|The Scar Project.|
Ok, so I want to tell you all something.
A short time ago, I came across a website on the internet.
At the time, I was actively searching for something; I was searching for photographs of women who'd had reconstructive breast surgery after breast cancer. I wanted to see what I could expect & how I might look - after all, I'll be having similar surgery soon......
I came across this site. www.thescarproject.org (You will need to click on the 'images' header on the actual website to see the bit that I'm talking about)
I've been in two minds whether to provide the link for this (I have provided it but please, have some respect), only because, this is a very touchy subject & very, very personal. And, it ain't a f*cking peepshow, this is serious shit.
The women in the photographs are all aged between 18 & 35. Slightly younger than me but, only by 4 years......I'm 39.....still considered young for breast cancer.
Anyway, David Jay, the photographer who masterminded this whole thing, is a renowned fashion photographer but, when one of his close, female friends was diagnosed with breast cancer, he wanted to do something to help. So, he did what he did best.
He took photographs.
And OH MY: how powerful & life changing (for the women who took part in it), these photographs were.
There's a documentary about his project, called 'Baring It All' & it's on TV tonight (27th August), it's on 'The (UK) Style Network' at 7pm.
Then again at 9pm on 29th August, then at 10am on 31st August.
It follows women who've been on a similar journey to me.
And these women have been photographed - topless - to show what breast cancer really means & looks like. But it's not just a 'Page 3', gratuitous shoot; this project means so much more.
The Scar Project website states: Although Jay began shooting The SCAR Project primarily as an awareness raising campaign, he was not prepared for something much more immediate . . . and beautiful: “For these young women, having their portrait taken seems to represent their personal victory over this terrifying disease. It helps them reclaim their femininity, their sexuality, identity and power after having been robbed of such an important part of it. Through these simple pictures, they seem to gain some acceptance of what has happened to them and the strength to move forward with pride."
This project made quite an impression on me. As did the statement above.
Cos I'm still young, still a woman & still hoping for normality after all of this.
I'll say it now - although I appreciate all of the fundraising that is held on behalf of breast cancer......I ain't really a 'Pink Ribbon' kind of gal.
I've always been a bit 'in yer face', I like to make an impact & a lasting impression.
So, I contacted Swansea University to ask if any of their 3rd year photography students would like to 'use me' as a project. The student would get an interesting project & I would get photographs of me - looking beautiful - but......interesting.
And they were very, very interested in using me as a subject.
I contacted them because I was so inspired by these moving, raw, honest photographs that portrayed women at their most beautiful........but also, at their most vulnerable. I can totally relate to them.
Anyway, I'm moving back to Liverpool now so, I suppose I need to contact the Art & Design unit at John Moores University Liverpool, instead.
But, I totally stand by my eagerness to do a similar thing in the very near future.
And if you do decide to take a look - & please believe me - this is a harrowing but very real situation - I hope you'll understand that I feel like I need to 'do something'.
And if this is what makes you all sit up & take notice - then so be it.
This is life with breast cancer. This is what can happen. It ain't pretty, it ain't good - but it's real.
It's happened to me. Keep checking those breasts. Watch the documentary.
Love Chez. xx