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May 15, 2013

Here’s Looking at You, Angelina

jolie

She’s one of the most beautiful in the world, but it was the news of Angelina Jolie’s preventative double mastectomy that took my breath away. In yesterday’s My Medical Choice op-ed for the New York Times, Angelina shared the story of losing her mother to cancer and her decision to proactively treat a “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which doctors estimated increased her risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer by 87 percent. Without her breasts, the risk factor drops to less than 5 percent. That she replaced them with implants is neither here nor there. She still lost her breasts. They’d been with her for 37 years. I’m not overly attached to mine—they’re nothing to write home about—but I have wondered how I would feel to lose them, even if it meant I lived to 92. Women are so hard on themselves, and when you work in an industry built on looks, the self-scrutiny is heightened. But good hair days have nothing on good health. I want to look in the mirror each morning and be grateful to see my strong, illness-free self staring back. That is more than enough. Considering the stress and sleep deprivation I put my body through, it’s more than I deserve.

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    ABOUT ELIZABETH
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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