The Lens of Empowerment

Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Featured, Health, North America

Our fascination with body parts usually fades with age. When we’re young, we can pass hours playing with our mother’s ears and bouncing on our father’s knees and as we get older, we discover our bodies and the bodies of others on an even deeper level. For most of us, we eventually get comfortable in our skin, but for many, that promised familiarity is ripped from them when they are told they have breast cancer and an operation is needed.

Fashion photographer, David Jay’s SCAR Project is a battle cry for breast cancer victims to finally take back that promised familiarity of their own skin. By photographing over 100 women showing their breast cancer scars, Jay reveals that a women’s defiant pride and self-love can still remain after overcoming such a debilitating illness. Early onset breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in young women ages 15-40, but David Jay’s subjects didn’t agree to be photograph to spread the message of fear or pity. They want to be seen through the lens of empowerment.

If the internet album lacks realism, you can pick up a hard cover of the 126 page album, The SCAR Project, which includes over 50 portraits of breast cancer survivors and their autobiographical sketches. The SCAR Project will also be premiering in exhibitions in Washington DC and Italy at a later date.

You’re right, it’s not breast cancer awareness month, but there is never an irrelevant time to raise awareness and applaud survivors. May the human spirit never lose its strength.


Ashley is a friend of anyone who is fighting the good fight for social change. She has worked for environmental advocacy in Montana, poverty eradication in Guatemala, and peace and conflict resolution in Northern Ireland. She now lives in Bilbao in the Basque region of Spain where she teaches International Relations English and is pursuing her Masters in Language Acquisition in Multicultural Settings.

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