Late last night, I was reading the New York Times and happened to come across this article written by Angelina Jolie, which had been published just minutes before I read it. I tweeted the news right away and posted it on Facebook, then went to bed mulling over it all in my mind.
In the article, which she herself wrote, Angelina Jolie reveals that she just had a preventative double mastectomy.
As a woman, and as an actor, it is extremely thought provoking to read this sort of news. Women already have societal pressure to look a certain way, and to place value on the appearance of our bodies. For a female actor, that pressure is doubled. For those of us in voiceovers who started out in front of the camera, on stage, or still do both, we especially understand and appreciate how acting just with your voice is a unique luxury. Being a voiceover artist is liberating in that we can put aside our own personal physical traits and create a new persona through the voice. I love my body, my “shell” as my husband lovingly calls it when trying to remind me that it is what’s on the inside that he loves even more. But what I love most about my body is what I can do with it. I’m grateful to be able to use my body, including my voice, to do so many things I love. Through my voiceover work, I’m able to let people “see” me, whatever “me” I present to them, through what they hear.
A couple of friends have unfortunately been through this difficult procedure, so I applaud Angelina Jolie, as a public figure, celebrity and sex symbol, for helping others see this as a something anyone could potentially experience.