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I look for other flat chested women. A rant.

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Comments

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845

    Alexandria, I agree on most of your points.

  • Nel
    Nel Member Posts: 597

    Claire,

    Beautiful picture and wonderful poem.  There must be someone among us (not me for sure) who could design a new logo of a woman  or women flat or half flat.  And not in PINK!   What a great message it would be for other women, our daughters, granddaughters etc. 

    I was DX at the end of September last year just going into breast cancer awaremess month.  Thought I was going to loose my mind.  And large portions of the $ raised goes to admin costs for these organizations, not directly to women who need assistance. My rant against pink got so bad, my infusion nureses tried to remember not to wearpink on Fridays , my infusion day. 

    A gentle and pink free weekend

    Nel 

  • Nel
    Nel Member Posts: 597

    Claire,

    Beautiful picture and wonderful poem.  There must be someone among us (not me for sure) who could design a new logo of a woman  or women flat or half flat.  And not in PINK!   What a great message it would be for other women, our daughters, granddaughters etc. 

    I was DX at the end of September last year just going into breast cancer awaremess month.  Thought I was going to loose my mind.  And large portions of the $ raised goes to admin costs for these organizations, not directly to women who need assistance. My rant against pink got so bad, my infusion nureses tried to remember not to wearpink on Fridays , my infusion day. 

    A gentle and pink free weekend

    Nel 

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845

    Nel, lol, I am with you on the non-pink.

  • alexandria58
    alexandria58 Member Posts: 202

    Women in Black.  (Black is better for the breastless look.)

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845

    The look I have in mind is a row of women dressed in highwasted, wide-legged black pants, killer heels, string of pearls, lipstick and bare, flat or semi-flat chests.

  • BoobsinaBox
    BoobsinaBox Member Posts: 77

    Yes, Alexandria!



    Dawn

  • CLC
    CLC Member Posts: 615

    I cannot find it, but when I was hunting for "my" long lost Deena Metzger poster, I found a picture of a tall thin blonde woman with a black shawl draped over her remaining breast, so that you could only see her mx side.  It might be the model from the 80's.  I will keep hunting...

  • CLC
    CLC Member Posts: 615

    LtotheK...Is it Matuschka?

    http://www.fawi.net/BC/heroines.html

  • CLC
    CLC Member Posts: 615

    And, while we are talking about bc heros of the past, I started a thread about a woman named Fanny Burney who had a mx in 1811 or 1812, when there was no anesthesia.  She wrote a detailed letter recounting her experience.  The thread has only been posted on by one person (a man) who basically told me he didn't want to think about it.  I had seen her as another strong woman worth our respect and gratitude for sharing her story.  I thought it would be of interest to more than me, but I am not sure if it is just too much to think about or if it has been unnoticed.  Any thoughts?

    The thread is at

    http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/135/topic/790101?page=1#idx_2

  • LtotheK
    LtotheK Member Posts: 487

    That's her, CLC!  I think you are on to some interesting psychological issues here.  One thing BC taught me was, generally speaking, there are those who chose to walk into the fire with me, and those who turned away.  And in that group of those who turned away, I include those who were so "me" focused they could only relate my breast cancer to whether THEY would get it.  Those people had to be cut loose.

    I have a colleague whose grandmother died a very hard, long death.  Of her three sisters, she was the only one who went bedside.  The other two wrote the granny off, because they "couldn't deal with it". For me, that would be an unanswered question, and an incomplete life cycle.  So is denying the reality of what others go through that involves pain and suffering.

    In the animal world, it is common for animals to abandon the sick and dying.  I just hadn't bargained for what animals people can be!  Glad I'm finding quite the opposite here.  You are also so wonderful.

  • LtotheK
    LtotheK Member Posts: 487

    And thank goodness, some women are smarter than I am. 

    "I have always adhered the the philosophy that one should speak and show the truth, because knowledge leads to free will, to choice.  If we keep quiet about what cancer does to women's bodies, if we refuse to accept women's bodies in whatever condition they are in, we are doing a disservice to womankind." Matuschka

  • CLC
    CLC Member Posts: 615

    That's some quote.  I think that is why I read Fanny Burney's letter in its entirety, though it was not easy for me.  I think your phrase "walk into the fire with me" says it quite well, too.

  • eric95us
    eric95us Member Posts: 3,035

    Please pardon this post.   I've been following this thread as it is of interest to me.  More on that later.

