Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project (BCABPP)
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Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project BCABPP
It has come to our attention that Facebook is now censoring images being posted for this project. I have used social media long enough to know that they censor who and want they want. I see pornographic material on there daily. I see women, men, children using their bodies to elicit business in their avatar usage. What I want to know is HOW can they censor a project that uses the human canvas and creates ART - when they allow nude paintings and other photos to be shown? I am positive that our children see more T & A while surfing through Facebook (and other online venues), as well as just turning on the television, opening a magazine or going to a beach!
Michael D. Colanero (photographer)
Resident Fuddy Duddy:
I am the resident fuddy duddy. I do not support using a woman's body to illicit sexual response from the viewing end, I find that distasteful and part of the problem with "dehumanizing women" in the world view. If you look at Playboy or other magazines ... they are called ===> "bunnies?" I don't want to be soft fluffy bunny for your viewing pleasure! I want to be a survivor who stands up for what I believe in and support!
The BCABPP project selected women from around the globe. Different sizes, shapes and stories and provided them an outlet to feel beautiful again and use their voice to raise awareness & gain support for PREVENTION of this disease.
This is from the creator of the project, who speaks out for the women who do not have a voice!
Today - 10.20.11ATTENTION TROOPS! Please Read / Sign & Pass this Information ON!
We NEED YOU RIGHT NOW.... FACEBOOK HAS AGAIN CENSORED AND DELETED FIVE SURVIVOR IMAGES - During Breast Cancer Awareness Month no less. Does anyone have press or news contacts? This CENSORSHIP IS UNACCEPTABLE. They deleted images of women with no nipples and the latest image where her breasts are entirely covered!!! PLEASE HELP AND ALSO SIGN OUR PETITION!!!
I believe these survivor images are all in good taste and I have created them with the idea of them being shown in public spaces - spaces even where children would see them. Unfortunately, in our increasingly PC and corporate safe, sometimes ultra-conservative world we are running into issues with these selfless inspiring survivor images being either outright CENSORED and removed or Blocked in some other manner making it unnecessarily difficult for them to be seen.
They have been safe enough for magazine covers and primetime TV broadcast (so far by a PBS program, CNN en Español, Univision and Telemundo just to name a few.
This is not just nudity for a cause - it's bodies covered in paint. It is no more revealing then a silk blouse on a cold day. Is just the bump of a nipple enough to cause such a stir???
Some of the women have no nipple reconstruction at all.
These women deserve to be supported and applauded for coming forth to participate in such a vulnerable way - NOT to be made to feel that they did something that they should need to hide or conceal or be ashamed of. SHAME ON YOU FACEBOOK AND FLICKR.
If you support this project and are offended by it's CENSORSHIP and not by it's natural human beauty please sign and comment below. :-)
thank you for your support...
More about the project:
An all Breast Cancer Survivor project for awareness, fundraising, inspiration and healing worldwide.
Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project:
A Fine Art & Photography Essay of Survivors.
The collection of images is also currently on display at:
2713 East Commercial Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
So far 25 brave and incredible women have selflessly stepped forward and been painted for the project.
I may be the creator but these SURVIVORS are the project. Everything is a true collaboration of the women the body painter(s) and my work as well. All of it then shared and appreciated by the people it touches. Every link in the chain is important :-)
"When love and skill work together expect a masterpiece."
"Nudity is the garment of the soul"
"A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees."
~ Amelia Earhart
To sponsor Our Trip : http://www.gofundme.com/9a18g
OM Times November 2011 - Health & Wellness Editorial : http://www.flickr.com/photos/dezengo/6269075325/in/photostream
Breast cancer survivor's photo of her painted breasts called pornography by Facebook and taken down
One of the models, breast cancer survivors, that posed for the Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project photographed by Fort Lauderdale photographer and art gallery owner Michael Colanero who teamed up with body paint artists Keegan Hitchcock and Luci Ungerbuehler to create the images. (Michael Colanero, Courtesy)
By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel
10:46 a.m. EDT, October 28, 2011
Ellen Gondola had breast cancer. One day, years later, the Cooper City mom stood topless in an artist's studio and allowed her chest to be covered in paint, her cancer scars blanketed with bamboo and butterflies. She'd never felt so beautiful.
Facebook rule No. 7: You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
Gondola had joined a cause, the Fort Lauderdale-based Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project, which has a group page on Facebook. Now she's part of a second cause, the Facebook "No-Censor Petition.''
