Kylie Minogue was 36 years old when, in 2005, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Australian pop star underwent radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and a partial mastectomy during her battle with the disease – and, in February 2006, she was given the all-clear.
Now, almost a decade later, she has spoken candidly about the impact the fight has had on her life – as well as her ability to have children.
And Minogue has an important message to all those people who keep asking her if she’s planning on starting a family with fiancé Joshua Sasse: please, please stop it.
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Speaking to Sunday Times Magazine, the 48-year-old explained: “When cancer strikes, you really have to consider all of that.”
She went on to add that plenty of people have advised her that, in spite of all the fertility issues caused by chemotherapy and her more mature age, she has ‘options’. However, while she doesn’t doubt that they have good intentions, it’s still incredibly upsetting to have to discuss it.
“Trust me, there's a point when the next person who says, 'Well, there are so many options', you want to scream,” she said.
“Of course, it's great there are options. It's marvellous! But when you're dealing with all the other stuff and things that you took for granted are taken away from you, it's like, yes there are options, but…”
The singer didn’t have to finish; her meaning was absolutely implicit – people need to stop with their outrageous, intrusive, and insensitive questions about what should be a deeply personal subject. There are so many reasons why women may not have children; either they don’t want them, or can’t have them, or haven’t found the right person to have them with, or they are putting their career first.
Each reason is a valid as the last, because a woman’s reproductive choices are absolutely her own. We need to stop with the incessant quizzing, comments about the biological clock, and thoughtless attempts to “help” them find a means of starting a family of their own.
More importantly, we need to put an end to this deeply misogynist narrative that suggests a woman’s primary goal in life is to breed; it’s the 21st century now, people. It’s time to change the record already.
Meanwhile Minogue, who has three nephews that she is “crazy” about, added that she has, of course, thought about how her life would be different if she had been able to have children of her own.
She said: “I guess you have those visions of, god, what would my child look like, be it a boy or a girl? What would I see of myself in them?
“That's saddening, but I've thought about it for a long time and I've had to face that for a long time.”
The Spinning Around singer also opened up about her relationship with Sasse; the British actor, who is 19 years her junior, got down on one knee during a trip to Switzerland last December – and Minogue couldn’t be more confident about their future together.
Describing her partner as an “old soul”, she explained that he often causes her to forget the age gap, and make her feel like the “young one in the relationship”.
However she has stressed that they will not tie the knot until same-sex marriage is legalised in her homeland of Australia.
Until that day, the pair will continue to campaign for marriage equality, using their ‘Say I Do Down Under’ slogan in a bid to get the message across.
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Minogue told OK! Magazine: “It was Josh’s idea to start this campaign and I’ve just been like his assistant.
“I’ve been right behind him the whole while because I think that noise coming from me, everyone’s heard it before.”
A photo posted by Kylie Minogue (@kylieminogue) on
Speaking to Network Seven in October about his campaign, Sasse said: “When I found out that gay marriage was illegal in Australia, I was astounded.
“I simply can’t fathom on any level, whether it’s moral or religious or anything, that I have the right to get married and to marry the person that I love and that somebody else doesn’t because of their sexual orientation.”