Aniela McGuinness, a 32-year-old actress from Hollywood, Florida, decided to look at her breast cancer from a creative angle, so she took an incredibly powerful photoshoot.
In 2014, McGuinnes was planning a preventative bilateral mastectomy because she has BRCA1 – she lost her mother due to ovarian cancer on July 5th 2013 – a genetic mutation closely linked to breast cancer. A few days before her scheduling she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, so the the surgery lost it’s preventive character.
So she had the power to transform tragedy into art. “Before removing my breasts I wanted photographic evidence of what they looked like” she said. Before the operation she posed as a topless Rosie the Riveter, and a week after the surgery McGuinness did a shoot dressed like the bride of Frankenstein.
The result was “My Breast Choice” wich explores “the impact Breast Cancer, a double mastectomy, and chemo can have on a woman’s body & soul and uses humor & honesty to go beyond just surviving”, she explains. “Mainly, I needed something to focus on while I went through this, a place to release my creativity and feel useful. My Breast Choice gave me that.”
“Have you ever googled mastectomy before and after photos? It’s a heartbreaking array of faceless women’s maimed breasts under florescent lighting”
“Before removing my breasts I wanted photographic evidence of what they looked like, but I didn’t want mug shots of attempted murders”
The uncensored photo is available on McGuinness’ website