100 Faces of Beauty - Dawn, Aged 46, Teaching Assistant and Mum of 2

I joined the 100 Faces of Beauty project because I needed to gain a bit more confidence again.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer two and a half years ago and although I didn't have to go through chemo and radiation and everything else, I kind of feel like I skipped over and don't feel like I'm worthy of feeling outplaced or distant or changed in any way because I didn't have to do any of that.  I had a double mastectomy and reconstruction and basically feel like I've had a boob job, on the NHS.  And I know there's more to it.  And I want to make people aware that there are other people out there who haven't been through everything... but have still been through something... especially for my daughter, who may eventually have it... because my Mum had it, my Sister had it, my Grandmother had it.  I want to be comfortable with who I am after surgery, rather than being uncomfortable with it and so that my daughter will be comfortable with who she will become and if anything happens to her, that that will be comfortable too.

I love the 20s, I love the 40s, I love the 60s and the styles they had then.  Looking back at pictures of my Mum and what she wore in the 50s and 60s, I think the style then was amazing.  When I saw the advert for this on Facebook, I realised how often I stepped out away from the camera because my breasts aren't mine anymore, they're not real but they are mine I guess.  I just assumed everybody would know so I covered up a lot and I don't want to necessarily to be in front of the camera because it can be quite raw because I feel like people can tell that something's happened because we've not told a lot of people... and this is about to change ha! 

My daughter, I don't want her thinking that beauty is the end all be all, we always tell her how intelligent she is because boy she is intelligent.  I'm worried about what she sees around her and the images.  We eat healthy, we stress being healthy but I'm worried about children, I see girls with anorexia and bulimia and they think it's OK.  Girls who are down on themselves because they might be a little bit larger but that's just who they are.  I don't want my daughter having to be put in a box. 

I don't want to be held back anymore because something has changed in me that I couldn't control.  So, I want to be able to control this again. 

I can't believe I did that without crying!!