Why are mastectomy photographs being flagged and removed from Facebook?
I wish for a second that those people reporting photographs of a mastectomy could see what I see when a woman comes to be photographed for the Grace project.
I wish they could see the fear she experiences, the vulnerability that cloaks her every day, the many tears that flow into an ocean of tears of the thousands of women who feel mutilated, de-feminized, scared and alone as a result of having lost one or both breasts.
I wish they could imagine for a minute what it might feel like to lose a breast in a culture where beauty is narrowly defined and women are given value based on appearance.
I wish they could understand the enormous hurdle these women transcend, the sheer bravado they muster in order to stand naked in front of my camera. The metamorphosis that occurs, a shameless and empowering declaration of beauty and self acceptance.
And now I wish they could feel how much it hurts for a woman who has put her greatest vulnerability on the line, revealed her scars to the world, to be part of something greater than herself and then to have her photograph reported and deleted. THIS IS NOTHING LESS THAN CYBER BULLYING.
Erin’s photograph was the most recent to be reported and removed from her Facebook page. Here are her words:
“Somebody reported my Grace photo for nudity. Whoever did that needs to unfriend me promptly. Feel free to speak to me about it first. Or not. Clearly you are a coward. You are not someone I am interested in knowing. I have been through great pain and fear, I lost my beautiful breast, I lost my relationship, I lost progress in school, my children lost innocence, I lost strength in my arm and shoulder, I will always have to fight stiffness, I deal with lymphedema, my liver and pancreas are damaged, chemo induced early menopause and probably diabetes, brain fog and constant pain in my joints. I live with a level of fear and I hope like hell that this most aggressive cancer does not return and take me away from my daughters. You have a problem with this one boob of mine? Fuck you. Take your righteous, non compassionate self and go the fuck away from me.”
My message to the morality police with their uptight self righteous judgements and Facebook flagging fingers is that you are dealing with warriors. Warriors that will not give up. We will keep posting. #Wearenotashamed.
LIKE THE GRACE PROJECT ON FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/graceproject