Regular readers already know how in love I am with the “Just a Little Heart Attack” film from the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women heart health campaign this year. In three short minutes, this film manages to do what countless other heart disease awareness campaigns I’ve seen fail to pull off: to be both hilarious and frightening, packed with life-saving education on common heart attack symptoms in women. The actress Elizabeth Banks – who also directed this short film, and whose real-life mother and sister have heart issues – plays a harried, multi-tasking mother trying desperately to get her family up, dressed, fed and ready to head out the door on time, all while completely ignoring her own worsening heart attack symptoms.
Elizabeth gets every small detail of this scenario pitch-perfect, including:
- her “I’m fine!” reassurances as she reels with nausea, chest pressure, dizziness, jaw pain, neck pain, arm pain, weakness and profuse sweating
- her apology to the 911 phone dispatcher for being a bother
- and (my favourite scene!) her abject dismay at surveying the messy kitchen, knowing the ambulance is already en route and she won’t have time to tidy up before it arrives!
Women who have actually lived through this will probably recognize every excruciatingly familiar moment of what it’s like to experience a heart attack.
But noted health journalism watchdog Gary Schwitzer over at Health News Review felt otherwise about this film, which he criticized in a post called Disease-Mongering Du Jour: Heart Disease in Young Women. Continue reading “The concept of ‘mansplaining’ explained for you . . .”