27 February 2014

Under the Red Dress

Ok....so I'm going to go a little off book here to post about something that has had such a profound impact on me....Under the Red Dress Project. Before you just click on the link, know that the photos are beautiful and very vivid of a breast cancer survivor..they are nude.

Seems that we are regularly caught up in outward appearance...not only our own, "I can't go out looking like this." but what others look like...what people wear..brands, hair, make-up, physical fitness, features, boobs, bums, muscles....  We spend hours making ourselves look "presentable" to go out of the house because we care about how we are perceived based on how we are draped with our clothing, make-up and products...skin care products, hair products, tooth produces, hand products, nail products, coloured products, neutral products...everything we can think of to make the veneer look acceptable....better.

We don't show off what's underneath or inside.  We hide.  All of us have scars...physical and emotional. When I was 5 years old...I fell on a gravel driveway...I still wear the scar on my knee.  We all have them. Some, like my knee tattoo are easily dismissed or forgotten, but so many have other physical scars. Scars that prove we have survived an illness, a surgery or a procedure.  But no one knows about them because society doesn't like them.  Society doesn't like to see them...so we hide.  Let's not even talk about the scars that cannot be seen; the scars we carry inside.

The woman in the project photographs has survived a horrific disease and treatment, but the fact is...she survived.  Isn't that the key to all of this?  Isn't that what we should see in her?  We should be able to wear scars like medals, but that isn't ok, is it?  Imagine the compassion in a world that would allow us to see. Imagine how freeing.  Imagine having to actually find a way to "see" someones heart...their character rather than at the beautiful hair, face and dress.  I know there are so many in this world that do just that...they look at a person; really look at who a person is...but media doesn't like us that way.  Media even changes the shapes of beautiful women with no scars because that just isn't good enough either.  For those of you that are women reading this, you can relate.  You know the process.

I look at this woman and I see someone who is strong, courageous, beautiful both ways and most of all, is a survivor....whether she knows any of this or not.  Here's to her...to the people in this world who get up everyday and put the veneer on to try to be beautiful when they don't feel that way...to try to be beautiful when that is not what they see in the mirror.  And here is to the people who love her...who love us...with our scars, with our stories...without anything perfect.

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