Pop star Anastacia has bared all for FAULT Magazine, revealing her mastectomy scars for the very first time.
Not only did she physically bare all for the black and white shoot, she also opened up for an honest accompanying interview.
The singer, who’s fought breast cancer twice, revealed how important it was to her to bare her scars once and for all. She confessed, “I’m nervous to let people see them, I really am, but I want to be able to go on the beach and not have the first photographs taken of my body to be ones that I didn’t give. I want to be free and knowing that this photo-shoot will be out there and available, I can be on the beach and not worry about what people think.”
“Paparazzi can take a photo of me breathing in and call it a gut or say all the things they want, that doesn’t scare me but my scars are a part of me and I want to be the one to reveal them. If paparazzi photographed them, I’d feel like I was being shamed but being able to release them this way, I feel extremely empowered.”
“I resented them – I resented how large they were but I also understood why I needed to go through all the physical changes. My scars are part of my journey and a reminder of all the things I went through with my mastectomy. At this point, I feel great to show them in a way that’s artistic with a respected team in fashion because it’s transformed my body’s “FAULTs” into art.”
Anastacia continued to discuss her scars, revealing why they were in an ‘unusual place’ for mastectomy scars. “The surgeons had to go around my tattoo; the scars really should have been on my bra line but to graft skin the surgeons needed to find a place that wasn’t compromised. I wasn’t expecting it to be as long but it was the only way,” she revealed.
The singer also spoke about the moment she was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. She said, “2003, I actually went in to explore breast reduction as a preventative measure and two days before my procedure my doctor asked me to have a mammogram. I remember saying “I’m young what are you talking about!?” and he replied “I just want to check that your tissue is pristine” and me being me, I said “Pristine, mean, clean that’s who I am when I’m on the scene!” [laughs] It was all jokes, I got my mammogram and lo and behold, they found cancer. I wasn’t so pristine, mean or clean after all…”
Since winning her battle with breast cancer, Anastacia has announced a partnership with Cancer Research UK and is doing all she can to help fund more life-saving research into breast cancer research. She recently competed on Strictly Come Dancing, donating her fee to the charity. However, she had a turbulent journey, suffering an injury to one of her scars in the first week which caused the first ever cancellation of a dance off.
She said, “I just thought it was a sore muscle and I just waited for it to pass but it got progressively worse and then I felt a lump which I knew couldn’t be cancer because I didn’t have any breast tissue left but it had to be something. I went to see a doctor and as it turns out it was an inflamed scar tissue. I found this out on Saturday morning and the show was filmed live on Saturday night.”
“I decided to continue with the performance, and we took out the lift to help me do that. By the end of the performance I was in a lot of pain, and knew I needed to see a specialist. Then I was told there was a dance off. I knew I was physically unable to perform, and I was terrified about what damage I had already done.”
Despite a tough time on the show, Strictly helped Anastacia to regain some of her femininity. “Every little thing that I’m doing, including Strictly Come Dancing was me trying to reclaim a little piece of my femininity that cancer stole from me,” she confessed. “When you have as many surgeries as I’ve had, you lose so many female sensations that you’ll never get back. Nipple sensation is something that cancer robbed from my anatomy and I’m used to it now but there is that little part of me that will always be lost. Doing Strictly and doing this shoot I feel like I’m finally becoming the woman that I was again.”
The singer also spoke of her duty to women. She said, “I’m here to try to give as much information and knowledge that I learned being a patient to help their decisions be mindful ones. That’s what I’m working with the Cancer Research UK, we’re getting a chat board up for women to talk and discuss cancer with people who have actually been through it all. When you talk to your doctor, male or female, they’re only telling you their experience treating cancer but sometimes it’s more helpful to discuss you options with people who have been through the treatment personally.”
“Not everyone who has had cancer will want to face to face talk about it but many are willing to chat over instant message or forums. It’s much easier for me to speak one on one with cancer sufferers if I can be anonymous on a chat board and I can speak honestly and openly as a nameless survivor rather than ‘Anastacia’.”
Anastacia also raised the issue of mammograms and hit home how important it is for women to get them done. “If you’re a young woman in your mid twenties, then just get it done and you can have peace of mind until you’re thirty years old. In your thirties go every two or three years depending on your doctor’s advice and then after thirty-five, it’s safest to go each year. Find it early and you’re done and it’s so much easier.”
“Cancer and death needn’t go hand in hand, if you catch it early you can live with it and seek treatment – it’s not spotting it early enough that’s scary.”