Paula Abdul
Images via Helga Esteb /

#CheckYourself before you judge Paula Abdul

by Georgia Van Cuylenburg

This month’s Soul Angel is a poster child for the very motivation behind this column. With many publications out there dishing out celebrity dirt, we wanted to highlight the incredible things that many celebrities are doing to make a difference.

When you mention Paula Abdul’s name, most people will bring up American Idol and her sometimes confusing behavior during her tenure as one of the celebrity judges on the show. While the press was quick to suggest a myriad of explanations, I didn’t hear any of them mention that whilst being a judge on one of the top rated TV shows of all time, and having a rigorous performance schedule, she was also supporting over fifteen different charitable organizations including the American Humane Association, In Defense of Animals, Kids Wish Network, The Peace Alliance, American Red Cross and VH1 Save The Music Foundation, to name a few. This October, however, Abdul is determined that we know about her good efforts and this time she is getting attention for a very good reason!

October is an incredibly inspiring month of the year. Not because of the candy corn on sale at the grocery store or the premature waft of pumpkin spice latte as you walk into Starbucks, but because everything turns pink! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year Paula Abdul has joined the pink army and is marching right up front.

Abdul has joined the bosses at beauty brand Avon for the appropriately-titled “Check Yourself” video, in which she highlights the importance of self-exams and demonstrates how to do them properly with the help of a new dance move. Abdul says she jumped at the chance to front the campaign:

“They (Avon bosses) didn’t know that I had my own personal (connection to the disease), it was very near and dear to my heart because my sister is a breast cancer survivor. I had a blast (making the promo), they’re just amazing people. Over 100 people volunteered their time and 80 percent of the people that are in this (video) and around it (involved in it) are (personally) affected somehow by breast cancer, and the whole idea about this is I wanted it to be celebratory, as opposed to, you know, it’s daunting, and there’s so much information and facts and everything….”

Paula’s sisters even appear with her in the promo, which features many other breast cancer survivors and their family members. When asked by Access Hollywood why she decided to speak up now she said: “My hope is that this new video will inspire women and men to take charge of their own breast health through screening, detection, and treatment.”

It would seem her plan is working too as the video has already received nearly 150,000 views on YouTube. And even if only half of those views are from women, that is 75,000 women who are taking charge of their health and checking themselves – while doing a snazzy new dance move!

Thank you Paula Abdul for reminding us to not only #checkyourself when it comes to our health but also to #checkyourself before you judge someone you know from your TV.

Check out Paula Abdul’s video and to learn how to #checkyourself.

Georgia Van Cuylenburg

About Georgia Van Cuylenburg

Georgia is a comedian, writer and actress who started her production company to create work that makes people laugh and makes a difference. Through her entertainment and philanthropic work she is committed to sharing her personal trials to help others, and to having children around the world believe in their magic. Follow Georgia on Twitter @georgiavanc and YouTube

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