With a series of raw images showing women’s breasts, post-mastectomy, has captured the attention of Stella McCartney (and the nation).
The designer has teamed up with esteemed photographer Laura Dodsworth to raise awareness of breast cancer and the women affected by it.
The collaboration proceeds the grand unveiling of McCartney’s lingerie collection in September which featured a mastectomy bra named in honour of her mother Linda Louise McCartney, who died from breast cancer in 1998.
In an insightful interview, McCartney has spoken to Dodsworth about her powerful photographs and the way breasts are portrayed in the media.
Dodsworth has photographed and interviewed 12 women who have experienced breast cancer. Writing in a blog on HuffPost UK, she says that their stories were “especially moving”.
“Nothing puts your own problems, big or small, into perspective like someone else’s life or death story,” she explains.
The un-airbrushed photographs and assisting stories support the launch of McCartney’s double mastectomy bra and the ‘No Less A Woman’ campaign.
For someone like McCartney to take to the public stage (having enormous social status and fashion-breeding clout) to speak out on an issue that has affected us all means things are REALLY changing.
It is also important to acknowledge that there is a SERIOUS lack of pretty, chic, comfortable and functional mastectomy bras on the market. Anita offer some great options, with impeccable fits. But the current mastectomy market space seems to me to be very much geared towards women in their 50s / 60s / 70s and the sad fact is we must acknowledge this isn't an 'age-exclusive' disease.
My own experience - up-close and personal - of breast cancer was actually via a very, very dear friend. She was diagnosed with Stage 2 a week after her 30th birthday. And what followed was to be years of treatment, suffering, identity struggles, physical and mental pain and her own personal uprising against the disease.
I took the diagnosis badly,she didn't. And not that cancer cares, but this particular friend is nothing but a Saint. Gives everything she has to others, and when I first met her, worked three jobs; assisting disabled children, nursing and working in the local fire station taking emergency calls...
She is now in remission after several battles excluding the cancer itself, one in particular springs to mind. She had to fight the NHS to remove her other non-cancerous breast too. So that in the coming years she didn't wake up in the middle of the night thinking 'this breast is next'.
Being the true angel she is, when I met up with Bx - post double-mastectomy she said, when explaining she would need to choose the shape of her to-be-tattooed nipples - 'V, when in life do you ever get the chance to choose the shape of your own nipple?! I might go for stars, or maybe hearts.'
She still has a long time to wait before having children with her gorgeous partner (they have frozen eggs and sperm) but there are still years of preventative treatment ahead before they can continue on the path meant for such wonderful people.