Are Mastectomy Photos Nudity? Ask Facebook!

Please note: This post contains images and content some may find sensitive. 

Breast Cancer Survivors are a close-knit group, even those of us who have never met each other in person.  Blogs, forums and Facebook connect us daily.  We know all too well about breast cancer and body image; the road to reconstruction is paved with more than a few Epic Fails.  Sometimes we share, sometimes we don’t.  

Allie Colon decided to share that road to reconstruction on Facebook recently. 

This is Breast Cancer. Does it make you uncomfortble?

Courtesy Allie Colon (2013)

Allie’s caption read, in part, “In honor of the 1st day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided to build the courage to post this raw, inspiring picture of myself. I was always scared and embarrassed to post it, but this year, I said screw it. Cancer broke me down, and we had one hell of a fight. I fought back harder,and stronger. And here I am to write this post to motivate and inspire others today.”

Are Mastectomy Photos Nudity?  Ask Facebook!

Her friends and fellow surviviors LOVED this gutsy mastectomy photo.  It’s Allie’s reality. But Facebook apparently wasn’t so sure.  The Facebook Police informed her the post had been flagged for nudity, and it was “under review.” 

allie colon facebook

That didn’t go over well in Cancerland, so friends and fellow survivors started sharing the breastless mastectomy photo.  Again and again.  And as she waited for Facebook’s verdict, Allie, always the Badass, posted “Good luck getting it removed.  It’s been shared hundreds of times.  Wait till they see what I post next for Breast Cancer Awareness…”

Allie’s Facebook photos and pictures are often full of colorful language and images. They are entertaining, honest, and profanity laced. 

Our Scars are Pink Ribbons

Flipping Cancer the Bird.  (Photo Courtesy Allie Colon)

I live in the South, where let’s face it, we sometimes sugar coat things just a tad. Allie is a New Yorker. No frothy pink BS with Allie, she’s showing her own cancer reality. And talk about raising awareness!  Pinktober just got very interesting for this writer. Survivors who show the raw reality may just raise a lot more awareness than pink ribbons do. 

allie fighter photo

Are Mastectomy Photos Nudity?  Ask Facebook!

After hours of deliberation, Facebook ended up allowing Allie Colon’s photo to remain.  It doesn’t show breasts, it doesn’t show nipples, it shows what a mastectomy looks like before reconstruction.  Some women decide against reconstruction; their bodies have already been through the wringer.  Others, like Allie and me, have a rough road but finally come out the other side after multiple, multiple surgeries.

If you find seeing photos of a woman without breasts disturbing, unsightly, or even just jarring, imagine living it.  Allie Colon lived it. It’s her reality. Her story.  I applaud her for telling it however she wants to.  When I read her blog and see her Facebook posts, I think, “NO one puts Allie in the corner!”

Scars are our pink ribbons

This is what cancer does.  (Photo courtesy Allie Colon)

Cancer is horrifying, sad, frightening and debilitating.  This woman handled it HER way. She didn’t let it take away her power.  Would you? 

To read more of Allie Colon’s story, go to