    I'm the guy who posted about Fanny's letter saying I couldn't imagine..and really didn't want to.

    I guess I wasn't so clear in that other post.  I read that letter all the way through.  I don't want to imagine what she went through for what might be similar reasons as to why you wouldn't want to watch mastectomy surgery, especially if that person had no anesthesia.  I am in awe of her and seriously doubt I would have similar strength.

     Back to why I've been lurking and reading this thread.

    Because of my fiancee's "flatness" I have been aware of society's incorrect view about women's breasts "making the woman".

    My fiancee was perfect in my eyes. 

    She was 5-10 tall, had short hair (short enough that a scrub cap could cover her hair without having to work at it), weighed 130 pounds and didn't have big hips.  She had a keen mind, a smile that rocked my world, eyes to die for, a voice that couldn't be beat and a sense of humor like mine.  Like I said, she was perfect.  We were together for over 3 years when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  She died 4 months later--about 3 weeks before her 22nd birthday.  Breast cancer isn't the only cancer that sucks....  That was 28+ years ago.

    When she was getting fitted for some nice clothes for med school interviews.  We left the store after the woman there announced "30 and 30-1/2" and then said, "Honey, you don't need a bra yet.  They are for grown women".

    I don't know how many times we were asked/taunted by both men and women about being a gay couple.  

    Her mom used to annoy the hell out of me.... "Denice, you do know that doctors can make your breasts bigger.  You should check into that."  Or "For God's sake, GROW YOUR HAIR."  Or, one or the other plus, "Don't you want to attract a man?"   Her mom didn't like me...... :-)  Fortunately her dad way more than made up for her mom...

     She was always getting the "Sir...." and "Son....." statements....Sometimes the people would be embarassed...sometimes not....

    I've always wondered how many women were like her mom, the lady at the store and those that taunted.  It's not something I could just go up and ask....Following this thread has answered questions for me too.

    Thank you.

    Now my wife has breast cancer.  Stage 3.  I worry about the future and try not to relive the past. My wife had a bilateral MX and did chose some minimal reconstruction. But we keep having to remind the plastic surgeon that "inflation (of the tissue expanders) is not an option"...it's like he won't be happy unless she walks out looking like a caricature....

     Eric

  • LtotheK
    LtotheK Member Posts: 487

    Eric, I so appreciate your sharing your story.  I was in agony during my chemotherapy constantly being talked to and asked questions, taunted at times, and called a sexy 12 year old boy (direct quote).

    My heart bleeds for you and your wife.  One thing that has always been helpful for my husband and me is to recognize the incredible privilege we have to experience real love between us, among our family, friends, and even medical team. And the group here is my lifeline.  I am pretty sure I wouldn't be where I am now (happy, healthy...yes, waiting for a new biopsy which is scaring the he** out of us) without this incredibly kind, honest and loving group of people. I'm grateful to them every day since my diagnosis.  One thing that helps me give back is I try to donate to bc.org when a Stage IV friend here becomes an angel.

  • CLC
    CLC Member Posts: 615

    Eric...I am thankful for the clarification.  I wasn't entirely clear either-I had no issue whatsoever with your post.  I was concerned that I was being insensitive by raising her story, yet I really didn't want to let go of the thread, either, because it had great meaning to me.  So I posted here to get some feedback on whether I was just being a jerk or not.

    I have seen your posts over the past few months and I am sorry you have had to walk through the fire with now two women you love.

    Claire

  • pamelahope
    pamelahope Member Posts: 41

    I am undergoing chemo now and am debating about reconstruction. I am reading this months In Style magazine, don't ask me why I am doing this bald and undergoing chemo with a mastectomy next. Anyway, on page 91 there is a sexy flat chested model looking beautiful. She did not have a mastectomy but in the picture she appears really flat.

    My opinions may be skewed as I have not had my mastectomy yet, but I woke up this morning thinking about this thread, and said if I can walk around with a scarf on my head, I bet it will be easier to walk around with out my breasts. Plus, being sick from chemo, really bad, it will be a pleasure just to walk around. Still, I am nervous, because, I don't want people to think I am a man.

    Anyway, I went off tangent, and have to agree with the original comment in the thread, if it were more acceptable and more women did it, it wouldn't even be an issue. Pam

  • topless
    topless Member Posts: 23

    I had  a BMX 9 months ago.  I think of it as having had breast reduction surgery.  I plan to tell that to anyone who asks about my breasts but no one has.  Women have breast augmentation surgery all the time and are proud of it! So why can't we be proud of our breast reduction surgery?  After all, we had a WAY more important reason for having had breast surgery.  We are more courageous too!  Flat and braless is much more comfortable anyway.

