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  • Writer's pictureAmy Burvall

#morethanBODY Project: Breast Cancer Awareness

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As some of you know, I was diagnosed with a pretty aggressive breast cancer when I was 35 and my daughter was just turning two. I went through multiple surgeries, chemo, radiation, (the usual) only to emerge and have my mother diagnosed with both breast and colon cancer, to which she eventually succumbed. (I talk about my experience and how creativity in particular got me through it in my TEDx talk).

I was fortunate in many ways and of course still revel in the fact I’m alive 9 years later (I never call myself a “survivor”, however). I was never into the pink thing (BIG surprise since I usually draw in pink and black!) and have actually never done a walk or anything like that (though certain friends and family do and that is cool and appreciated).  I have very strong and unconventional opinions on what is helpful or not – but probably stemming from personal bias.

One thing I do know is that a dear friend (actually creative partner Herb Mahelona, who appears in the TEDx talk), once reminded me, as I was lamenting the loss of my long signature golden locks:

“You are more than your hair”

Those words still echo as I deal with periodic bouts of feeling regret over loss of original body parts and scarring…and no matter how many times someone says “but you’re ALIVE!” sometimes all you want is to look fab in a bikini, as shallow as that may seem.

I started thinking about what kind of art series could I do that would make a simple, subtle but powerful statement, reminding women in particular that we are so much more than our outward manifestations of feminine beauty (don’t get me wrong – I am a BIG supporter of raw sex appeal!).

So I came up with the idea of the #morethanbody project, which I will do throughout October and post on various social media sites.


As you can see, the “logo” is a mathematical “more than” sign and the word “Body” written as if the O and the D were breasts with nipples. I chose Marilyn because ..Marilyn.

I will highlight various female celebrities, famous for their physical attributes but possessing underlying AMAZING character traits or talents or dispositions that few know about. I want to do a sort of simple poster series. Here is the prototype, using Marilyn and her love of literature.


So it’s a bit..”Look up here, fellas”…but instead of “in my eyes” it’s “in my brain”. After all, our bodies are mere shells. I am increasingly obsessed with the notion of transcending time and space and body (something like the film “Her”), granted our technology. But more about that later. For now, just enjoy these stunning women – both physically, emotionally, and intellectually, and appreciate that we are all more than the boundaries of our flesh.

Note: all will be remixed using Paper app by Fifty Three for iPhone

#fiftythree #october #beauty #awareness #cancer #breastcancer #paper #amyburvall

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