Saturday, June 23, 2012

Breastless chest

I get many questions about the mastectomy tattoo featured in April 2009, which I found on
"This tattoo was collaboratively designed by Inga Duncan Thornell and Tina Bafaro, her tattooist, to cover the scars from Inga’s bilateral mastectomy. It took one Sunday a month over 2 1/2 years to complete."
A cool idea, an alternative to rebuilding the breasts, and very empowering. So is posing for a photo shoot. About her subject Takami Yao (3rd image), who had a double mastectomy in 1998, artist Trix Rosen writes:
But what if a woman chooses to go au naturel after surgery? She no longer has nipples or tissue (1st image) , yet is still obligated to cover up her chest by virtue of her gender.* She can probably get away with it at the beach without comment (see here and here), but at a public pool she is obligated to ask permission or face censure. A Seattle resident has done just that. Cancer survivor Jodi Jaecks (2nd image), 45, asked that she be allowed to swim without the top half of her bathing suit, since it is painful against her scars. She argues (video here),
"If I called myself a man and walked into that pool they would have no problem with my body. But if I am a woman who had breast cancer, with the exact same body, and I go in there, then it's offensive and inappropriate."
She has been granted an exemption from the dress policy and now has the right to swim topless in Seattle’s public pools (only during adult lap sessions). Similar exceptions will be made case-by-case, which doesn't satisfy Jaecks. As she says, "It's going to be harder for a more reserved, self-conscious woman to have the guts to stand out and be different."

*Something strangely similar is true of androgenous Andrej Pejic, who has received criticism for baring his chest even though he is male modeling female fashion.

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