My Thoughts on Endometriosis and Celebrities
Last updated: August 2021
When I received my endometriosis diagnosis, I felt alone. But then I started to come across more individuals with the same diagnosis. It brought comfort knowing I wasn't the only one.
While I was searching for endometriosis cookbooks, I came across a cookbook written by Tia Mowry-Hardrict (and probably my favorite celebrity endo warrior). Many of you may remember her from the TV show, Sister-Sister. To my surprise, she too has endometriosis. This was the first celebrity I came across who shared their endometriosis story and it wasn't the last.
As I continued my research, more celebrity names popped up sharing their stories. Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, Padma Lakshmi, Many Moore, Julianne Hough, and many more. The thought of endometriosis being talked about among celebrities gave me hope. People, that the entire world knew, should really help this horrible illness receive a lot of awareness. They have the money, the publicity, the fans... How could they not?
But in a sense I was wrong
While many shared their stories, I felt like that was it. They shared their story once, the struggles they have come across, the pain they have felt, and moved on with their 'glamorous' lives. Of course, this is my own opinion, which may not be a popular one, because I truly don't do enough research on these celebrities anymore. But at the end of the day, an important topic like this should not need deep research to find.
I understand they have a life outside of endometriosis, we all do. And if I am being honest, I don't talk about endometriosis very much myself anymore. But knowing the connections they have at an easier reach than many of us, I just hoped for something more.
Do I think they are improving endometriosis awareness?
Yes and no. My thoughts are torn. The fact they spoke out is major. The more stories and women who share their stories, especially well-known celebrities, the more we can raise awareness. But I also think to myself, did they share their stories for the wrong reasons? Did they have the intentions of raising awareness to help other women? Or did they just want another reason to be in the spotlight? Researching articles, I haven't seen anything new about celebrities speaking out or doing any sort of awareness over the last couple of years. And from what I have read, their 'treatments' make it look easy to handle endometriosis. And many of us know, that is far from the truth.
So, what do they get wrong or right? How does it hurt or help this community?
Lena Dunham received a hysterectomy for her endometriosis. After that had happened, I remember seeing a headline saying Lena Dunham was "endometriosis-free" after her fifth surgery removing the chronically painful disease from her body. It is headlines like that that hurt this community. As we all know, hysterectomy, while sometimes necessary for many and may provide relief, it doesn't stop endometriosis from growing or remove it from the body. Another celebrity had stated she has to hide how she feels on set. While her pain is not less, she still has the crew of people able to fix her hair, do her make-up, and help her hide her illness. Another luxury, weekly acupuncture, something many of us don't have access or money to do.
But then you see posts on social media of their scars and battles, and that, that is what needs to be shared. That is what will help the community understand endometriosis more. You also have some who donate money to endometriosis charities and raise money for these charities. And then they disappoint with saying a simple bath with Epsom salt is all they need, calling her own abdominal pain "psychological".
As someone living with endometriosis
Their impact on my experience is frustrating. I don't know their full stories, I don't know what goes on behind the scenes. And this isn't directed towards every celebrity. Because I do have a few favorites that I think have done phenomenal things for endometriosis. But as a whole, this should be a hot topic in the media way more than it is. And I just feel these celebrities can push that and make it happen.
For them, it is easier to receive surgery because they have the money, where so many of us don't. For them, they have the community of hairdressers, make-up artists, whomever to help them look put together. They have easier access to weekly therapies and forms of self-care. So while they can just go get another surgery, many of us have to jump through hoops to get a doctor to agree and then figure out how to pay for it.
So yes, while I think it is amazing celebrities have come out to speak about their stories and do some things to raise awareness, I also don't think they help the community as a whole get the actual point across: More doctors need to listen to women's pain, a cure needs to be found, many women all over the world do not have access to the proper treatments and help.
What are your thoughts on celebrities sharing their stories? Do you have a celebrity you relate to?
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