Twenty-four other breast cancer survivors have posed topless like she did. Most of their images have been taken down, too, creator and photographer Michael Colanero said, citing "puritanical'' resistance from Facebook users who flagged the images as inappropriate.
Colanero said he hasn't been able to reach anyone at Facebook to appeal, though he said he and 10 others have tried.
"It's no more than you'd see at the beach or a chilly mall with a woman with a silk blouse on,'' said Colanero, owner of a local art gallery.
Gondola said she was sickened over it; her photo was taken down twice.
"There's men on the same site that can be topless,'' she complained. " … Those men with what we call 'moobs,' or male boobs, those big tattoos across their chest, why is that OK?''
Facebook officials couldn't be reached, despite an email and phone call to the network's media relations office. The social media giant previously has taken down photographs of women breast-feeding their children.
A 47-year-old, Gondola got breast cancer when she was in her 20s and wanted young women to know it can strike when you're that young.
While some of the other women who modeled no longer have nipples, or have had disfiguring surgeries, Gondola said she has minimal scarring.
"But it still affects your body image,'' she said. "It does something to a woman. That's all I can say.''
Through the Facebook page, she said she's met women whose husbands left them after they underwent mastectomies, telling their wives, "I can't handle this. You look like a freak.' "
Beneath the images, some of which Colanero has reposted, women who've had cancer said the photographs made them feel better about their bodies.
"This project has helped me HEAL in ways that words can not express,'' one woman wrote, describing herself as a recent cancer survivor.
"I watched this project help my friend reclaim her power,'' another woman wrote.
One of the participant models wrote that the project "restored my life, my femininity & my courage to go on.''
"Don't silence us,'' wrote another one of the women who posed. "Don't censor us.''
After her painting session, Gondola remembers the exhilaration.
"I wore it home, and I ripped off my shirt and I paraded in front of my daughter,'' she recounted. "She was so proud of me. That was an amazing feeling.''
The project has gotten some television and local magazine coverage. Colanero says ultimately, he hopes to raise money selling the images, so he can contribute to a breast cancer charity.
The project already has paid off, though, Gondola says, bringing hundreds of survivors together online.
"We're showing women going through the hardest time of their life that there's beauty at the other end,'' she said.
bwallman @ tribune.com or 954-356-4541.
BCABPP Breast Cancer Survivors Clash with Facebook Censors
We hate learning about great projects at the expense of women who have suffered enough in life, won their battle with the big-C cancer, only to take on a new deadly opponent. This was the exact sequence of events that brought us to the Facebook page of the Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project over the weekend.
For the cancer survivors who are part of The Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project: A Fine Art & Photography Essay of Survivors, their artistic journey is a self-affirmation dream come true.
For the citizen censors who are trying to take down these empowering BCABPP images of the women on Facebook and Flickr, the women’s artist reflections are … what? Threatening? Corrupting of the moral fabric of the country? Pornographic?
“Yes”, say the members of America’s morality police! These women represent Corruptresses! After beating their cancer and rediscovering their own beauty, the women and the entire BCABPP creative team are now facing a new opponent: America’s censors.
Meet Melanie Joy Singh (above), who tells her story of being a breast cancer survivor, after losing her breast at age 35. Today Melanie is also a ‘Painted Survivor’, proud of her artistic rendering “Stardust” by photographer Michael Colanero and artists Keegan Hitchcock, who has painted 21 of the 25 painted so far, and Luci Ungerbuehler, a new member of the creative team.
Breast cancer survivors from all around America have been driving and flying into Fort Lauderdale to participate in BCABPP, often a self-described emotional, psychological and transcendental journey to self love.
Proudly posting their images on the group’s BCABPP Facebook page, these empowered women and fantastic artists Colanero, Hitchcock came to our attention via the Daily Mail UK, who reported that BCABPP had run into the Facebook censors and strict rules about nudity.
FB rules are: “You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” Note that typically, someone must complain about the images to FB and that typically is one of the many social conservatives who spend their time trolling the Internet, reporting infractions.
Mr Colanero was furious because the creative team has deliberately made the images child-safe. “I want them to be in oncology clinics and children’s hospitals. I’ve gone out of my way to make them non-sexual,” says the artist and photographer.
