On her 32nd birthday of all days, Beth Whaanga from Brisbane, Australia receives some news that brings her world to collapse: the mother of 4 has breast cancer. She also posesses the BRCA2 gene, which promotes the growth of cancer cells in the breast and ovaries. Beth has her breasts amputated and her uterus removed.
But the Australian doesn't want to hide her scars - they show her why she is still alive. together with her friend, the photographer Nadia Masot, she starts the "Under The Red Dress Project," letting herself be photographed completley naked - with all her scars. "Every day we walk past other people. They look normal, but sometimes their body tells another story underneath their clothes," tells Beth. "We want to show that cancer affects everyone."
Beth posts these revealing photos on Facebook - but not without warning her friends on Facebook first. "These pictures are controversial and contain topless material," she writes. "They aren't supposed to be sexual at all. The goal of this project is to create awarness for breast cancer. If you find this pictures offensive then block them from your newsfeed."
And Beth receives a ton of answers. Many congratulate her and her courage, praising her for her public struggle. Yet 103 people unfriend her immediately after she uploads the pictures. One even writes: "I don't want to see such drastic pictures on a website where people can't decide if they want to see that or not, just like it happened to me. That can happen to kids too when they go on Facebook!"
Yet the photogropher Nadia Masot stands behind Beth 100% and the pictures: "All those who think that these photos 'are simply not for them' may be those in the end that they were a bit more aware when it hits them - it's even worse that they have decided to get upset instead of listening," she defends the project. "Ignorance is never the right choice."
Double breast amputation. Breast reconstruction. Brustamputation. Brustrekonstruktion. Belly button reconstruction. Removal of the uterus. Weight loss. Persistent hair loss. these photos show mercilessly what Beth had to endure during her cancer illness. "But after the operation, I feel that I will live longer - and that is the best part of all - not just for me, but also for my family."
In the meantime, more women have let themselves be photographed for the project, all with the same goal: to help affected women with their strength and to create awareness for breast cancer and its treatment. Share this article with all your friends if you suport this special campaign against cancer!