This post will be a little different from our normal posts. It's about the cancer community and showing and sharing True Cancer Bodies.
I've been meaning to publish this post for ages. Back in April something happened in the breast cancer community that pissed off a lot of people and from it evolved something honest, beautiful and inclusive.
On Tuesday 9/4/19 this year's Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign #BosomBuddies was launched. Each year a range of products are promoted and sold a number of retailers including M&S, River Island, simply be with 30% of sales donated to Breast Cancer Now.
However the campaign by M&S was widely received in poor taste after using slogans “They say good things come in two”, “Two is strong than one”.
M&S launched their campaign using models and influencers who do not have or have not survived Breast Cancer (as they have done with previous years). The idea behind the #BosomBuddies campaign was that when going through Breast Cancer you have your best friend, your “buddy” to support you.
Following the outrage online in the CC, Laura Bailey (@thatmumwithcancer), Emma Campbell (@emplus4) and Vicky Saynor (@Gammytit) and many others expressed their anger and disappointment talking via Instagram stories with some by posting the true images of cancer that went on to go viral and be featured in The Sun.
In reaction, Vicky Saynor (@gammytit) who was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer and is currently undergoing Chemotherapy started True Cancer Bodies. A quick 72-hour turnaround and a photo shoot was organised and took place on Sunday in Hertfordshire. Bring together a Cancer community that got to meet up in the “real world” and not just online.
As soon as I heard that they were putting a shoot together I wanted to help and offer support in any way possible.
Vicky and her team of amazing helpers and managed to pull together an army people for a launch photo shoot, featuring a range of different Cancers including Breast, Bowel & Lung to show what a true cancer body looks like. With a range of ages and ethnicities taking part and people travelling from all over the UK to be involved, it was a positive an uplifting day.
The hope True Cancer Bodies will inspire others to get themselves regularly tested, and to encourage people to be fully educated on what symptoms to look out for in cancers, to improve rates of early detection.
As a small business selling post-mastectomy products, we are often given images to use on our website of women who do not reflect our audience. “The perfect size 10 model” The more we request/demand that real women images are used it will become the norm.
When we launched 9 years ago we took images using Breast Cancer survivors and thrivers. (see below). The lingerie shoot cost us a lot of money and time to put together and is something we haven’t been able to afford to replicate.
For True Cancer Bodies to come together so quickly was amazing to see and be a small part of, providing products where required.
I saw this quote the other day that I think sums up true cancer bodies.
”I don't want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself” - Emma Watson
The True Cancer Bodies campaign is still in its infancy but it has a number of aims and objectives:
1) Build awareness of ALL cancers, especially in the education of early diagnosis by supporting the great work done by such charities as Coppafeel and Bowel Cancer UK.
2) As a group and as individuals to be available to the media, charities, corporates and government bodies to give advice and opinion on awareness and other cancer campaigns to ensure that the sensitivities of cancer sufferers are fully considered in all published materials. For example, the slogan for a breast cancer campaign of “Two is better than one” is highly insensitive. Individuals will also be available to offer their “real story” to organisations to use.
3) To be a supportive network to cancer bloggers/Instagrammers, allowing them to bounce ideas off each other and help each other in our goals to show what dealing with cancer is really like and in our hope to encourage early detection where possible.
4) To give cancer patients and survivors a group where they can find a supportive network.
Breast Cancer Now has since apologised as are meeting up with Vicky.
“We are sorry that we caused offence and upset on this occasion, this was not our intention at all. Throughout the six week campaign, we will be showcasing a diverse variety of stories as part of our ‘Bosom Buddies' theme including experiences of those affected by breast cancer."
True cancer bodies have announced today the 4 Charities it supports
Find up to date and reliable information about bowel cancer including symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis and living with and beyond the disease.
Myeloma, also known as multiple myeloma, is a blood cancer arising from plasma cells. At any one time, there are around 17,500 people living with myeloma in the UK. It accounts for 15 per cent of blood cancers, and two per cent of all cancers. Myeloma mainly affects those over the age of 65, however, it has been diagnosed in people much younger.
Make 2nds Count is dedicated to making women and men living with
secondary breast cancer count.
We aim to do this by raising funds to support research specifically into secondary breast cancer. The research will work towards extending and improving the quality of life for patients battling against this currently treatable yet incurable disease.
MCAM aims to raise awareness and reduce the embarrassment of male cancer.
Men are often too embarrassed to seek medical advice on potential early warning signs. Yet early detection and early treatment are vital to surviving male cancer. We believe awareness and education are the two most important punches that can be thrown in the fight on male cancer.
Since the launch just 7 weeks ago, True Cancer Bodies has been featured in The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Metro and BBC news. Today is their first meet up in London with the hope that more will follow soon. Please follow True Cancer Bodies on Instagram and Facebook to see regular posts, stories and takeovers.
*The images in this blog post are by Breast Cancer Campaign, Binky Nixon, True Cancer Bodies Facebook page, Myself and Scott Collier.
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Hilary & Camille xx
We hope you enjoyed our post blog, why not share it with your Breast Cancer friends & family and pin it to Pinterest.
Pink Ribbon Lingerie was launched in 2010 by mother and daughter Hilary & Camille, selling post-mastectomy products in a wide range of colours and sizes from suppliers all around the world, giving you more choice with the aim to help women feel beautiful.