Australian Mom with Breast Cancer Beth Whaanga Receives Flak for Posting Photos of Scar-Filled Body on Facebook
By Reissa Su | February 13, 2014 6:48 PM EST
A breast cancer survivor in Australia went to great lengths to spread cancer awareness by posting photos of her body after surgery in Facebook. Beth Whaanga, a 32-year-old mother of four, lost 100 Facebook friends because of her "nude" photos.
Pink balloons are displayed in front of an artificial waterfall during the "Pink Ribbon" breast cancer awareness campaign at Cheonggye Stream in central Seoul October 5, 2011. (Reuters)
According to Ms Whaanga, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, she had no regrets. Her doctors discovered she had the BRCA2 gene which indicates she was predisposed to breast cancer. World-famous actress Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy after doctors told her she had the same gene.
Ms Whaanga also had a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction in Nov 2013. The procedures left her body with scars but instead of being ashamed, she requested her photographer-friend Nadia Masot to help her with a project she called "Under the Red Dress." Ms Whaanga said she wanted to show how the surgery has changed her body but helped her fight cancer.
Last weekend, Ms Whaanga wrote on Facebook that her photos contained topless material, but they were not meant to be sexual in any way. She explained she wanted to raise awareness for breast cancer and encouraged Facebook friends who find her images offensive to hide them from their feeds.
Just hours after posting her images, she lost about 100 friends and her photos were reported to Facebook. Her sister, Emma Rayner, reacted and called those who "unfriended" her as "gutless people." Ms Rayner said her sister's photos were not pornographic at all, but represented the truth about cancer. She believes her sister only wanted to show other women who may have breast cancer what it takes to survive.
Ms Whaanga preferred to be called a "breast cancer preventer" rather than a survivor. She told media she felt lucky enough to have found signs of breast cancer before her condition grew worse. She stressed the importance of self-checks to detect early signs of breast cancer.
Facebook has assured the Australian mum her images will not be removed from the site.
— Jenna Guillaume (@JennaGuillaume) February 12, 2014
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Pope Francis Meets Sudanese Woman Who Was Spared Death for Apostasy (PHOTOS)
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: King Williem-Alexander, Queen Maxima Hold Solemn Reception Ceremony for Victims
- Jennifer Lawrence & Nicholas Hoult Allegedly Split: Mad Max Actor Cheats with Kristen Stewart & Riley Keough - Reports
- Transfer News: FC Barcelona Shockingly Sign Valencia Defender [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Volunteer Teen Rapes Orphans during Mission Trip
- New Zealand-Born IDF Soldier Killed in Gaza Attack Amid Ceasefire Promises
- Viral Wedding Photo: Amy Hicks Reveals True Story behind Viral Photo that Created Trending Hashtag on Twitter #westillcoming
- New Zealanders Willing to Pay Tax for Maui Dolphin Protection
- Six-Year-Old Canada girl Dies after Hit by Sedan in Crowded Store
- Apple iPhone 6 on Two Confirmed Release Dates, New Parts Leaked Suggesting Bigger iPhone to Come
- Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Android 5.0 L Material Design Coming with More Interface Changes
- Xiaomi Mi4 vs OnePlusOne vs Nexus 5: Mi4 is the ‘Perfect’ Phone
- Israeli Women Stripping Naked for IDF Soldiers
- Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A Android 4.4.2 KitKat Update Rolls Out: When to Hit Your Region
- HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Roll Out, Introducing the HTC One Remix
- Shocking Video of Pedigree Dog Culling in Bali Emerges [Video]