Tuesday, I woke up at 6am to my alarm and my husband asking me if I read Angelina Jolie’s Op Ed in the NYTimes. Obviously, I hadn’t because I was sleeping. By now everyone knows what the actress very honestly explained in detail she had undergone.
To have a double mastectomy is an extremely brave thing to do and in a case like Ms. Jolie’s completely necessary. She has children that she must be a healthy mother for. Even if she didn’t have kids, she is a woman who has a long life ahead of her thanks to this procedure. I, for one, wouldn’t think twice about the decision to remove my breasts and have reconstructive surgery and don’t know many who would debate the options very long. How lucky we are to live in this modern world where that is a very viable choice?
While there is much to think about when it comes to genetic testing, which is now a part of the national dialogue thanks to this Op Ed, another side of the story is, as women, our emotional attachment to our breasts. Our breasts are something that make us who we are… no seriously. Big or small, they are, for many of my friends, something that does define part of who we are as women.
My breasts were the first visible sign that I had stepped into womanhood as well as a big (no pun intended) indicator that I was pregnant. My boobs are the reason I can’t wear some clothes and can fill out others well. The “ladies” are not only what make me feel incredibly sexy but also what sustained my child for 6 plus months. I would give them a twitter account if anyone really cared to hear what they were thinking (but it would probably be a little dirty!).
So, while it is a no brainer choice to have them removed in the case of life or death, it should also be acknowledged that our breasts are a very personal asset.