For this installment of We Read It So You Don’t Have To, we sat down with Self’s “A Legacy of Strength,” October, wherein
Brittany Murphy, Christina Applegate, and Mya dicuss their family histories of
breast cancer. In doing so, they spout
every cliché that has even a slight bearing on the situation: take each day as it comes, take care of
yourself, don’t be afraid—the same tripe that makes it into every article about
breast cancer except perhaps those printed in the New England Journal of
However, there was one bit of dialogue that made our drudgery worthwhile. Because we cannot possibly paraphrase the
brilliance of this moment, we’ll reproduce this heartwarming exchange between
Murphy and Applegate in its entirety.
Christina: Thank God we have
good-looking boobs in my family.
Brittany: Oh, I can attest to
that! We did wardrobe for the shoot
today. Your boobies are gorgeous.
Well, that was, um, sweet of
Brittany to immediately interject her appraisal of Applegate’s
physique—because, you know, no one would ever believe that Applegate was telling
the truth without Murphy’s eyewitness testimony—especially since she chose to
use the word “boobies,” which, last we checked, was the exclusive domain of
Naïve fourth-graders, even.
Still, whatever her motives, Murphy’s completely off-the-wall statement was the only thing that kept us awake as
we read this hackneyed conversation piece.
Cancer isn’t amusing, but neither are these yearly rehashes of the same
trite platitudes about taking care of yourself and loving your body. We say: next year, Self,
let Brittany Murphy write an essay about “boobies.” Hey, let her draw pictures of them in crayon. Not only would that would be more engaging, it might even prove more useful.