The Living Breast

Today I heard of this for the first time: The Living Breast. There's a local artist who paints breasts. Doesn't paint pictures of breasts. Paints pictures on breasts. And on chests where breasts used to be. Then a photographer snaps them and they turn them into greeting cards. Money going, naturally, for breast cancer research, in fact, a "significant percentage of your purchase is donated to breast cancer research and advocacy." I don't know what that means.

The painted breasts and chests are quite beautiful, with bright swirls and stripes and flowers and a branch. It's a shame that the models can't show themselves off in public. Covering yourself with paint isn't the same as wearing clothes.

I don't know how I feel about these images. Painting over the scarred skin makes it beautiful. Painting over the unblemished breast makes it beautiful, too. What is it when the paint wears off? I suppose the artist is showing the women, and the public, that post-surgery bodies can be beautiful. Do I think my own puckered scars are beautiful? No. But they don't bother me. I'm generally skeptical about projects like this. I'm not sure why. I felt the skepticism in me as soon as I opened the web page. Because it's an idea that can't be good because I didn't think of it first? Because I don't know where the artist stands on cure vs. prevention? Because the bodies are merely canvases? I don't know.