Facebook Mastectomy Tattoo Pic Model Speaks On Site’s Reversal

A Facebook mastectomy pic featuring a cancer survivor who opted instead of the more common option of reconstruction to cover her post-mastectomy body with a colorful and interesting tattoo prompted first controversy and then change, and now the woman who calls herself “Scorchy Barrington” has addressed Facebook’s mastectomy pictures decision.

The Facebook mastectomy decision was prompted in part by the arresting and beautiful image of Barrington’s post-mastectomy ink, and after a Change.org petition got more than 20,000 signatures, the social network issued the following statement reported by The Inquisitr earlier this week:

“We agree that undergoing a mastectomy is a life-changing experience and that sharing photos can help raise awareness about breast cancer and support the men and women facing a diagnosis, undergoing treatment, or living with the scars of cancer. The vast majority of these kinds of photos are compliant with our policies.”

The Facebook mastectomy petition has been updated with a note from Barrington, in which she praises Facebook’s mastectomy photos policy update and says:

“From now on, these powerful visual testaments to the real impact of breast cancer and the resilience of breast cancer survivors will be welcomed on Facebook, as they should be. For me, a woman with Stage IV breast cancer, this is a victory I share with the 20,000 people who have signed my Change.org petition and the countless men and women who have this disease and who are newly diagnosed each year.”

She adds:

“We want the world to know that breast cancer is not a pink ribbon – it is traumatic, it is life-changing, and it urgently needs a cure.”

The original petition highlighted a common gripe for Facebook censorship and one often referenced by breastfeeding advocates censored on the site — a seeming double standard when it comes to health-related breast exposure versus sexualized images of women, often deemed acceptable by moderators.

The petition noted that when it comes to breast cancer, early awareness in many ways hinges on driving home the severity of the disease and its ravages on the body, and it stated:

“Facebook says these photos violate their policy — essentially putting these images in the same category as pornography. The Scar Project, Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer, and other pages like them do not objectify or sexualize the human anatomy. They document the physical and emotional toll of women and men who have undergone mastectomies. They raise awareness of the disease and reinforce the need for early intervention and research toward a cure. This is the reality of breast cancer.”

Hopefully, the decision sparked by the tattooed Facebook mastectomy photo will influence the site’s overall moderation of breast-related content.