A new kind of awareness

Today, this made a lot of people really happy.

I’m in awe. I want to meet her and hug her and be her (millionth) best friend. Look at her all adorable and smiling sunbeams and effectively preventing everyone in that room from crying! But I’ll bet you a Beyonce hair extension that tears flowed after the camera stopped and anesthesia started. A woman this spectacular is a woman adored. And no one wants what happens next to happen next. To anyone. To her. In addition to the millions who “like” this, there are thousands more sobbing atop their restructured parts (please pass me a tissue).

Roughly one in eight of us is thrilled October and all its yammering awareness is over. After Halloween, we were relieved that daily reminders of our personal demons had stopped polluting our newsfeeds, and tote bags, and cereal boxes. I wonder if, like me, they watched this gem of a video and thought, “This. This is ‘awareness.’” A beautiful, groovy gal in a backless gown shows us one way to plow through the terror of it all: with love… and a bit of Beyonce.

I’ve been quite vocal about championing Angelina Jolie for her spotlight on breast reconstruction after mastectomy. She brought awareness to the triumph of reconstructive surgery over devastating mutilation. Famous for being stunning before and after her mastectomies, she provides compelling evidence to women with this distressing diagnosis that the road to recovery isn’t necessarily the autobahn to ugly. Bravely sharing the nitty gritty of her medical treatments, she effectively outlined what women should expect as a “standard of care” faster than any number of 5K runners in tight, pink clothing. Today, I applaud Dr. Deborah Cohan for putting a groovy spin on awareness, for showing us the triumph of spirit over fear.

I hope today’s viral, feel-good story will be famous for longer, and for so much more than her johnnie jamboree. Deborah Cohan hijacked “awareness” like a John Malkovich movie cameo, showing us it can be quirky and cool. (For all of the good they do, Komen has become a bit of a Kardashian.) Don’t you want to know Dr. Cohan and her fun bunch of boogying buddies? What a gift to the people who love her: to show them joy when they feel dread, to give them Beyonce when they’re expecting dirges, to share herself (with the world!) when they (we!) need to know desperately that this isn’t breaking her. While I’m preoccupied with Pink-tober backlash rants, here is this brave woman reminding us of the big picture in a tiny space. She marshaled six minutes on the scariest day of her life to show everyone who loves her that she knows she’s loved, that joyfulness hasn’t died with this diagnosis, that it’s going to be OK. And in our hearts, we’re all dancing with her.

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14 responses

  1. There are extraordinary events in life when a person rises above the moment……what is feared
    is pushed away by facing it down….That seems to happen often when Britt Lee is around.

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