Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One brave and awesome woman!

Today, I am posting a picture of the breast pocket I have created for Melanie Testa, an artist that I admire for her strength, courage and bravery.

She has put out a challenge for folks to make 1000 breast pockets to raise awareness for the women who choose not to reconstruct their bodies after breast cancer and to pave awareness for those who would like to put their forms aside entirely. Breast pockets are coming in to Melanie from around the world! My pocket honors Melanie's passion and bravery. Here's a quote from Melanie:
"I would never have thought that an aspect of the cancer experience would make me feel so passionate. I firmly believe the ability to ‘Go Flat’ is an issue of women’s rights. This is an issue of body autonomy, women must have complete control over the only thing we can control, our bodies. As a result, Going Flat must become normalized. Women who forgo reconstruction should not wear breast forms for any other reason than having a preference to do so.
When the beautiful, diminutive 75 year old fella pool program attendee looked at me and pinched her ‘bubby’, which is what she calls her breast form, telling me she hated wearing it for the last __ years (more than 2 decades). I fell in love with her, and fell in love with being a feminist, again. Her daughter keeps telling her to put the breast form away. But she does not feel able to leave the breast form behind!
She called me brave. A teacher. She looked at me in awe.
And I am brave, many women cannot imagine leaving home without their breast forms. Others very much want to leave them behind, but feel pressure to wear them for their jobs, and for the people in their lives who expect them to look a certain way. As more women like me, Margaret W. Smith and Jodi Jaecks put their bodies and their choices out there, normalization of this bodily form, this aspect of women’s lives, will occur. Society will re-member the full array of shapes that an individual woman’s body can take in a lifetime. But no woman should feel compelled to wear forms because our society is misogynist and ignorant and has set up an expectation of what the female form should look like. Especially in light of breast cancer."
You can read more on Melanie's blog here.

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.
                                                                                       --Alan Alda


  1. It does take courage to go against the norm and expectations. Not only for us who are living without breasts, but for our significant others. My husband respects my decision even though he isn't entirely comfortable with others noticing my flat chest. I, too, applaud Melanie for getting this issue out there and noticed by a lot more people to help being flat "normal."

  2. A beautiful pocket for one of the bravest women I know. I am so glad Melly shared your pocket because I found your blog, lucky me! I just read your post about Gail Hawker. I have always wanted to take her classes. (My folks live in Snohomish, so it would be an easy commute.) I'll be back!

    1. Thanks and you really should look into taking classes and courses from Gail. She's an awesome teacher! I have gained so much from her instruction...

  3. What a pretty pocket. I see we have the same taste in blog blackgrounds isn't it pretty?

  4. I too made the decision ten years ago when I had a bilateral mastectomy to forgo reconstruction and I never wore a body form. I was pretty large too, 14 lbs of tissue removed. I have never regretted my decisions. And I never thought of myself as brave for making and living with my decisions. But when I read other women's stories and how they struggle with just "being", I realize that I have been gifted with a strong spirit. I encourage any woman who wants to walk away the discomfort of body forms, to do it. I can only offer the positive from my own experience and remote hugs from my heart. I let some of my friends know about this pocket project so I am hoping that two pockets show up with my name on them. Thanks so much to all who are sharing their stories and offering their support. Theresa