Colanero, who displays the images in his South Florida Uncommon Gallery (see FB page,) continues: “People come into the gallery and put their hands on the pictures, crying. They can empathize and just learn and be more aware.”
Anne signed a petition against FB, along with other supporters of BCABPP, who feel this is just one more example of the social conservatives porn police going too far in protecting American citizens from naughty images on FB.
In the familiar double-standard for women on almost every issue involving our bodies in America, breast cancer survivor Ellen Gondola, told the Orlando Sentinel that she was thrilled to arrive home still painted, ripping off her shirt and parading around in front of her daughter in a state of positive exhiliaration.
And then her image came down on Facebook — twice. She asks: “There’s men on the same site that can be topless … Those men with what we call “moobs,” or male boobs, those big tattoos across their chest … why is that OK?”
Welcome to the world of women, Ellen.
Fighting the Breast Cancer Beast Up Front and Personal
The images created as part of the Breast Cancer Awareness Body Project impact all of us. Not only the survivor models relate to the beauty and triumph expressed in in the project’s artistic goals. The images unconsciouslessly help the millions of women, our friends and family members who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the future — today and tomorrow.
In sharing their project publicly, these courageous women remind us in advance, that breast cancer needn’t mean the end of beauty and a positive self image. Women are far more than the size, shape and ‘flawless perfection” of our breasts. (As an offshoot of reading about these fantastic women, Anne is launching a campaign to eliminate the word ‘flawless’ from our fashion/beauty industry vocabulary. The word does incredible damage to women’s psyches, even before we deal with breast cancer.)
Melanie ‘Stardust’ picks up her story:
This experience was transcendental for me… it gave me a newfound strength; it transformed me in a way that is difficult to express into words. When I was going through breast cancer, I felt like the disease was stealing bits of me every day. As Keegan painted this amazing cosmic landscape onto me, I began to watch my scarred body turn into a thing of beauty. And as Michael was shooting the photos I began to realize that cancer didn’t steal my beauty, and that it could never tarnish my soul. I will be forever grateful to Keegan and Michael for allowing me to participate in this amazing project.
Most of the images have between 40 to 90 hours of work in them, with a few over 300 hours of work in them. Michael has a target of 50 survivors in mind, according to Round Magazine
Seeking to raise funds, the survivors are helping to sell not only the original prints but a host of related products on Cafe Press. Stickers, cards, pillows and even a ceramic travel mug carry the images. This Cafe Press page shows all the women painted so far in the BCABPP project. 100% of all profits are being donated to a variety of breast-cancer related initiatives.
Michael Colanero’s fine art prints, with and without frames donate 15% of the profits. The group hopes to publish a coffee table book with 50 survivors and their stories. When the BCABPP group dreams big — and why shouldn’t they — a national gallery tour is a primary goal, and then a world tour.
Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Profect | ArtStreet
Supporting the BCABPP project are Facebook are comments from the women.
“This project has helped me HEAL in ways that words can not express,” one woman wrote, describing herself as a recent cancer survivor.
“I watched this project help my friend reclaim her power,” another woman wrote.
One of the participant models wrote that the project “restored my life, my femininity & my courage to go on.”
“Don’t silence us,” wrote another one of the women who posed. “Don’t censor us.”
Women whose husbands have left them after they underwent mastectomies meet on this Facebook page. The women say that many men tell their wives, “I can’t handle this. You look like a freak.”
The women do not exaggerate. In 2009, Seattle researchers confirmed that female gender was the strongest predictor of separation or divorce when one of the parties had cancer. The rate when the woman was the patient was 20.8 percent compared to 2.9 percent when the man was the patient.
We end this powerful story with a promise to watch the BCABPP Facebook page situation. AOC had its own infraction on FB with an innocuous anti-Facebook censorship by the Ukranian feminist group FEMEN. In this excellent article about BCABPP, we find the exhiliaring vision on which to end this story … for now.
Gillian’s image, “Phoenix Rising” is for her the epitome of cancer survival. Like the Phoenix, Gillian encompasses a fiery spirit and a colorful way of being. Her cancer was like that of the Phoenix’s lifespan which lasts a long time, but once it ceases to exist, her survival is like that of the new Phoenix rising - powerful and majestic.
‘Phoenix Rising’ is also the key theme of Anne of Carversville. We will use Gillian’s image throughout our pages to support BCABPP and underscore our commitment to women’s journeys around the globe.