What's under this woman's red dress may shock you, but it's a shock that may save your life. That's the reason an Australian mother of four stripped down and posted these photos on Facebook, even though doing so lost her a 103 of her so-called friends.
Beth Whaanga braved exposing her many scars from a battle with breast cancer—a move which some deemed inappropriate, even pornographic. Amazingly, Facebook (which is usually pretty draconian when it comes to bare breasts) got the importance of Whaanga's message and left the photos in situ.
This is the warning Whaanga included on her Facebook page:
"These images are confronting and contain topless material. They are not in anyway meant to be sexual. The aim of this project is to raise awareness for breast cancer. If you find these images offensive please hide them from your feed.
Each day we walk past people. These individuals appear normal but under their clothing sometimes their bodies tell a different story. Nadia Masot and I aim to find others who are willing to participate in our project so that we might show others that cancer effects everyone. The old and the young, age does not matter, self-examination is vital. It can happen to you."
Photographer Nadia Mascot arranged the shoot as part of an awareness project called Under The Red Dress. You see, at 32, Whaanga was diagnosed with cancer and later found out that she carries the BRCA2 gene. So she wasn't taking any chances. Cue the double mastectomy and complete hysterectomy that have left a lasting mark.
Sure, scar tissue makes people uncomfortable. Yet according to an article in the Huffington Post, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer for women in Australia and the UK, with one in eight being diagnosed in their lifetime. One in eight.
If this photo shoot means that just one woman schedules a mammogram, then isn't it worth it?
What do think of the pictures? Inspiring or inappropriate?
Meet another mom who bared her chest for a cause.
With rates of developmental disorders like autism and ADHD skyrocketing, science is keen to pinpoint the cause. In an article published in The Lancet, researchers suggest that toxins are affecting developing brains, "silently eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviours, truncating future achievements and damaging societies.”
Children and babies, even fetuses, are more vulnerable to such toxins than adults as their brains are still developing.
According to an article in the Toronto Star, current regulations protecting consumers from chemical exposure on clothes, toys and furniture are grossly inadequate. Researchers are therefore putting pressure on manufacturers to prove their products are safe before they are allowed in the marketplace.
Among harmful neurotoxicants are lead and methyl mercury, though researchers claim many others have yet to be identified.
If we fail to act now now, said Dr. Philippe Grandjean, the study's co-author, who teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health, “we are endangering the brains of the future.”
Clearly this area deserves more probing—for everyone's health and wellbeing.
“This is not about avoiding a specific disorder. This is about promoting brain health," said Evdokia Anagnostou, a clinician scientist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre and a principal investigator with the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders Network.
What do you think of this research?
Other research relating to autism.
Anyone ever driven to despair by the tax and revenue office, or by those in high towers who seem to delight in binding your hands in red tape, this one is for you.
When faced with the galling response of the IRS, who refused to deal with anyone other than her six-year-old, one mom decided to oblige.
Her son picked up a crayon and wrote this classic response in his own hand (courtesy of Elite Daily):
I got your letter. I am now 6 years old. It is ok if you talk to my mommy Susan F. Smith about my tax papers until I am 18.
- Paulie Smith”
I can relate, having battled a good part of a year to prove that I was, in fact, still my son's mother for a given tax year.
Got any classic revenue office stories you'd care to share? Spill it.
Another letter that made us smile.