Through the magic of Twitter, I was directed to a link for the 007 Breasts Web Site, a fascinating little project that explores the American psyche in regard to breasts.
It’s a challenging look at the taboo of breasts in our daily lives, and its message works very well in partnership with our own. There are lots of issues that factor in to how our culture deals with breast cancer, but chief among them is the issue of body taboos: If unaltered, biological breasts are “sinful”, even when breast-feed a baby, how are we supposed to discuss and process what happens to them if cancer changes them? If “normal”, healthy breasts don’t look like a media ideal before a lumpectomy or mastectomy, how are we supposed to embrace their beauty in a new form?
It all boils down to the incredibly complex interaction between our media-saturated culture and our collective body image.
“Normal” breasts are as unique as the individual who “wears” them, and the 007 Breasts site contains page after page of non-sexual, galleries filled with images of normal, actual breasts–and a few images of breasts with unusual histories, as well. Check out the site, and ask yourself how these images differ from the breasts you see on billboards, in magazines, and on television. Would your body image be different if you’d been raised to think of breasts like these as normal, as opposed to those you see in advertising?