I grew up in San Diego, and when I was younger we would go to Rosarita Beach in Baja Mexico for mother’s day weekend with my mom, my auntie, my cousin and my grandma. We would have the classic girls weekend, shopping with the ladies and collecting silver jewelry, woven bracelets, velvet paintings and ponchos. Mexican culture has always just been a part of my life. I loved that my art teacher in elementary school had a project on Mexican art and Frida Kahlo, we even made Mayan calendars out of playdoh.
When I started Keep A Breast I wanted to do something different and special. Something to support young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer while also educate young people about their risk for the disease and ways they can prevent it. I have always been a creative person. I loved expressing myself trough fashion, making my own clothes and decorating my room, locker, backpack, anything I could to show the world that I was different, that I was me.
I was inspired by Frida Kahlo to create the Keep A Breast Cast. I saw old photo’s of her lying in her bed painting on her very own breast cast, and I thought what a beautiful way to express yourself, literally turning your body that was in so much pain into something so beautiful. I think for Frida that was the theme of her life in a way, being injured from such a young age and having to deal with injury, disease and heartbreak, I honor her for being able to turn all that into some of the most beautiful and meaningful artwork in history. She had to sustain as many as 35 operations as a result of her accident. Like many breast cancer survivors who have to have multiple surgeries.
To me the breast cast is a way of showing the beauty in every person casted. Every body is beautiful and has a story to tell. Through art and community we are able to do something unique and special all in the name of Keep A Breast.
French poet André Breton, described Kahlo’s art as a “ribbon around a bomb”.
I think that’s a beautiful way to put it, we all only have a limited amount of days in these bodies and we might as well wrap a ribbon on it and seize the day, like Frida did.