Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Celebrity Obsession

This may not be Manilow related, although on some level I think it is. When did our society become so obsessed with celebrities. It's like the world revolves around their comings and goings: Entertainment Tonight, TMZ and so many celebrity reality shows have turned celebrities into role models. If a celebrity does it, it must be good. If a celebrity speaks out against something they must know what they are talking about. And if a celebrity has an illness, their struggle becomes all the media talks about.

Take Barry's afib for example. Literally hundreds and hundreds of people have afib, but when Barry began talking about it, you can't even imagine the number of people that started posting about how they had it too. Before he came out and became a spokesperson, it wasn't a fashionable ailment to have. Barry dealt with it so it must be talked about.

What prompted this revelation? Angelina Jolie's announcement today that she had the BRCA gene and she had a double mastectomy because of it. Women all over the world have been tested and diagnosed with that gene, there is an organization called FORCE that educates women about it, and doctors over the last ten years have been recommending the test if their patients have a history of breast cancer in their family. But until Angelina announced her "decision" the media rarely covered it. Now, women all over social media are saying they want the test. But here's the deal--if you don't have a history of breast cancer in your family (and I mean a strong history), testing is not necessary or even recommended. How do I know? I'm one of those women, as is my daughter. News flash--it's not about the press coverage you get because of it; it's about a very difficult decision once your know you have the gene; and about what it does to you and to your family.

Recently, Julianna from E TV came public about her mastectomy and made the news because a/ she was a celebrity and b/ she had a reality television show. Women all over the world have dealt with that decision and because a celebrity had to go through it the whole world watched and listened. And not only that, but they had to compare her plight with everyone elses, especially those who were having or had a mastectomy. "Julianna was such a trooper." "Julianna went back to work quickly after hers." "Julianna was so brave." 

What can I say? It just bugs me. Partly because me and my family have faced those same decisions and we kept it within our family. It was a personal struggle and  although we are willing to talk about it, it didn't become a media event. Since Angelina came out about hers, it's fashionable to have the BRCA gene and a prophylactic mastectomy. And I'm sure doctors all over the world will be hearing these words, "Angelina Jolie said I should get the BRCA test."

Disgusted with celebrity obsessions,
Texas Fan


you begin again.... said...

I thought of you when I saw the "news" reports on TV.

Also reminded me how I touched on this in one of my earliest blog posts.


texas_fan said...

@youbeginagain You said in your blog exactly what I was trying to say...but so much better.

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