A significant lack of imagery of and stories about women of color affected by breast cancer was a driving force in the creation of For the Breast of Us, the first inclusive online community for women of color affected by breast cancer. This year, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, For the Breast of Us founders, Jasmine Souers and Marissa Thomas, rallied their community of Breast Cancer Baddies to create The Naked Truth Project, a photo gallery that not only showcases imagery of women of color but shares their unique perspective on their post-cancer bodies.
“When I was going through treatment and I learned I had to have a bilateral mastectomy and undergo radiation, one of the first things I did was turn to Google,” said Souers, a Jacksonville, FL native diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer at the age of 26. “A cancer diagnosis can be very isolating, especially when you fall into an underrepresented group as a young survivor or a survivor or color. It’s important we see women who look like us surviving, thriving, and even struggling, to know we’re not on this crazy journey alone.”
In 2019, For the Breast of Us harnessed the collective power of marginalized women in the breast cancer community by sharing stories it seemed no one else was telling. Today, the website has become a source of support, information, and inspiration for thousands of women of color. The Naked Truth Project was created to share photos women of color have been desperately seeking, validating all experiences shared without judgment and giving women the opportunity to be the woman they once searched for online.
“We wanted to create something special where women of all ages and cancer stages could stand firm in their own strength or sorrow about the changes to their body after a breast cancer diagnosis,” said Thomas, a Seattle, WA resident who overcame a stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 35. “We always tell women to feel how they feel and reconnecting with our bodies after a traumatic experience is an important and often overlooked, aspect of mental health for cancer survivors. It’s not vain to care about how your body looks after treatment and normal is however you feel. We promise there’s someone out there who feels the exact same way.”
Photos from The Naked Truth Project will be revealed daily on the company’s Instagram account throughout October. The campaign will culminate with a print edition of the campaign now available for pre-order. The entire gallery is available online at breastofus.com/nakedtruthproject.