Acceptance or nothing – breast cancer awareness done right

I’m never one to shy away from embracing the impact of TV shows or being vulnerable to their plotlines. But I guess we all underestimate the level of impact they can have, especially when it comes to imparting ideas and shaping public opinion over socially important aspects. Not getting into the political end of it for now; but I’ve been watching ‘The Bold Type’ on Netflix and I guess today’s episode was one of the most touching ones for me because it took my thoughts to the thousands of women around the world who are undergoing what one of the lead characters is.

Breast cancer awareness, BRCA gene awareness and the stigma surrounding mastectomy remain major concerns of both feministic and medical world. The Bold Type quite imperatively takes a stand and spreads awareness through one of its most loved lead characters, Jane Sloan. The successful young writer discovers it early, though hesitantly at first, that she carries the mutation in her body that puts her at risk of breast cancer. And (spoiler alert) instead of living with the fear throughout her life, she decides to undergo double mastectomy early on.

While a physically draining process, the mental impacts of a procedure of such sort couldn’t possibly be elaborated enough. Jane Sloan is a well written character that is shielded with success in her career, a tightly knit friend circle that always has her back and a personality that is courageous enough to make that decision instead of living with the threat of having breast cancer someday. But watching the episode where she walks into surgery with her friends backing her up, I couldn’t help but think if that’s how elegant it is for the rest of the women facing the same condition. And if I’d ever be as graceful and brave in those shoes.

 The answer is no. While we can completely get on board with the idea of getting rid of the threat instead of living in fear, the social conditioning of feministic bodies and their importance in the world of aesthetic appeal would pose a barrier so looming that such a decision would drain away all mental sanity in a young woman. It is incredible to watch a successful show that has embraced this concept and has given it a bold conclusion that confidently demands acceptance. You’re not going anywhere in the modern world if you aren’t accepting and supportive of such decisions women make for their own well being. Social conditions and popular norms of a ‘normal body image’ are walls that shatter into a million pieces against women who make choices like these for their well being and go ahead with it unapologetically.

And personally, this show has made me more aware about the conditions pertaining to breast cancer and its awareness than any other health campaign. So when I notice something as amazing, I make it a point to talk about it so this has been my two cents.

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