Register Monday | June 24 | 2019

Celebrity Healthwatch: Private Parts, Public Interest

How we earned the right to know what’s happening in Angelina Jolie’s uterus

I deserve to know the status of Michelle Kwan's groin. I deserve this in the same way that I deserve to know what is or is not currently attached to Angelina Jolie's uterine walls. These women's private parts should not be kept from me because, as a consumer of news and entertainment, it is my due to be informed of all the intimate medical details concerning the people I watch on TV. Why, knowing personal information about the health of celebrities and world leaders is a right as inalienable and precious as giving the finger to strangers or spoofing Brokeback Mountain.

Reagan understood this, and that is why he deserves to have his face on the dime. Shouldn't the guy in charge of the biggest storehouse of nuclear weapons in the world encourage newscasters to discuss diagrams of his polyps? Obviously, he should. Do I deserve to know the intricacies of my president's colon? Heck, I elected the guy, right? Colon it up, Ronnie-my vote's gotta be worth something.

Hearing about politicians' digestive systems is at least as vital to democracy as hearing about their fiscal policies, which is why it does my heart good to see all of this Ariel Sharon colon talk in the news. Some people might try and tell you that incorporating the particulars of a moribund, comatose man's colo-rectal health into the twenty-four-hour news cycle is a degrading and unnecessary practice, but those people are stupid. And probably Communists.

Why some famous people try to hide the facts is truly beyond my comprehension. Some dumb doctor told them not to announce their pregnancy until they're out of the first trimester? Having their alcohol abuse made a matter of public record could hurt their pending recovery? They can only talk about their MS once they've processed what it means for their family? Whine, whine, whine. Maybe they should've thought about their precious "privacy" before they decided to appear on my television.

I think all actors could take a lesson from professional athletes, the chemical content of whose pee is news for all of us to share and discuss. Kwan's groin, Armstrong's ball-sack, the look of sheer agony on some football dude's face as he's carted off the field-this is what the viewing public is owed-it's what we've earned by giving them our attention. If your triple-Salchows are going to be news, then so too are your groins.

I, for one, think that more celebrities ought to embrace the notion. Take William Shatner. He recently auctioned off a kidney stone for charity. He gets it. We shouldn't just be able to hear about celebrity herpes, anorexia, cancer and Parkinson's-we should be able to touch it, bid on it, own it. Like some saint's finger that sweats blood every Easter, or an Elvis pubic hair, Shatner's kidney stones appearing on eBay simultaneously confirms his humanity and allows him to transcend it. More importantly, there's money to be made. Kidney stones are a limited resource, of course, but let's not forget that Angelina Jolie recently made $400,000 for charity by selling the first photo of her pregnancy bump.

Pimping out your medical status is easy for Jolie- and Shatner-level stars, but those operating with dimmer wattages are going to have to hustle a little harder to cash in-particularly since they'll probably be keeping the dough for themselves. Allow me suggest to these celebs my new television concept, Cutting the Stars. While your D-list contemporaries are Pro-Am dancing or completely debasing themselves on VH1, you could be having televised surgery! The show would combine the gross-out fun of Nip/Tuck with the pathetic celebrity worship of E!. Even if you count only the routine lipo and lift work, there's enough material out there for seasons and seasons.

Folks loved watching Al Roker slim down. Imagine how excited they'd have been if his vertical banded gastroplasty had its own prime-time special! It would've been our generation's moon landing. And once the bigger names catch on and start donating their money to charity, Cutting the Stars would practically be a public service-our rapidly aging celebrity base could raise money for the less fortunate while encouraging regular rectal exams for all men over fifty-five. The scratch from Bono's public laparoscopic colonoscopy alone could feed Africa for a year. Politicians courting a "hip" audience could get their angioplasties done on the Comedy Network. Who wouldn't want to see Jack Nicholson get some suspicious looking moles removed? And a Sharon Stone mammogram-yowza! We'll save that for May sweeps.

Fox, this is your chance to knock those Desperate Housewives bitches out of the top spot. Have your people call my people. Let's work something out before Pamela Anderson gets her next implant change-that saline will be ratings gold.

Audrey Ference tries her darndest to keep up with what the kids are into these days. Her column appears every two weeks. Read other recent columns by Audrey Ference.