Why Some Things Should Be Left A Mystery and Magic (And How To Decide When Other Things Should Be Kept Private or Public -When Tragic)
On our sister site, there is an article about a former The Bachelor reality show contestant (Leslie Murphy) sharing photos of her double mastectomy.
Granted, over brazen and jaw-droppingly shocking (as I’ve seen before) and the photo is tasteful:
My Sunday best, or what I could manage to put on today with limited arm movements.🤷🏼♀️My mom washed and dried my hair today. She dresses me in the mornings. She also measures my drains twice daily which are the tubes you see coming out of my lovely red apron I never take off. She's the freaking best. She slept in my hospital room and bed at home for the first few nights, helping me in and out of bed and giving me meds at horrid hours to control the pain. I have to sleep on my back in the exact same position every night. Sometimes when I make the wrong movements it feels like my chest is detaching from my body, but all in all, I think my upper half is healing nicely! Sure, it's sunken in and lumpy because what you see are deflated expanders that were put in which will gradually get filled every 2-3 weeks as I get ready for reconstructive surgery. Hopefully by then the permanent marker will be off my body😂I feel lucky because my surgeons only made one vertical incision on the lower half of both breasts while saving skin & nipple. So while all breast tissue is (hopefully) gone, I retained some of the old me! Happy Sunday. God is good.🙌🏻💞 #LesleysBreasties #LesNipsBRCAintheBud #BreastCancerAwareness #FightLikeAGirl
But let’s be real here-breast cancer is serious. I know this first hand. But like we wrote up about it here, stories like such e.g.; Angelina Jolie telling her story about it in the New York Times; creates awareness-and [is] therefore: Necessary.
But was it necessary for her to share photos of the experience (to the public)?
That, (to me) is as unnecessary as the necessity of a man needing to witness childbirth as it is necessary that a woman shields herself during breastfeeding is.
I say this because this “show me state” that we’re living in-under the guise of ‘making a statement’-goes wayyyy too far.
My feeling it isn’t necessary-a public, post-double mastectomy reveal-doesn’t mean I’m not empathetic to a person’s condition or that breastfeeding and childbirth (being as natural as it is) should be met with shock, awe, and revolt. It’s about what’s necessary (multiplied by) this voyeuristic, sensationalistic, new age compulsion we have to “make a statement” (at all costs and “15 minutes”).
Unlike the necessity of: “This is your brain on drugs” needing to be shown and proven as a public statement (of a precautionary tale), a: “This is what’s left of your breast post-cancer” isn’t exactly the same thing.
We don’t elect to get cancer, but we do elect to do drugs (or smoke).
Therefore, a photo op and public reveal of a double mastectomy is not as necessary as the magic happening beneath the cloth of a woman providing nourishment to her child or bringing life into the world-just the same. I’m anti-all 3.
As I mentioned here, childbirth is beautiful, magical and natural. But (for me) regardless the fact that it takes to conceive, a man that has to desire me, and make love to all my parts doesn’t need to see certain functions of it (no different than he should be privy to seeing my period’s flow). All he needs to know is that confirmation of my period flow constitutes the fact that I can still bring life into the world (for us), and absence of it means one is on the way or that he still loves me enough to begin a life of growing older to old with me-as promised when he married me. Period.
But until we cross that bridge, after conception and copulating; when I bring that life into the world, all he needs to see is the pain in my face, the sweat on my brow and feel the strength of my hand pulling his. That’s it.
But that’s me-my take on it.
When (my man) caresses my breasts, he doesn’t need to be reminded of their other function during the first few months of our child being born.
When he caresses and enters my vagina, he doesn’t need to be reminded of its other monthly functions and the goings on at the end of nine months.
So you see-some things in life should be mere mysteries of magic, left with more to be desired and other things: best left kept private.
I know. How do we gauge this-with the “show me state” that we’re in today, how do we measure the necessity of things that should be private (versus public)?
A necessity compass is how: Share shock and awe as a part of a, or your cautionary tale. Again, “this is your brain on drugs,” “these are the effects of smoking,” etc., those are cautionary tales.
One doesn’t elect having breast cancer.
So, like Angelina, tell the tale without the need to show us (the public).
There’s a story behind every breast-cancer survivor however, breastfeeding is natural-not a cautionary tale.
But too, it can be done in a way where the magic is between mom and baby.
Childbirth is natural-not a cautionary tale. And too, (to save your sex life from that light bulb memory moment once the memory of witnessing childbirth it hits him), it, too, can be done in a way where the magic is between mom and baby (while dad witnesses the pain and perspiration yet the beauty and magic at the end)—sorta like a woman’s beauty regimen: He doesn’t need to see the pins, needs, threads, dyes, scissors and such.
It’s like I explain in the sidenote here: We’re caught in this (thinking) we “need to know” society under the guise of (feeling the need to be) “transparent” about things that aren’t as necessary (that we be) but do (anyways) to solicit and emotion or response that (on the other side- in our love life or personal life); serves as the kind of cautionary tale—that sends red flags our way. As I mentioned in my sidenote here, I champion of the female plight and self-esteem and (I) don’t believe in not speaking and leading women to all things conducive to a healthy self-esteem and even if it pisses a woman off, I don’t care. When she bumps her head and heart enough-she will thank me later). As women, we have to decide: Emptying ourselves out (in ways unncessarily) to a world of people that are just curious and don’t know us (or trying to battle the after effects of it in our personal lives with the people who do know us and/or are wanting, or wanted to love us?). Choose WISELY.
So it’s all a measure of the necessity compass: If it’s not a cautionary tale, it’s NOT (always) necessary. It’s like, as a media writer, there was this story someone else (in Internet media) waved across the community like a white flag. I didn’t (and still don’t) respect it because, in an effort to put a positive spin of transition, she cut the part of the pie with the “safest” marketability yet…it was the grit, the TRUE story of the mistakes she made, the things she expected, thought, and hoped for etc., [is] where the most poignancy lay. THAT’s the parts she omitted: The “cautionary tale” part. Yet, the very people she was wailing the white flag of a transition to, were the same people that NEED to hear that part of the story, but instead, the piece she cut and delivered (publicly)…sends all KINDS of red flags her way (personally/privately).
Never miss, or elect to neglect the BIG opportunity to reach the masses (that can only dream of doing things that we are doing or have done, or need to know not to do) just to be a public puppet. Never.
Now, she finds herself jumping around from place to thing, followed by re-opening and re-hashing that same story warmed over (while trying to convince even herself), that she is at peace with her decision (when it’s painfully obvious that she is not). But she’ll keep repeating this cycle while re-hashing and re-opening that same portion of the pie because the cautionary tale and greatest piece of the pie was meticulously omitted because (what she hoped would resonate forever-her “hook”) was thinly veiled. So she consistently and repetitiously does the same re-hashing over and over.
There are two types of consistency: One, where your work (or story) speaks for itself. The other, where you consistently and repetitiously find yourself speaking for your work (or story). But see, consistency (when it’s thick and substantive), it’s not about repetition. “Consistency” (like that of a cake) should bake. It hits the many and masses such that when they ingest it, they are full-and it lives on.
That said, it goes back to what I said regarding measuring the “necessity compass”: If it’s not the cautionary tale, it’s NOT always necessary.