Whether you love Shannen Doherty or dislike her, there’s no denying that the actress best known for her roles in Charmed and Beverly Hills 90210 is proving herself to be as brave as anyone with the way she’s publicly battling breast cancer. It’s not just that Doherty has chosen to face this illness head on, but that she’s documenting this battle for her fans and her critics in the social media forum and that may be even more inspirational than the victory, which Shannen is sure to achieve over the cancer.
Charmed Star Shannen Doherty Documents Her Latest Step In Her Fight Against Breast Cancer
Hollywood is known for its staunch vision of what a woman should be and how she should appear. Even now, when the filmmaking industry has come under fire for holding onto such archaic views on femininity, the Hollywood version of beauty is unforgiving, so, if for no other reason, Shannen Doherty should be commended for publicly documenting the recent shaving of her head on Instagram. As New York Daily News has stated in their own evaluation of Doherty’s bravery, just losing one’s hair as a result of receiving treatment for cancer is humbling enough, but having to do so, while the rest of the world looks on requires one to possess a level of courage and humility that might crumble many of us.
For Shannen Doherty, someone who has always been defined, at least in part, by her flowing, raven-like hair, shaving her head and sharing the experience with millions of fans and followers can hardly go without remarking on the actress’ obvious strength. Add to that, her determination to face breast cancer head on and there’s no question that Shannen is deserving of our admiration.
Ms. Doherty wasn’t alone for this occasion. She had the support of best friend Anne Kortright-Shilstat.
“I couldn’t be prouder of you today. Your strength and courage is so inspiring and I am so very lucky to have you in my life,” Anne wrote in an Instagram post of her own. “Thank you for blindly trusting me today to help you with such a big step. I will forever be there for you no matter what.”
Shannen Doherty Has Shared Her Breast Cancer Battle From The Very Beginning
Ms. Doherty went public with her breast cancer diagnosis as a result of speaking out against her manager, Tanner Mainstain, for lapsing in her health insurance premiums and, as a result, creating difficulties for Shannen to get early treatment. Bustle reports that Mainstain’s management first denies any negligence or wrongdoing, releasing a statement denying that they are in any way at fault.
“…the claim that Tanner Mainstain caused [Doherty] to be uninsured, prevented her from seeking medical care, or somehow contributed to her cancer is patently false,” reads the statement in part. “Tanner Mainstain will aggressively defend all of Ms. Doherty’s claims in court.”
Whatever may have come from that dispute, Shannen’s public statements on the matter have given her new found popularity, as fans and followers feel inspired by her battle against breast cancer. Doherty’s willingness to share her journey has helped others in their own battles against cancer and other illnesses.
“Yes, I have breast cancer, and I am currently undergoing treatment,” Ms. Doherty said last year, as she revealed the breast cancer diagnosis. “I am continuing to eat right, exercise and stay very positive about my life. I am thankful to my family, friends and doctors for their support and, of course, my fans who have stood by me.”
In sharing this ordeal with the world, Doherty has elevated herself above mere celebrity to role model and mentor, something that many might not have thought her capable, previously. Battling cancer can strip one of dignity, pride, and one’s self-worth, but, by sharing her battle, Shannen Doherty is reclaiming some of that and lessening the sting of shame and heartbreak which cancer can bring down on its victims.
[Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Baby2Baby]