When Beth Whaanga gets naked, she really means it.
The 32-year-old Australian breast cancer survivor underwent a double mastectomy and full hysterectomy last year. Instead of retreating or covering her pain, Beth shed her clothes and posed for a series of breathtakingly brave photographs that show all her scars.
When Mamamia’s Rebecca Sparrow first shared Beth’s photos in February, they went viral. All over the world, people sobbed and celebrated the sublime courage of this one woman. They’re not images you’ll forget quickly. And, as mentioned, there’s nudity involved.
Here’s Beth, lady in red.
And here she is, baring her scars.
Now, since Beth shared these photos, she’s had a truly beautiful response. Women everywhere have flooded her email inbox with letters of support – and even more extraordinarily, photographs of their own scarred bodies. From one powerfully bare woman, a movement has started.
So Beth and the photographer who captured these originals shots, Nadia Mascot, have decided to do something big.
They’re launched a campaign to collect all those generous, candid photographs from cancer survivors and show them to the world.
They want to make an exhibition, a coffee table book, and a global-scale awareness drive to change the way we treat survivors of cancer and the physical scars that stay with a woman the rest of her life.
Beth and Nadia want to give survivors everywhere the gift of pride in their own bodies, their own lives, their own scars.
If you’d like to help them achieve that rather beautiful goal, you can contribute to the Under The Red Dress Project via their Kickstarter page. You can share Beth’s story and Nadia’s vision, and make it your own. The more red dresses we shed in pursuit of honesty and cancer research, the better.