Boobs, fake boobs, one boob, no boobs: The Fake Tit Fund
Early 2016, my mom's best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetically, it was expected to happen, but emotionally it was devastating news. Suzannah, who is an incredible and hilarious woman, was faced with something that lacked a sense of humor. At the time of her diagnosis, the discussion of “fake tits, post-op” offered an optimistic edge for her. I was interested in how the treatment plan of breast cancer included follow-up aesthetic decisions that each victim of the disease is left to decide upon and deal with. The realization that part of a person’s identity, breasts, could be removed due to disease and reconstructed by choice, inspired The Fake Tit Fund.
My aim was to explore the reality of reconstruction following breast cancer treatment. I planned to document the physical and emotional process of healing and adapting to a new identity and new breasts. As I began approaching people on Instagram, I noticed many survivors opting out of reconstruction, documented through their personal accounts, as well as seeing more visuals of women "going flat" in the media. My focus broadened as I became aware of vastly different aesthetic decisions made by the community.
The objective is to encourage and increase nude representation of breast cancer survivors. By bringing focus to mastectomy scars, breast reconstructions, "going flat", nipple and breast tattoos, etc., we hope to support the community throughout and after treatment by acknowledging and exploring their changing and unique sense of identity. I hope these images can be a visual reference for breast cancer victims to relate to throughout their often very private recovery and transition.
Isabel Ulatowski, founder and director