Thanks, Kate!

Privacy.

We all require some semblance of it, no matter that we're authors and kind of "out there" due to the nature of the publishing beast. We struggle with the dilemma of trying to maintain some kind of private life while trying to be accessible to fans, to the people who are kind enough to read our books and want to connect with us.

Magnify this on a royal scale. Literally. What must it be like to have millions of people watching what you eat (in case you're pregnant), remarking on your clothes (in case you haven't worried that you're not fashionable enough), and taking pictures of you (whether you've given permission or not)? I can only imagine, and the recent scandal involving the Prince and Princess William in the United Kingdom only drives the point home.

You've probably already heard that a member of the paparazzi snapped and sold several photos of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, including some where she appeared topless, and they've appeared in tabloids in Europe. The courts there blocked these photos from appearing anymore; however, the invasion of Kate's privacy cannot be so easily set right. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure it can ever be set completely right. How do you make it up to someone when you've completely exposed some part of her that was never meant for public consumption?

There is no way that I can think of, but I can think of something to soften the blow, kind of like Flora, Fauna, and Merriwether, the three fairy godmothers in Sleeping Beauty. There is no way to unsee the pictures that have been seen, nor is there any way to help make sense of why someone would want to see photos of someone who clearly did not want to be photographed. There is, however, something positive we can take away from this experience if we try.

Boobies.

Yes, boobies. I'm talking about them AGAIN. I usually do a post in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but since this "scandal" has opened the doorway of opportunity, why not walk on through?

A dear friend recently confided in me that she'd had a lumpectomy. They'd found a lump in a routine mammogram and taken action. It was cancer. She's weathered everything really well and was scheduled for a follow-up visit last week as a pre-radiation assessment. She hoped that her most recent mammogram would be clear so the treatments could commence and she could move on with her life. It wasn't. There were suspicious spots that need investigating. While she's putting up a brave front, I know that deep inside she's worried that this cancer thing will never end, or will end only when she takes her last breath.

I hope that at least one good result comes from the royal scandal. I hope that women everywhere empathize with Kate and think about being topless, about what it would be like to be seen without anything covering their top half. I hope that thought makes them wonder about their breasts and about breast health, especially about their risk of breast cancer. Finally, I hope they get a mammogram to make sure everything is okay, just in case, like in my friend's situation, it's not.

It's upsetting that some idiot with a camera has, again, pushed the envelope of good taste. However, to make something positive out of it, please take a moment and think not about a British royal's bosom, but your own. When's the last time you did a self-exam? Had a mammogram? When's the last time you thought about your health?

I'll write about this again in October, but for now, please remember: Check your breasts. It's that important.
You're that important.
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