About the Flat Friends Calendar
When members of Flat Friends started throwing fundraising ideas around at the end of 2015, it was never going to stop at t-shirts and phone cases – in no time at all the notion of Calendar Girls popped up and the seed was sown. A year later, we had created a unique calendar of uplifting photographs of ourselves, celebrating friendship and life after mastectomy without reconstruction, to raise awareness and funds.
Sarah Dow, Flat Friend founding member, trustee, and lead photographer on the year-long project, picks up the story:
“If you’ve ever met a Flat Friend you’ll understand that this was never going to involve strategically-placed cupcakes, we were after something much more authentic. Most importantly we wanted to celebrate our friendship, and to show that it’s normal and fulfilling to live without reconstruction after mastectomy surgery. So much ‘survivor’ photography focusses on scars and the kind of portraiture that doesn’t really reflect our everyday life or how we see ourselves. We wanted to show that life goes on, we still look fabulous, and focus on what we have gained, not what’s been lost.”
All the photographers and models involved with the calendar are members of Flat Friends living with either unilateral or bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction. Some use prosthesis when they feel like it, some never do and go flat all the time. Founder and trustee Gilly Cant continued:
“We wanted to show that survivorship is something that happens every day, and even though our experiences have changed us, friendship, love and understanding matter far more than body shape, and every one of us is still all woman. Awareness of and respect for all the options involved with mastectomy surgery, and the choices right for each individual is still something sadly lacking in so many areas of cancer healthcare, media channels and society in general. It’s my sincere hope that these pictures will help to change that, and send a positive message to women facing breast cancer or preventative surgery in the future.”
All profits from sales of the calendar went directly to Flat Friends. Everyone donated their own time, petrol, expertise and more to the project. In the words of some of those involved, it’s clearly been an incredible experience and one we are all proud to share with loved ones and the world.
Read the Wiltshire Times article here | Read Sarah’s blog post here