Breasts. They are an oddly powerful thing. They sustain life, feed, nourish, strengthen, entice, bewitch, mesmerize, and seduce, they build confidence and they tear it down. They are to big, to small or just right. They are pulled, prodded and stuffed…they are covered up, concealed, hidden and flattened down. They are exposed, pushed up, uncovered and shown off. They can be a source of pride or one of embarrassment. They are photographed, drawn, painted, written about and sung about. They can be a muse or a nemesis. They are pierced, tattooed, enlarged and reduced. They are also cut open…cut off…taken away.
Breasts cross the border and link the phases of a woman’s life between her sexuality, motherhood and her later years and represent radically different things to her over the course of a lifetime. They tend to be at the very heart of her femininity. Starting off as nonexistent in her childhood years and growing into an object of desire and tools used to attract, entice and please a mate as a young woman and then another transition into the source of life and nourishment for her child as she becomes a mother. The children grow and the breasts and body change shape and size, transforming into the symbols of beautiful life phases.
As a woman that photographs women and brings to life the peak of their femininity, I cannot imagine the pain and sense of loss that a woman may feel at the prospect of losing something that, to many, may be at the heart of her femininity. My heart aches for the women that have been given doctor’s orders to remove her breasts. This is not at all to say that breasts define a woman’s femininity, but I believe that most women would agree that they do set us apart from men and a great deal of time, effort, energy and thought goes into them at every stage of life.
As a photographer, I aim to accentuate the female figure in its most beautiful and curvaceous form. The hips…the waist…the breasts. As a woman, I believe that women—all women—should have the right to keep their breasts and that all breasts, big, small, medium, uneven, saggy, perky, scarred, and perfect have a right to stay where they belong…on a woman’s beautiful and ever-changing body.
The images for the Bras for a Cause calendar brought to the forefront of my mind the incredible impact that breasts actually have on the life of a woman. Thank you to the gorgeous women that so willingly obliged me as I asked them to show off one of their most personal assets and thank you all for the love and support for the women around the globe that face breast cancer on a daily basis.