A Note from the Director
Like most American women, I grew up lamenting my physical imperfections. When it came to my breasts, my self-judgment was especially critical, perhaps because I developed early and was larger than my sisters or peers. As I matured, this breast-critical voice lingered and I began to wonder what it was clinging to, what it was hiding, and what truth was being rejected as a consequence.
A few years ago a doctor friend mentioned to me that 90% of all women are unhappy with their breasts. Although I knew I was part of that percentage, the magnitude of the number stunned me. My thoughts immediately went to the women in my life who were struggling with their breasts. Some had body image issues, others grappled with breastfeeding woes, and still others had cysts or cancer. Suddenly I realized that what I had been thinking of as strictly personal was actually a large-scale issue.
My objective was to invoke women’s wisdom regarding their breasts. It was therefore essential that the women feel they had nothing to hide. It seemed absurd to talk with women about their breast experiences and not see their breasts, or to explore cultural the influence of breast shame and not do something to confront and counteract it. The Breast Archives is my contribution to this important conversation.