Real Life

Cancer survivor inspires others

Beth Whaanga – the woman who posted candid images of her post-cancer surgery body online earlier this year – has encouraged others to do the same through The Under the Red Dress Project.

Beth Whaanga in the images taken by her friend Nadia Masot.
Since the initial campaign featuring Beth's images went viral and made national and international headlines in February 2014, she has been promoting and inspiring other women to proudly reveal their scars.
Many have followed Beth's lead, posing for photos that open up a discussion on what it is really like to live through cancer.
Beth was diagnosed with cancer on her 32nd birthday last year and underwent a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy.
Her various surgeries left her body scarred but she was determined not to be ashamed so asked her friend Nadia Masot, a photographer, to capture her new figure in a series of portraits.
Beth was thrilled with the images and shared them on Facebook but was horrified when more than 100 people immediately "unfriended" her, saying the pictures were obscene and disgusting.
It was then shared more than half a million times on Facebook.
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