Friday, July 28, 2017 at 8:36 AM

First Cancer, Then Divorce, Now Bell’s Palsy? ‘Please cry for me, Angelina’

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Angelina Jolie is opening up about her difficult year, from a Bell’s Palsy diagnosis to her split from Brad.

In a Vanity Fair cover story, Jolie reveals that in addition to high blood pressure, she developed Bell’s Palsy, a condition resulting from damage to facial nerves, which caused one side of her face to droop.

(USA Today, July 27, 2017)

I know my title conveys heartlessness toward this celebrity do-gooder. But Angie and me, we have history.

That said:

Poor pretty rich star

How tortured you are.

Dear God, what else can befall

This fairest star of them all.

Here is a reprise of my PSA from January 31, 2014. It explains why I suspect this much ado about her Bell’s Palsy is a justification for a face lift, just as the much ado about her cancer was for that boob job.



Forget Angelina! Hannah’s the Breast Cancer Survivor Worthy of Praise


Angelina Jolie famously elected to replace her healthy breasts with implants because she feared she might develop terminal cancer … someday. And she won near-universal praise for doing so. TIME magazine even ran a cover on May 27, 2013, heralding “The Angelina Effect” she would have on women.

AngelinaJolieTombraiderI, however, stood virtually alone in pooh-poohing the hosannas to her. And I received near-universal flak for doing so. Notably, women got their panties in a twist because I dared to question whether Jolie was more interested in preserving the look of her two most bankable assets than preventing cancer.

On Tuesday the New York Times published an op-ed by actress Angelina Jolie on her decision to have a double mastectomy. Almost immediately, she became the subject of media beatification the likes of which we have not seen, well, since Barack Obama announced his candidacy for president of the United States in 2008. …

You’d never know from this coverage that tens of thousands of women, including lesser-known celebrities, have talked openly about having a double mastectomy. 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). 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)

Even more shocking and dismaying, however, is that my critics seemed not the least bit chastened five months later when Professor Kefah Mokbel of the London Breast Institute issued the following warning, which the New York Post reported on October 3, 2013:

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.

Not even when, around the same time, researchers at the University of Minnesota presented a report at the 2013 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, which included the following dispositive finding (as reported in the October 7, 2013 edition of the Daily Mail):

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.

article-2547914-1B0D390200000578-367_306x423Well, given that scientific evidence did nothing to disabuse Angie’s avengers of their misguided praise, perhaps the sublime image of what a real patron saint of breast-cancer survivors should look like will. And, thanks to the March 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan no less, Hannah Foxley is a vision to behold, posing proudly, I dare say even seductively, with her bare, scared chest where her pert breast used to be.

Hannah Foxley, who recently had a mastectomy, says she wants to show women you can still be beautiful even when you’ve had parts of your body removed.

‘I have learnt to love it and adopt a positive body image and I want to empower other women to do the same. I want them to see my pictures and say ‘she looks beautiful and I can too.’’

Surely no woman in her right mind would praise the fake, Playboy-style body image Jolie represents over the real, naturally beautiful body image Foxley does … right?

But let me hasten to clarify that nothing I’ve ever written on this subject is meant to convey any disrespect for women who opt for post-mastectomy reconstructive surgery.

I just think a woman like Foxley is far more worthy of being hailed as the patron saint of breast-cancer survivors than Jolie. Don’t you?


I hope that reprise suffices as, well, justification for my cynicism.

In a similar vein, I hope you’ll forgive a final tidbit about this imperious Hollywood diva playing Mother Theresa in real life. It revolves around two quotes, which constitute Jolie unwittingly vindicating my cynicism.

This first one is from the November 4, 2014, edition of Closer. It has Jolie swooning about her desire to be a good wife, mother, and homemaker.

In a new interview with ‘Today’ correspondent Tom Brokaw, the Oscar-winning actress, 39, revealed since exchanging ‘I Dos’ in an intimate ceremony in the South of France Brad, 50, has inspired her to ‘be a better wife,’ and learn how to cook!

This second one is from the August 2017 issue of Vanity Fair. It has Jolie still swooning about her desire to be a good … mother and homemaker.

I’m just wanting to make the proper breakfast and keep the house. That’s my passion. At the request of my kids, I’m taking cooking classes. …

I’ve been trying for nine months to be really good at just being a homemaker … but now I need to get my boots on and go hang, take a trip.

Now bear in mind that she has six children between the ages of 9 and 15.  Yet she’s telling the world that she’s been trying to be a good homemaker only since her split from husband Brad Pitt. Further, that after only nine months of this re-commitment, she needs a break.

One gets the sense that Jolie has no greater regard for marriage and motherhood than she has for movies – in which she’s always the star. This might explain why she appears to treat her home like itinerant movie sets, her kids like itinerant extras.

No doubt Pitt would readily admit his faults. But it’s easy to see how Jolie’s episodic commitment to the prerequisites of home life might have contributed to the breakdown of their marriage.


Family friend affirms my cynical take on Jolie

July 29

I took a lot of flak for casting Jolie in such a cynical light, especially with respect to her using her kids as props. Well, as vindication goes, it doesn’t get any better than this:

According to the family friend, Jolie’s candid conversation about the kids came as a shock, as Pitt’s main priority has always been to protect the privacy of their children, refusing to speak of them publicly. Because of that, it was unexpected to see the children’s lives at home exposed in the pages of Vanity Fair.

‘It’s surprising that Angelina would use the children to help herself in the story, especially after years where both were dedicated to protecting their privacy,’ the family friend told ET on Friday.

(Entertainment Tonight, July 29, 2017)

Related commentaries:
Angelina Jolie
More about implants than cancer
Forget Angelina

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