How celebrities are making a mark on healthcare.
Welcome to the Topic “How celebrities are making a mark on healthcare.”
As much as some of us would beg to differ, celebrities exert a rather large influence in all facets the public is involved in. While entertainment, lifestyle, trends, and hot topics are certainly things that come to mind where celebrity influence is cited, an interesting part of this sphere is healthcare. Remarkably, it has even been thrown out here and there that celebrities have more of an impact on the stance of healthcare than doctors and medical professionals themselves!
While you might not be quite sure how to take or what to do with this particular piece of information, your curiosity on how and why this is has certainly been aroused. Read on to find out how celebrities are able to shape awareness and attitudes around healthcare, and which prominent personalities have had the most significant contribution in this regard.
Prominent figures have a significant outreach.
The first thing that is to be understood in this ordeal is that celebrities are individuals who have collected a rather noticeable number of followers, be it on social media platforms, or it generally being individuals who follow their every step or even misstep. There does not have to be any particular or admirable reason why someone is so taken by a celebrity, what matters is the magnitude of their outreach.
This puts prominent personalities in a place where they can reach out to and even shape the minds of those who are exposed to them. So, while your healthcare professional might have a lot of accurate and well-researched information to give out, if the same or even lesser quality information came from a celebrity, a lot of people would give it more notice.
Another power that celebrities have is that to start a conversation. These are powerful elements that can make people feel included, help them make informed decisions, and absolve the fear of speaking out. Talking about medical instances and issues is not always easy, and having the added scrutiny of a million eyes on you cannot make it easier, but some have still managed to remain open and put their healthcare struggles out there for a the greater good of awareness and conversation.
Breast cancer awareness:
Breast cancer is still among the highest-risk fatal illnesses for women globally. With an eye-opening thirteen percent chance of an American woman to develop this pathology in her life, awareness and prevention measures in this regard are essential. Unfortunately, people are still incredibly hesitant to speak on it, but that tendency change drastically when Angelina Jolie openly underwent a preventative double mastectomy for a high familial history of breast cancer.
This was incredibly life-changing for a number of women, who were in awe of Jolie’s bravery and openness on speaking on the matter. This does not mean that each and all women with a high risk for breast cancer might have opted for preventative surgery, but the awareness of options, best courses of actions, and general measures for prevention was splendid.
Jolie is however not the only one who opted for this feat of bravery, Christina Applegate is also another renowned actress who was open about her risk for the disease on account of her mother being a survivor. She spoke about having regular check-ups, encouraging her followers to do the very same. Eventually, she had to have the same preventative surgery as Angelina Jolie and was more than honest and open about the conversation. These are just a few instances but they were massive for female healthcare.
While diabetes is not an easy condition to go through, toughing through it and disseminating information about it in the process is nothing short of heroic. Many popular names, such as the likes of Tom Hanks have been battling this illness almost their whole lives. The fact that diabetes comes with a medical profile that needs to be understood before it can be managed is essential. Hanks, who revealed that he suffered from type-2 diabetes on a late-night talk show did so by also bringing forth the weight-loss concerns that come with battling the condition.
Nick Jonas, is also one such public figure who has been diagnosed with diabetes as early as his teenage years. In the documentary surrounding the formation of his music band with his brothers, details were provided of what went down and how his condition was identified. His speaking openly of managing his condition, despite being incredibly young broke the misconception round diabetes being an illness affecting older individuals only and opened up a lot of awareness in the matter.
Mental health conversations.
Mental health is a particularly sensitive subject that is being tentatively spoken on in the recent years, and this development can be in part credited to some courageous famous personalities who took the first leap. Selena Gomez opened up in 2020 about her life-long combat with mental illness, and revealed that she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Being at the center stage of the world and putting out an extremely vulnerable part of yourself so others can do the same is nothing short of commendable.
Meghan Markle has also dissolved much of the stigma outlining mental health when she revealed that she had become suicidal shortly after her wedding to Prince Harry because of public smearing campaigns that the media and tabloids conducted against her. This was a great insight into the raw reality of mental health and showing the public that mental wellness does not rely on how perfect one’s life seems from the outside. This was an important step in the mental health aspect of healthcare and rippled across social media and other platforms in reducing the stigma against mental illness.
Here’s the takeaway:
Influential people do not only put out an impact in certain spheres, rather their willingness to open up and speak affects a lot of young, scared individuals who are still learning to make better choices. Breaking down walls against speaking about pathology, illness, and generally what healthcare is all about has been helping reshape the public’s attitude towards healthcare in a remarkable way.
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