Breast Cancer Warriors Show Their Beauty Amid the Scars

Breast cancer didn't keep these 33 brave women down. Instead of hiding what happened, dozens of women dared to bare all for a professional photographer as part of a project entitled “Woman: Redefined.” The book's creators received funding from donors on Kickstarter.com, with the intention of distributing copies of the book to health centers throughout the United States and Canada, free of charge — and they met their goal!

The black-and-white photographs show the beauty of women's bodies after undergoing breast cancer surgery. Some photos show women with one or both breasts missing. Others show scars across the entire abdomen as a reminder of past surgeries. Every one of the photographs shows women's bodies from the neck to the hips. The women come from different age groups, socioeconomic classes and races. No faces are shown, yet the images tell powerful stories of strength, beauty, courage, overcoming the odds and survival.

Woman: Redefined – dignity, beauty, and breast cancerWomen on their breast cancer journeys deserve to see beautiful yet realistic images of what they may look like after surgery. Please help make this photo book a reality. The Kickstarter Campaign is up and running!! https://kck.st/1CG0WxU Our goal is to get a photo book to every Breast Health Centre across North America.

Posted by Woman: Redefined on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The book's creators, Kristina Hunter and ML Kenneth, hope these portraits empower women undergoing breast cancer treatment to remain strong and steadfast. Hunter, a college professor, has a personal connection to her subjects. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 at the age of 42. Hunter and her husband went to the doctor's office and saw only clinical photos of what breast cancer treatments do to women's bodies. So, Hunter decided to create a book on the beauty of the female form that persists despite the ravages of lifesaving cancer surgery. Hunter believes her own scars symbolize her body's journey and give her strength. She told the Huffington Post that each person featured in “Woman: Redefined” is “completely inspiring” and “imperfectly beautiful.”

This book isn't just for women who may feel stigmatized by permanent scars, but also for the men and women who love them. Survivors can and do remain beautiful and vibrant even after surgery. Scars do not define them, yet, sadly, so many women are not comfortable baring their scars even in front of loved ones. This project could be potentially life-changing for those women, allowing them to feel connected with other survivors and more confident about their bodies.

A big thank you to the beautiful women in these photos for their daring, strength, and honesty.

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