  • Wrongchick
    Wrongchick Member Posts: 5

    Melly, I just have to thank you again for starting this thread. Others have said it, but it bears repeating: these conversations, (some with added bonus photos!) are such a gift. I find myself at once invigorated and soothed each time I check in to read the discussion, which is almost daily.

    When I was in graduate school, my roommate traveled to Washington DC over spring break to participate in the Gay Pride Parade. Upon her return, she wept as she described how she and hundreds of other LGBT folk gathered in the metro station platform. "We're Here, We're Queer, Get Used to It!" was the jubilant cry. My friend had grown up in a extremely conservative area and was closeted for most of her life...her trip to DC was such an enormous experience of celebration and relief. I've been thinking of her lately as this thread grows and deepens. Although the NYC flat fest is not a economic possibility for me this year, I fantasize about it a lot. How wonderful it would be for all of us to swarm out of a subway car, laughing with our chests out and our fists held high.

    " Hey, we're flat
    How 'bout that?
    Get used to it!"


    Like many of you, I thought about reconstruction at first. I was ignorant and quite frankly, desperately seeking an upside to all of this. So when I first heard about analogous tissue surgery I thought, "perky breasts and tummy tuck..sign me up! But even through the fog of chemo, the more I learned, the more deeply I believed it would not aide my healing. Neither implants nor microsurgery would make me feel whole again. The surgeons, with all their talent and skill, would be operating on the wrong part of my body. It was my heart and mind that would need restructuring. And only I could do that.

    I know there are BC sisters who distrust and resent breasts. I get it, but I never felt that way. My breasts were a beloved and powerful part of my womanhood; they produced copious amounts of milk for my children and provided me intense sexual pleasure. I miss them terribly; my mourning process will be lengthy. Yet the decision to be flat--and go flat-- feels, for lack of a better word, natural. I have friends who have chosen a different path, and I absolutely support those decisions. I don't see myself as a radical flat activist, at least not right now :)

    On the other hand, I don't have the urge to appear as if everything is fine. Everything is NOT fine, gosh darn it. BC took my mother in November, my hair in December, my breasts in February, my range of motion in May. We are not amused!  I am working hard at re-framing my concepts of femininity, attractiveness, and arousal. Yet an essential fact remains: cancer is the reason I'm without breasts. I cannot hide from this truth, nor do I want to. I didn't ask for this shape. I didn't want this loss.

     But I am here. I'm getting used to it.

  • Tina337
    Tina337 Member Posts: 516
    Wrongchick, I am so sorry you lost your mother, especially during your BC diagnosis and treatment. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been.




    I can really identify with this part of your post:




    "Neither implants nor microsurgery would make me feel whole again. The surgeons, with all their talent and skill, would be operating on the wrong part of my body. It was my heart and mind that would need restructuring. And only I could do that."




    Isn't that the truth!
  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845

    Wrongchick, You have had quite the year. I am so sorry about your mother. I can relate to a lot of what you say in your post. You put it well.

  • greenfrog
    greenfrog Member Posts: 73

    Wrongchick - I am so sorry about your mother. Interesting you should mention LGBT Pride in relation to this. I remember when early Pride parades were met with the "Why do they have to flaunt it? Why don't they keep it to themselves?" response.

    The other week I read an article in the Daily Mail (right wing tabloid) about women with mastectomies - they were photographed bare chested discussing their situations. It was a bold move for such a traditionally terrible newspaper - but the Comments section made my blood boil. "Why are they such exhibitionists?" "It is so ugly - why do they have to flaunt it?"

    There are huge parallels with the Pride movement. I hope that if FlatFest does come off in NYC that you get some media involvement. Maybe I should try to arrange one simultaneously here in London.... anyone in Australia? Asia? Try to make it a pan global event. I feel very empowered by the actions of small groups of women to make a difference. In Bristol recently a woman was thrown out of a restaurant for breastfeeding - the waitress apparently said "Don't ever comeback in here again with your tits out". So a FB group developed of Lactivist and Mothersuckers and they had a very peaceful invasion of the cafe. The story is here and makes you proud of what small groups of annoyed women can achieve. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2168820/Gang-lactivists-cafe-protest-waitress-told-breastfeeding-mother-Don-t-come-t--again.html

    Momine - the links made for very interesting reading. Thanks for that. I am still trying to find the aticle I mentioned. Behind all these pro-recon studies I get the whiff of a very aggressive multi-billion dollar comsetic surgery industry at work.

