Saturday, May 16, 2009

Colostomy needs a Jade Goody

Whatever you think of Jade Goody, the media blitzkrieg of her battle with cancer has undoubtedly raised awareness of cervical cancer amongst young women. Jade talking about her illness has saved lives. Which is a good thing. But Jade wasn’t the first and she won’t be the last celeb to go public about their particular health problem. It seems every Tom, Dick and Dom with an Equity Card is at pains to share their pain. The glossy magazines are filled with heartbreaking exclusives about eating disorders, depression, OCD, alcoholism and drug dependency. And that’s just poor Gazza. Yet for all this apparent openness and honesty, there doesn’t appear to be any famous colostomy bag wearers. It would seem celebrities are unwilling to admit to having anything other than a perfect six-pack under their shirts. Of course, colostomy bags are never going to be cool, but would it really be career suicide to admit to having one? If Lily Allen said she had a bag I’d still buy her records. Likewise if Jeremy Kyle said he had one, I’d still think he was cock. I like to think people can see past the bag. I’m not suggesting that Heat should have a Torso of the Week featuring a celebrity with an ostomy bag, but it wouldn’t hurt for someone to come out the colostomy closet. Search the internet for famous ostomates and you’ll end up with Fred Astaire, Bob Hope and the Queen Mum; a dead dancer, a dead comedian and a dead swan eater. None quite the icon I had in mind. There must be someone in the public eye with a bag and a pulse. Where are the pop stars and movie actors with colostomy bags? Even if just one celebrity talked about having a bag, it might help some younger colostomy bag wearers accept their situation better and be less embarrassed. There is a rumour that Cliff Richard has a colostomy bag, but he strongly denies it. So if you’re reading this, Sir Cliff, and the rumour is true, please could you do all ostomates a big favour; keep denying it. Colostomy bags will never be cool if it comes out you’ve got one.

Ostomate of the Week has a certain ring to it.