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Fantastic Article Featuring TIAW & SOAM

May 23, 2011

Ariel Hansen left me a link on Facebook today about this article she wrote about TIAW and SOAM.  It’s a great article in its entirety, and I especially wanted to share my favorite part.

Nearly 20 years ago, Marcia Beaver of Burley had a double mastectomy, with reconstructive surgery, to fight off breast cancer.

“I talked at a lot of places (support groups) right after it happened, and I just felt like women needed to see what reconstruction could look like,” Beaver said. Though her friends joked that she was being an exhibitionist, she would show the women her scars — which today are quite subtle — so they could see that the old radical mastectomies, which took the flesh down to the bone, were a thing of the past.

At the same time, she went through menopause, and all those changes made her rethink her identity, especially as a woman.

“It is a real struggle for women that go through that, keeping ahold of your femininity,” Beaver said. But fighting the disease, she realized that her image of herself was less important than surviving. “It’s kind of a badge of honor. I lived through that with God’s help. … It’s being proud of who you are, that life is worth fighting for.”

Years ago I was struck by the beauty of The Century Project – I’m sure it was one of the many things that lead to the inspiration for SOAM. I will never shake the image of the woman after her mastectomy, a tattoo honoring the scar, she declaring herself a warrior woman. (Many women on SOAM refer to their marks of pregnancy as battle scars, but I daresay that cancer is far more of a battle than most pregnancies.)

Marcia Beaver, THANK YOU for being willing to show yourself both literally and figuratively to other women, and help blaze the trail for them to follow.

Ariel, thanks for a fantastic article!

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One Response to “Fantastic Article Featuring TIAW & SOAM”

  1. Colleen Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I saw The Century Project in college, and I remember thinking it was amazing. I actually recommended it to somebody in a comment on SOAM once, I think.

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