I always knew that one aspect of creating Bare Reality would be doing my part to provoke more awareness of breast cancer. But I couldn’t have anticipated just how profoundly important it would be to me after meeting and interviewing the women who took part. I was invited by Stella McCartney to collaborate on a new project, No Less a Woman, to raise awareness of breast cancer. I was thrilled to work with one of the world’s innovative fashion houses, a true ‘disruptor’, on a bold and beautiful campaign. I photographed and interviewed 12 anonymous women who have survived breast cancer, in exactly the same style as the Bare Reality book. That meant no airbrushing, no pink-washed sugar coating. The images are gentle but entirely honest. Just seeing a normal pair of boobs is shocking for some people (as I found out after Bare Reality was published) let alone the raw, un-airbrushed truth of breast cancer scars. How often do we see photographs which, while gentle and sympathetic, also present the un-airbrushed reality of breast cancer? And on the website of one of the world’s leading fashion brands?
The loss of a breast, or a scar, the diagnosis, treatment and recovery will mean different things to different women – we are individual, complex, nuanced. I wanted to tell these women’s stories and share the brave, sad, painful, moving and sometimes even funny truth.
“After reading Laura Dodsworth’s Bare Reality, I knew I wanted to work with her somehow. Together we have created the #NoLessaWoman campaign to continue supporting women around the world.” – Stella McCartney