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845

    Yes, Frog, I have the same suspicion. At the same time, if I had a way to install new boobs that I found to be acceptable, I would do it, in a heart beat. Not because I am all crushed and sad and everything, but because it would make my life simpler and easier. I don't live in NYC, but rather in a place where I have never, ever seen a woman go flat and where even talking about cancer is still somewhat taboo. Do I want to be the pioneer? Eh! I can think of other things I would rather spend my time doing, but then again, I may just get riled enough one of these days ;).



    I do think that as more and more of us survive (yeah!) this will become more and more of an issue.



  • LtotheK
    LtotheK Member Posts: 487

    Wow.  Just wow.  Really amazing things going on here.

    This topic of "why do they have to flaunt it?" really resonates.  I work in a country that has had pride fests for a few years, all of them violent and highly oppositional.  My friends, all of whom are highly educated, say pretty much the same:  "I'm fine if someone is gay, just don't do it in front of me."  I've had a dozen conversations with various friends that in fact, that is not acceptance.  It is xenophobic and hate-filled, just like being anti-gay in the first place.

    What I realized is, this country is about 20 - 30 years behind the US in terms of this kind of cultural change.  They are having their Stonewalls.  Unfortunately, breast cancer patients and survivors now are experiencing our own Stonewalls here.  We are at the beginning of a change in thinking (at least, I really, really hope so).

    For me, sex, identity, and love are all adjustable.  I have the support I need.  It's being a public spokesmodel for the disease I'm not sure I have the stomach for.  Already did that with chemo, and once is enough.  But the truth is, having cancer once was enough, too, and next week I'll find out if I'm a lucky or unlucky one with this latest biopsy.  Implants or foobs can keep the outside noise to a dull roar, but they can never take away the cancer.  There are always signifiers.  For me, it's every time a woman gets pregnant or has her period.  I am reminded of 7/15/2010, the first month I missed my period, the last period I would ever have at the age of 39.

  • alexandria58
    alexandria58 Member Posts: 202

    Wrongchick:  So sorry for your terrible year, but I love your spirit.   

                        We should do a video at Flat fest to put up on YouTube.  Let's really flaunt it!!!  

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845

    A video would be great. It could be short, with each person briefly stating her stats, those she chose to share.

  • CLC
    CLC Member Posts: 615

    Wrongchick...what a year.  I am so sorry about your mother's passing.  And what must have been a hellish time for you.  Claire

  • MT1
    MT1 Member Posts: 223

    I have a video camera and am proficient in editing and using it.

    I am so happy to have spoken up. It is so good to know that there are other women, just like me, who feel the same as I do. That old story of being either an angel or a whore is so prevalent to the discussion of going half/flat, it is as if we can't win for loosing.

    And yes! Aimee Mullins feels pride in publicly wearing cheetah legs, shoes and boots that raise her inches above her normal height, clear plastic legs.

    (I removed a statement that may have gotten misinterpreted, I don't mean to hurt anyones feeling or to exclude anyone either)

    And yeah, I daydream about shaking up the status quo. I want a pink ribbon money maker to feature a half/flat woman, if it were the right organization, I would step up to the plate.

    I like the web site called role/reboot, http://www.rolereboot.org/ and I have contacted them to see if they are interested in my writing an article on this topic. I will let you know. (ETA, I contacted them to write an article about going flat, gender and expectation, I don't want to take on the the organizations, I just want to raise flat awareness)

  • greenfrog
    greenfrog Member Posts: 73

    I do understand Momine and LtotheK - my own courage and appetite for activism ebbs and flows with these bloody Arimidex mood swings!  I don't expect to adjust western patriarchy to stop obsessing over boobs quite so much - but I am profoundly uneasy about women having to have psych analysis for not wanting reconstruction and feel the need to direct my fury at something!

    When I was given the cancer dx I was handed 2 leaflets - one on mastectomy swimwear suppliers (?!?!) and the other on reconstruction. At no point did anyone say that there was a third option. Women need to know from the start that there is a very viable 3rd option.

    RoleReboot looks like the perfect home for this.

  • alexandria58
    alexandria58 Member Posts: 202

    Or - start our own?  It's not that hard to file for a 501C3.  Women in Black Foundation?  The Flat IS Fabulous Foundation?