One photo shows actress Shannen Doherty completely bald, with a bloody cotton ball in her nose, as she looks straight at the camera, almost in a confrontational position.
Another is more playful – Ms. Doherty, 50, is in bed wearing Cookie Monster pajamas and Cookie Monster eye masks. She confesses how exhausted she is, having undergone chemotherapy for stage 4 breast cancer, which has left her plagued with bloody noses.
“Is it all beautiful? No, but it’s true and my hope to share is that we all become more educated, more familiar with what cancer looks like.” Ms Doherty wrote on Instagram this week.
The images are disturbing for any member of Generation X who remembers him as brenda walshowThe feisty, polarizing teenager who played for four years on the hit 1990s show “Beverly Hills, 90210” brought her international fame and notoriety.
Ms Doherty said she was posting the images as part of breast cancer awareness mass In the hope that they will encourage people to have mammograms and regular breast exams and help people “fear and face what you might face.”
The ornate photos align with the candid nature of an actress who was never interested in being universally liked and likely to resonate with a public that is reconsidering how female celebrities were treated in the 1990s and early 2000s, said kersten wesner, an associate professor of media studies at Quinnipiac University who teaches celebrity culture.
“The pictures have not been touched,” said Professor Wesner. “She’s not presented in any way compared to the reality she’s going through. Something looks like it’s coming from an authentic place when she’s communicating with you.”
Ms Doherty said she learned she had breast cancer in 2015. Since then, he said he has had a mastectomy, as well as radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
The photos, which have been viewed nearly 280,000 times, have garnered comments of sympathy, praise and admiration on her Instagram account, which has more than 1.8 million followers.
“Love you shan,” wrote Ian Ziering, one of his former co-stars on “Beverly Hills, 90210.”
“You are a force, sister!” Written by Kelly Hu, an actress.
Ms. Doherty did not often receive such praise when she was younger.
In the early 1990s, Ms. Doherty, who was only 19 when she began starring on “90210”, was criticized by the press and many for smoking in clubs, her turbulent love life, and reports that she It was difficult on the set.
Her character was an outspoken, obstinate and temperamental teenager who had sex with her boyfriend, fought with her friends, and rebelled against her father.
Kat Spada, one of the hosts of the show, said Brenda Walsh “related to be in an uncomfortable way”. “Flame” A podcast dedicated to discussing “90210”.
In the end, fans’ backlash against Brenda Walsh’s character, and by extension Ms. Doherty, may have been the result of seeing herself in both women, said the podcast’s other host, Lizzie Leader.
“We always ask guests about their ‘90210’ journey and we ask which character they relate or identify with the most,” said Ms. Neta. “Everyone is almost always a Brenda.”
But while the show was airing, some fans became so incensed about the character that they called for Ms. Doherty to be fired.
He a”i hate brenda“Club. MTV News Dedicated three-plus-minute segment for emotion, quoting people who made fun of his looks and His decision to attend the Republican National Convention in 1992. A clip from an MTV segment shows a group of party-goers hitting “Brenda Pinata”.
She left “Beverly Hills, 90210” in 1994, then appeared in the 1995 film “mallrats“and several television movies and shows. In 2019, she appeared in a brief reboot of the original titled “90210”BH90210“
In An interview with The New York Times in 2008Ms Doherty said the bad publicity around her was often based on exaggeration or “completely false” stories.
“I could really care less about it now,” she said in the interview. “I have nothing to apologize for. All I did was a process of growing up that I had to go through, whatever my age. And although other people may have reacted to that, it’s their point. “
If you were a fan of Ms. Doherty, the headlines hit, said Professor Wesner, 45, who saw Ms. Doherty go from a child actor to roles like “Little House on the Prairie.” heather duke In the 1988 film “Heathers” and Brenda Walsh.
“She meant a lot to me,” said Professor Wesner. “I was an outspoken girl myself and I’ve been slammed for that too. For me, seeing someone who is also outspoken and also a ‘tough lady’ was satisfying.”
Ms Doherty’s coverage was reflective of a time when “publications would attack, fat shame, ugly shame, anorexia shame,” said Stephen GallowayDean of the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., and former executive editor of The Hollywood Reporter. “There was no line between taste and obscenity. It was whatever happened. “
And it seriously damaged Ms. Doherty’s career, he said.
His decision to document the effects of cancer is “a great step towards redemption and meaningfulness” that can help people, said Mr Galloway, who said he was diagnosed about a week ago after he was diagnosed with cancer. are in the early stages.
She said Ms Doherty’s openness made her feel more comfortable talking about her diagnosis.
“I looked at him and I thought, ‘What a dare,'” said Mr. Galloway.