As women, we sometimes make the mistake of tying our body image to our self-worth. America is beauty driven, and the pageant industry is just as relentless. We can point fingers at the media, but we all play our own part when we idolize women that supersede whatever the meaning of “perfection” is.
As a teen, I would jokingly say to my friends, “I’d be so happy if I ever made it into a full C cup”. In comparison to all my other friends, this seemed like a very long shot. It was not until I became an adult and met my fiancès mother who had recently undergone a mastectomy that I began to realize having small breast or none at all is not the end of the world. If she could remain beautiful and confident less one breast… how important could they be in defining body image?
In fact, that’s the stance that Miss District of Columbia 2012 Allyn Rose is taking. While trying out for the 2013 Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas, Allyn uttered what most beauty queens could never imagine. Regardless of what title she would be holding, this would be her last contest, and she has plans of undergoing a double mastectomy as a preventive measure.
Allyn lost her mother, grandmother and her great-aunt to a form of aggressive breast cancer. Rather than wait around in anticipation of possibility of being diagnosed with the same life threatening disease, she is willing to do with out what some may consider to be prized possessions.
Courage does not even begin to explain the strength that Allyn is displaying by making it public knowledge of her intentions to remove both breasts. Let this be a lesson to us all. Beauty is not defined only by appearances, but also by the ability to face fear full throttle. I look forward to seeing her serve as a role model for what so many women with or without breast, young and old, have trouble with… defining their self-image. Bobbies are never necessary to be chic.