|Beth Whaanga Photographer: Nadia Masot|
An IN MY BODY Facebook fan sent us this link to an article about a woman named Beth Whaanga who at 32 years of age, was diagnosed with breast cancer. The reason there is such an uproar about this woman is not that she was diagnosed with breast cancer at such a young age, but because she bravely posted photos of herself on Facebook after undergoing a double mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery and a full hysterectomy. The reason she and her photographer friend, Nadia Masot took these shots and posted them was not to be sexual but to show the world what cancer does to the body (from the outside scars.) She wants to encourage other women no matter what their age to do self examinations so that cancer can be caught as early as possible.
This article resonated with me because of a piece of the history of In My Body. For those of you who don't know how IN MY BODY the musical came to be, here you go... it was born out of a song, our namesake, our anthem, called In My Body, written by Dan Martin and Michael Biello nearly 20 years ago. In 2009 our concoctor, writer and producer Lis Kalogris was inspired to combine her love for this song along with the powerful and beautiful encaustic photographs of Leah Macdonald. Leah's photos were of women with bodies of all shapes, colors, sizes and SIGNS OF TRAUMA. Lis and her daughter Kate (fellow writer of IMB) started the IMB Project (as part of their family's non-profit called the KatherineAlexandra Foundation,) which was a multi-arts exploration of body culture which consisted of a gallery exhibition, workshops, panel discussions and mini-musicals. That's it in a nutshell but if you ever want more info, just let me know!
Although Leah and Nadia's photographic styles are very different in many ways, the subject matter tied the two together in my brain. Hence, this posting.
Getting back to Beth Whaanga, by posting HER startling photographs, many people reported her postings as "inappropriate" and about 100 people "de-friended" her and wanted her photos banned. Facebook disagrees with the criticism and is allowing the photos to remain! What do you think of these photographs? Would you deem them inappropriate and offensive even though she posted...
"WARNING: These images are confronting and contain topless material. They are not in anyway meant to be sexual. The aim of this project is to raise awareness for breast cancer. If you find these images offensive, please hide them from your feed."?
|Jessica Photograper: Leah Macdonald|