Well, there has been quite a stir in the MS world, recently. Her name is Selma Blair. She is a very successful actor. ‘Cruel Intentions’, ‘Legally Blonde’, and my favorite, ‘Hellboy’. She’s rather well know, in the cinematic world. Still, up until recently, you would have probably had trouble placing a face with the name. Unless you were a fan, or had a small crush on her when she was in ‘Hellboy’ (I’m sure someone did. I’m not saying I did….okay, maybe I am.), you might not have been sure exactly who she was.
I’ll bet you do now! Since she revealed that she had recently gotten an MS diagnosis, she has been on TV and super visible in the media world in general. Just bring up your front page online, and I’ll bet you there has been an article or two about her at some point, in the past few weeks. She’s hard to miss.
Now, this seems to have started a debate. Why her? There are plenty of other celebrities out there who we know have MS. Well, those of us who have MS know. Montel Williams, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Jack Osbourne (Ozzie’s son), Teri Garr, and it helped take down the great Richard Pryor (I’m sure, with his past, there were other influences as well.), just to name a few!
So why Selma Blair? I’ve seen a lot of people asking that question. On line, and in person. I was one of them, when I first saw the ‘Selma Blair Effect’ raise it’s pretty head. I have to admit, my first response to any celebrity releasing the news that they have MS is, “I sure do wish I had their bank account to battle this disease.” My next response with the SBE was, “Why does everyone suddenly care so much that Selma Blair has MS. Where was all that support and concern when Jack Osbourne told the world his experience?” (He and I had very similar onsets. My right eye went blurry one day. He had a similar trigger symptom where he lost sight in one of his eyes.) I was kind of pissed, at first. Jealousy is a bitch. And it totally was jealousy. I always felt a bit of a kinship with Jack. Our experiences were similar, and the music background and all. So why hadn’t he, or anyone else, gotten this much attentions when they let the news out? Why is she so special?
Well, if you started reading this thinking I might have found an answer to that question, you are sorely mistaken. I have no answer to that query. I finally realized it didn’t fucking matter, why. What matters is that it is giving the disease, and all of us that live with it, attention through her. People are talking about what MS is, realizing they actually had no idea. Sure, they had heard of it, but I’d bet most people know as little as I did before my diagnosis. Her openness about her experience is drawing attention to the disease. And I’ve got to be honest…..her balls are fucking huge, going on national television with her symptoms showing as much as they were on that day. Kudos to you, Selma. It isn’t easy, living with MS, no matter how much money you have. The disease is going to do what it is going to do. You are showing that to people in a raw and exposed, yet compassionate way. Thanks.
So, to all of the haters who are still saying, ‘Why her!?’ Realize it doesn’t matter. Rosa Parks wasn’t the first black woman to oppose racist rules in this country. For some reason, her experience brought more light to the issue. That’s just how these things happen, sometimes. Someone catches the public’s interest, for reasons no one really knows, exactly. But why does it matter who it is, if it’s bringing attention, and much needed support, to this mystery disease? It doesn’t matter.
So, hip hip hooray to the Selma Blair Effect. This is good for the MS community. More people are learning. More people are supporting. More people are paying attention. I’m going to thank her once more for being so open and transparent with the public.
Honestly. Thank you, Selma (and everyone else putting a spotlight on MS)! The more who know and want to help, the more we can accomplish fighting this disease. Sport that cane with pride, Selma. You make it look awesome!
Until next time, enjoy the last few days of MS Awareness Month! (March)