There are things I find unnecessary in this rah-rah month of Pinktober. Take for example the photo floating around on Facebook (above).
What will liking this photo do for breast cancer? What will liking this photo do for breast cancer survivors?
When I asked these questions, I got back the following comments:
(from a man): it illustrates the power of not hiding behind illness but standing up and saying “you tried but i won”. certain times brazenness such as the woman in this picture is exactly whats needed to wake people up to things
(from a woman) it shows that women are still beautiful even without their breasts
There are other comments, but I chose those two. I am sorry, but as a survivor, I do not personally need to be “woken up to things”. I am a survivor and proud of my lop-sided self and I don’t need to be shown dark photos of the super scarred to do so. I mean what is the other thought here? That because I am not that scarred physically from breast cancer I should feel guilty? Each woman’s cancer is different. Each surgery is different.
That photo above is not beautiful. It is dark and disturbing to me. The bars on the windows behind the woman look like jail. So she doesn’t look like a proud survivor to me, she looks like she is in prison. And how you interpret prison could be in all sorts of ways – mental, physical, psychological.
It is only October 10th and seriously this month of pink hyper overload is driving me bat shit.
I am not the only survivor seeing red over pink. Check out The Pink Underbelly.
I am a woman who survived. I did it positively for the most part and on my own darn terms. I do not need to be hit in the face day in and day out with horrible jagged images of horrible jagged scars throughout the month of October. I am trying to be positive, not being forced to face every other woman’s scars (no offense intended to my fellow survivors.)
Survivors are beautiful just for surviving, they don’t need to show their scars to prove their self-worth. Just like we don’t have to purchase pink garbage so manufacturers can make a bump in certain profit margins during October that no breast cancer charities will ever see.
Yes, I am a survivor and if I have to post every single day of October that Pinktober is OBNOXIOUS, I will.
So here y’all go out there. Want to see a boob shot for pinktober? Here’s mine from this time last year. Is it beautiful? I don’t know. It’s just a slightly arty photo of a breast and a scar. But it isn’t dark and disturbing. And since I was kind enough to flash all of you, please consider a small donation to www.breastcancer.org in the name of ihavebreastcancerblog. Celebrate LIFE people, not scars.
Now I will leave you with an oldie but goodie from the Police. Perfect song for Pinktober:
I got an interesting FB message from a woman who knows a couple of women I know who are survivors:
“Just wanted to let you know that the woman in that photo did not give permission or even know that site used her SCAR photo until i just saw it floating around and sent it to her. I’d love to share her story with you if you’d like to know. We are actually working on getting it ready for the SCAR blog. But i’m sorry if this post you saw gives you the wrong idea about her. because she is everything the opposite of what the post says of her.”
I am waiting to hear this woman’s story and I am HAPPY to post it if someone used her photo in this manner without her permission.
Here is the link to the SCAR Project Blog: http://thescarprojectblog.com/
So the woman in the photo has to cope with BC and its myriad fallouts as well as being exploited by some asshats on FB? And for what?? I agree, the whole “like if you want to end BC” or “share if you love someone who’s been diagnosed” is completely useless. Each woman’s cancer is different, as is each person’s response to it. Nobody has the right to tell another how to respond or how to feel about this dire subject.
I think she looks striking, despite everything else associated with the ‘liking’ of this photograph. The SCAR project is really respectful to its subjects, and I’m sure no one on their team is pleased that this portrait has been turned into a viral click collector. Honestly, when I look at this photograph in your post, (getting past the banner and the ‘how many likes’ garbage), I didn’t notice the bars at all. I thought about how young she is, how long her hair is (cause since losing mine I can’t help doing that with people) and how she’s staring down that camera, and of course, how much guts it must have taken for her to show her chest- and did that tattoo hurt, or is the area numb? She’s lovely, in my mind.
But I can also understand how we all pick up on different things with this picture, and that makes sense since it’s art – and it’s meant to challenge and create reactions. There are times of darkness and hardship – emotional and physical prisons . . . but there are also times of strength and courage.
I have a feeling many people subjected to these click campaigns don’t realize their image is being used. It’s just another instance where people are taking advantage.