The Cat Walk, Flattopper Pride and Play Out underwear

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This week has been such a fantastic experience. Emily Jensen, of FlatTopper Pride, came to town to walk the cat walk wearing Play Out underwear. FlatTopper Pride is a supportive space where gender presentation and cancer intersect. If you are queer, or an ally of the queer community and you have had breast cancer and want to discuss your path in a supportive environment, this is the group for you. 

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Since my diagnosis of breast cancer, I have been using the unique opportunities presented to me to open discussion on what it can mean to be a woman and be breastless without apology in a breast obsessed world. The show we walked in had a theme of Ken and Barbie, with the intention of using dolls or toys to speak to body ideals and body dysmorphia. So the stylists and make-up artists did their magic and turned us into dolls. 

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Seeing the two of us looking all plastic-y, walking confidently down the runway in nothing more than Play Out underwear , revealing our scars, helps to narrow the divide between how we are ‘supposed to look’ and how we actually look. The breast cancer closet, where we are supposed to quietly resume our lives as if nothing has happened, while maintaining the breasted and ‘known’ female shape is being redefined. Body confidence is where it is at.

 

Being visually represented in the media is important to all people, it acts to bolster our sense of person and humanity. Body image, acceptance and love can be challenged after breast cancer treatment and I hope these images help other, newly diagnosed women see that flat reconstruction is one beautiful option among many, breastless bodies are beautiful and that breasts do not define us.

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Please read the Hello Giggles article, written by Jackie Reeve, called: Meet two young breast cancer survivors who just revolutionized the runway.

Wow, a whirlwind.

These last few weeks have been amazing. Hectic crazy, fun, well worth it.

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My creative stand still came to an end, thank goodness.

I went to quilt market while visiting my Bestie. I learned a lot.

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And the Play Out (click this link to see a sexy, hip commercial for the undies) and Flattopper Pride underwear photoshoot went viral. It started with HuffPo, then it shifted and became a sprinkling of articles, then I started seeing my photograph under Japanese characters, in Norwegian online magazines, BuzzFeed, Mashable, People. I was interviewed for an article in Women’s Health (apologies to my husband, it just popped out.). I don’t know what, ‘in association with the New York Times means but, I think it got very close to being in the New York Times, if not officially in it.

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I was able to meet Barbara Rosenblat, the actress who played Ms. Rose in Orange is the New Black, a favorite show of mine. In season two she was in cancer treatment. I won’t tell the story, I just loved the character she played. Rain Dove, the androgynous model I am pictured beside in a few of the ad campaign and on the red carpet event at the New York Women in Film and Television, where I met Ms. Rosenblat.

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I was thrilled. I love the above scene. Just love it.

I experienced vile and bullying comments. That wasn’t a treat. But my self esteem is not tied to other people’s opinions of me, so that is that. I am thinking up a post about this, having to do with allowing love in, opening your heart to all body types, breasted, reconstructed, flat, fat, thin and differently abled.

Let me know if you are interested in this.

OH! And, I am printing the border for my next quilt top! Next up, green!! Photos to follow. Let me just say, I want this quilt top done by Saturday, Quilt Guild! I am very excited about it.

And, hey wait!! Brave? Well, yeah. Determined. Willing. Beautiful. Brave is the least of it.

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Please comment. I miss you all. It has been a good few weeks and better to get back into the flow of creative living.