” (as the headline to this report declared) only because:
It’s better to look good than to feel good.
Moreover, they are no doubt hoping to be complimented after surgery with:
You look mahvalous!
(With apologies to actor Billy Crystal who made these two lines famous with his parody of Fernando Lamas on Saturday Night Live during the mid-1980s.)
In any event, my cynicism is more properly vindicated by this research finding at the University of Minnesota, which was presented at the 2013 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons:
Women who have a healthy breast removed over fears they might later develop breast cancer may not improve their survival rate, according to new research.
(Daily Mail, October 7, 2013)
Which raises the question: if, like Jolie, you had the BRCA gene but no trace of breast cancer, would you opt for a double mastectomy even though your life expectancy might improve by no more than six months, as this research found…?
Meanwhile, it must have been some boob, with silicone implants for brains, who called for a “No Bra Day” this Sunday, October 13. After all, most women I know have natural breasts and go to church on Sundays. And none of them would be caught dead strutting into church with their girls jiggling like two mounds of breast-plated jello.
On the other hand, such is the imposing conceit of women with fake boobs that they see nothing wrong with drawing attention even from the word of God with bra-less breasts, which titillate the way breasts once did only with the help of bullet bras … right?
Finally, to put this elective-mastectomy-for-boob-job craze into perspective, the National Institutes of Health estimates that 300,000 people in the United States die from obesity each year. But this, according to NIH estimates, is more than five times the number of those who die from breast cancer (40,000) and ovarian cancer (15,000) … combined.
Yet I don’t recall TIME magazine publishing a cover story on the “Roker effect” – about the alarming number of people rushing out to get gastric bypass surgery after NBC’s popular weatherman Al Roker publicized his….
Ergo, with homage to Shakespeare’s Hamlet:
[Vanity], thy name is woman!