Aniela McGuinness, a 32-year-old actress from Hollywood, Florida, decided to deal with her breast cancer with a photoshoot. Titled “My Breast Choice,” McGuinness photographed herself as Rosie the Riveter prior to her operation and the Bride of Frankenstein after. She learned she had cancer just three days before a planned appointment to schedule a preventative mastectomy; McGuinness had lost her mother to ovarian cancer on July 5th, 2013.
“Have you ever googled mastectomy before and after photos? It’s a heartbreaking array of faceless women’s maimed breasts under florescent lighting”
This project explores “the impact Breast Cancer, a double mastectomy, and chemo can have on a woman’s body & soul and uses humor & honesty to go beyond just surviving,” explains McGuinness. “Mainly, I needed something to focus on while I went through this, a place to release my creativity and feel useful. My Breast Choice gave me that.”
“Before removing my breasts I wanted photographic evidence of what they looked like, but I didn’t want mug shots of attempted murders”
This photo was taken after the mastectomy and a week before Halloween
“I wanted a photo that captured how I felt”
McGuinness felt plastic while having her expanders in and her hair had not yet regrown, so she did the Mannequin shoot
“I decided not to get my nipples reconstructed or tattooed because I enjoy the jokes and freedom I get from not having them”