Celebrity and its role in social change: Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie's courageous story has been featured just about everywhere lately. Photo: Chris Pizzello/AP Photo

SAN DIEGO, May 24, 2013 – It is hard to deny the prevalence of celebrity activism these days, impacting political outcomes, social values, cultural trends, and a multitude of other issues affecting individuals and the way we conduct our lives.

For those of us who admit to subscribing to “People” magazine, it is difficult to hide the secret fun of a guilty pleasure as we ravage its pages to learn all we possibly can about famous folks and their lifestyles, right down to the very last published word.

There is great power in celebrity, and with this power comes an inherent responsibility to those of us paying attention. Hopefully there is the realization that those who idolize celebrities do just that:  idolize them.

This makes it easy to appreciate celebrities like Angelina Jolie who use their vast visibility and ability to gain public attention not only for their own benefit, but also for the public good.

Jolie’s courageous story has been featured just about everywhere lately. Her willingness to disclose her choice to have a preventive double mastectomy because of her family history and genetic test results is, at the very least, praiseworthy.

AP Photo


 Angelina Jolie’s story resonated loudly with many women. For those women born into families with the proclivity for breast cancer, the impact of the disease often prompts an introspective journey.

The decision to take the BRCA gene test can be difficult. However, for many, knowing the enemy and the issues is advantageous.  Even a positive result gives women choices, and helps them make their own proactive decisions and assess the odds for survival. For some, this means a preventive mastectomy like the one Angelina Jolie chose.

Even if the result is negative, it is important to keep in mind that there is no assurance that a woman will never get breast cancer. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic “having one or even several risk factors doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop cancer—many women who develop breast cancer will have no known risk factor other than simply being women.”

With education, information, and awareness comes growth and personal power, and the opportunity to make healthy choices and lifestyle modifications which are right for you.

Some of the major risk factors for breast cancer from www.cancer.org:

- Being female.
- Increasing age.
- A family history of breast cancer.
- Inherited gene that increases cancer risk.
- Radiation exposure.
- Obesity.
- Beginning your period at a younger age.
- Beginning menopause at an older age.
- Having your first child at an older age.
- Post-menopausal hormone therapy.
- Drinking alcohol.

Choosing life was Angelina Jolie’s conscious choice, and undergoing a double-mastectomy was her solution to keeping it.

Being women, we are physically able to give and support life, while also being emotionally programmed to nurture it.  It is what makes us the amazing people that we are, as well as that which confounds us, enriches us, confuses us, and blesses us throughout the cycles of our lives.

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is President and CEO of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California. In addition to her positions as entrepreneur, health care executive, educator, media guest and contributor, Edwards-Tate is also a wife, daughter, and dog lover. Read more LifeCycles in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow At Your Home Familycare on Facebook and on Twitter @AYHFamilycare.

Copyright © 2013 by At Your Home Familycare

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Laurie Edwards-Tate

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today.

Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top  Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service.  Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home.

Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. 

 Follow Laurie and AYHF  at www.atyourhomefamilycare.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atyourhomefamilycare, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare

Contact Laurie Edwards-Tate


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