In 2014 I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 34 years old. Lots of things happen that I would never have expected, like finding a bra for my newly reconstructed chest was such a pain in the ass and chest.
Your bra options after a mastectomy are really limited. Most doctors tell you don’t wear anything, if you do, nothing with an underwire or you can just wear sports bras. Oh Lovely!
That’s like giving a beauty Queen a baseball cap and tell her it’s just as good as a crown.
Luckily AnaOno is trying to change all that.
Lingerie Model After A Double Mastectomy
When Dana Kasse Donofree asked me to be a part of her campaign I was a bit overwhelmed. One with excitement and 2 with holly crap, talk about silver linings. The last thing I ever thought when I drifting off into a drug induced sleep for my double mastectomy, was “When all this is over i’m going to be a lingerie model.”
When I spoke with her about the shoot and what to expect I asked her where it would be located. Dana said they were still scouting for a perfect spot. I just happen to have the perfect place. A CEO that I had worked for in the past had just posted his families farm estate listed for sale in South Jersey. Perfect timing, because it was all perfect for a lingerie shoot.
The day of the shoot was so much fun. I borrowed my husbands Star Wars Chewbacca Robe for the shoot. We had hair and make up done. And there was a great spread of food I was a little too nervous to eat.
I was given a Sandi Bra as part of my look. Up till then I just didn’t wear a bra. Thanks to my surgeries they either hurt or didn’t fit right or stay in place. I really didn’t need one after reconstruction when i was able to i just didn’t wear one. But this made me self conscious. I was missing that extra layer of protection, it was not normal to me to not have that layer.
This was actually the first time I ever tried on an Anaono Bra; and for the first time I didn’t feel broken. I was wearing something pretty and comfortable. It was like a rare unicorn of undergarments.
It’s silly to think that something made with less then a yard of fabric can give you that sense of normalcy and confidence back. But it really did, any nerves I had about being photographed in my underwear vanished.
All the women at the shoot looked amazing. Like Dana will tell you we are all “Real Women” [ Insert Eye Roll] Lets go with Authentic women, Since AnaOno’s first shoot in 2013.
None of the women did this because they fit a body type or skin color. None of the women were under contract or paid a hefty modeling fee. None of the women auditioned for the part.
All of the women were affected by breast cancer.
I have often been asked if I use real women on the AnaOno website. I have to take a pause to keep myself from snapping “As opposed to fake women?”
The women you’ve seen have had two breasts, one breast, no breasts and new breasts. They’ve taken time out of their lives as mothers, bartenders, teachers, accountants, medical billers, lawyers, receptionists, flight attendants and the like to spend a day with us, getting their hair and makeup done, and wearing our products. All so that any one of you around the globe can see our bras on someone we hope looks like you.
The best part is none of us were touched up, with the exception removing something simple like a blemish or bruise. It feels great for me to say “Yeah thats me.”
I honestly couldn’t be happier with how this all turned out. I would encourage anyone to try these bras Even if you haven’t been effected by breast cancer. They are so comfortable I fall asleep in mine all the time.