The Washington Post

Reactions to Angelina Jolie’s double masectomy revelation

Actress Angelina Jolie’s op-ed in the New York Times has prompted many fellow celebrities, cancer prevention advocates and opinion writers to respond to the dramatic news that she voluntarily underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery in order to lower her risk of development bread and ovarian cancer.

As The Reliable Source notes, breast-cancer has many high-profile advocates. But when Jolie revealed her decision, “the news hit like a tidal wave.”

It dominated the most-read rankings of news sites and the cable-news conversation for the day. Tributes poured in from British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who has worked with the movie star on refugee issues, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who had the same surgery. A CNN anchor, Zoraida Sambolin, went public with her own plans for a double mastectomy this month: Jolie’s announcement “gives me strength,” she wrote, “and an opening.”

Many cancer survivors likewise voiced their approval of her decision, says Emily Wax and Lena H. Sun:

Cancer survivors and others around the world took to social media to praise her decision “as brave and honest.” Breast cancer survivors often joke that their reconstructed breasts are firmer and look better in clothes. Jolie could have easily avoided saying anything and her new breasts probably would have gone unnoticed. Or as the actress said, “The results can be beautiful.”

“She’s a superwoman and more sexy already, if that’s even possible,” said cartoonist Marisa Acocella Marchetto, a breast cancer survivor and author of the graphic novel “Cancer Vixen .” “ . . . It’s that fearlessness that makes her attractive. She’s the most awesome woman in the world and just got even more awesome, in my book.”

Twitter was one of the popular outlets for fellow celebrities and fans to express their thoughts on breast-cancer and the difficult choice of surgery, says the Associated Press:

— “She’ll have empowered millions of women all over world. She is sexier than ever.” — Sharon Osbourne, who announced last year that she underwent the same preventive procedure.

— “Angelina Jolie reveals double mastectomy. Proud of her for using her incredible platform to educate women.” — TV personality and breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic on Twitter.

— “This absolutely blew my mind. Angelina Jolie speaking out about a difficult decision that will inform + empower others.” — Actress Nina Dobrev, on her website.

— “#angelinajolie thank you for sharing your story and helping women around the world #inspirational” — Singer and breast cancer survivor Kylie Minogue on Twitter.

Opinion Writer Richard Cohen received a phone call from his sister shortly before writing a brief piece titled, “Angelina Jolie went public to help other women.” Having finished a bout of (preventative) radiation to potentially stop breast cancer in its tracks, Cohen’s sister said Jolie’s decision was “a wonderful thing.” He also laments having lost friends and loved ones to cancer:

“In December, I lost my long-time companion to cancer. A long time ago, I lost my aunt to cancer and, not even a year ago, I lost my best friend, a woman, to cancer as well. I know a little about this subject. I am in awe of what Jolie has done. I still am not going to read the op-eds of celebrities, but when her next movies opens, I’m going to be first online.”

Read more on Angelina Jolie’s decision:

What Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy means to breast cancer advocates

Angelina Jolie reveals she had double mastectomy

Angelina Jolie’s proactive, public mastectomy

Celebrities react to Angelina Jolie’s revelation she had a preventive double mastectomy

Cara Kelly manages the development of editorial tools and presentation for new products and user experiences. She previously worked in the Style section, following the completion of her MA in journalism at American University.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.