Through Cam's Lens: Pinktober

“Breast cancer and chemotherapy

Took away her crownin’ glory

She promised God if she was to survive

She would enjoy every day of her life, oh”

So I’m doing a series all October long for Breast Cancer Awareness month. I’ve decided to call the series “Stories From Pinktober”. Instagram has had your boy “pulfiaw” the last couple of days, but I’ll tell y’all about that dutty platform a little later.

The concept for this series actually came to me last year, but I was too pressed for time to get it done then. The idea is to use a mask and have the participants of the project photographed with their tatas covered. I hope saying tatas is fine for this article. There are two masks: One that allows you to see the identity of the participant and the other mask is for those who wish to remain anonymous.

In addition to the images, and also to better share the stories of persons who’ve experienced breast cancer (directly or indirectly), there is also a video aspect to the series. The videos allow persons, locally and abroad, to share a part of their experience with the viewers. They also end the video off encouraging persons to get to know their breasts and to go and get tested.

The series has been well received so far and more and more persons are volunteering to be a part of it. The cap is 15 persons from both images and videos, as I intend on posting every day for the month.

Photography is my thing, so there hasn’t been much new for me on that side for the series. However, seeing people who’ve never stood in front of a professional camera before volunteer to show support has been amazing.

In terms of videography, it’s been interesting listening to persons share their stories. Some need a few more takes and cuts than others to get what they want to say right, but the process has been fun. Seeing people opening up and being vulnerable with a sensitive part of their life is amazing. I’m really happy that I have a platform that allows people’s voices and stories to be heard.

But you know which dutty platform doesn’t do the same? INSTA-YOUR-MOM-GRAM.

Day two of my series and they take my picture down for nudity and going against the community guidelines. Man, if y’all would only see the image – there’s absolutely nothing revealing in the image. Some people are telling me that it has to be that someone is reporting me – but lawd, Instagram wouldn’t check before they remove someone’s image?!

I even tired reposting the picture and the same thing happened. Now I have two cases that are under review for the last three days. Like, can I live? I don’t even want to post on Instagram anymore if they don’t let me continue with my series the way that I want to.

Honestly, it’s crazy frustrating. Like I get the need for guidelines and “protecting” the platform, but if you’re going to police us, my goodness, do it correctly!

If anyone of you would like to participate in the series, just let me know. I have a few spots still available. You can contact me on Facebook or Instagram (side eye emoji).

*Yo, Siri, pay I Am Not My Hair by India.Arie*