The SCAR Project



New York fashion photographer David Jay is seeking to update the face of breast cancer awareness from frothy pink to strikingly honest pictures of the women scarred by mastectomy surgery. His message: “Breast cancer is not a pink ribbon.”

The Daily Muse intern Erin Greenawald had a chance to interview Jay and ask him how cancer survivors and patients have benefitted from his photography. Jay’s response reflects both the devastation of disease and the power of art:

I get emails from women of all ages, all over the world, who have breast cancer. They frequently say things like, “I haven’t felt like a woman since my surgery,” “I haven’t gotten undressed in front of my husband yet,” “I don’t let my children see me naked,” but that seeing these images has changed their perception of who they are—changed their life. They see the women in the images and think, “Well, if you look beautiful after this, then perhaps I am still beautiful, too.”

The SCAR Project images are brutal and stunning and beautiful. And they present a truer glimpse, as Greenawald says, of “the physical pain, the emotional agony” of cancer and as well as “the beauty, grace, and triumph of the woman who is enduring it.” It’s a glimpse of reality.



sarah saunders
10/28/2011 8:55:51 PM

Thank you God for good shoulders.

sarah saunders
10/28/2011 8:46:23 PM

I had ovarian and they took all my fat layer etc. I look like picture 2 wit brownspots. wish very much to be seen like if you took your hand and covered up the chest area and looked at Her. We are still our girl essense. She is lovely. Just in an unconventional way. I hate looking like a boy sort of from the front end. How do you feel like enough, when part of you is gone and you can never get it back? Same feeling when you are bald from chemo and your head is cold and cuddled up and you feel so vulnerable. Your head is tucked like a wounded animal in hibernation. How do you come out again? What if you do and someone mocks you? Or takes advantage of you? What if they promise they'll be there even if you give them every out they can ask for and then run? What if they cause you so much stress and go off to prison and that makes your damned cells go crazy and have the opportunity to switch? How do you become abundant again when you have lost so much? Woman means abundant. Love, yeah bossom and womb. I'm trying to be abundant with neither.

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