Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Cancer survivor allowed to swim topless
Change attitudes, not just dress codes
Regarding Jodie Jaecks’ campaign to swim topless now due to her double mastectomy last year [“Cancer survivor fights city, wins right to swim topless,” page one, June 21], I also want to say that I am a cancer survivor and very glad I made this decision — the first three years ago, and the second last year.
I do not have any pains from these operations, so can tolerate having swimsuits, both one piece and two piece. I bought these at Nordstrom, and they sell the lightweight prostheses, and will sew a “pocket” to insert them for free.
I am 78 years old and have no desire to look like a man to others, having been a lovely woman up until these operations. I feel that Jodie’s ideas may have the opposite affect on women facing this lifesaving operation, saying they don’t have much to look forward to if they get cancer — that is not true; changing the “dress code” is less important than changing her own attitude.
I feel very comfortable wearing the bras and the swimming suits that give me a feminine look.
— Nancy Tsu, Bellevue
Jodi Jaecks is to be commended for her efforts to allow women suffering from bilateral mastectomy pain the right to swim without covering nonexistent breasts. Few people understand the intense pain that clothing and touch can cause for years following surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
If a breastless woman has the need (and the courage) to swim without covering her torso, why shouldn’t she? After all, the purpose of a female bathing suit top is to cover breasts, yet the breastless woman has no breasts to cover! Why is her body any different from a man who swims without covering his torso?
Seattle Parks argues that, “We’re trying to protect children,” with its policies.
Protect children from what? Two small scars? Men swim with surgically scarred torsos. Missing body parts? What is the difference between a woman with breasts removed and an amputee? The amputee is not obliged to hide a stump or scars in order to protect children, yet the bilateral mastectomy survivor is asked to hide both her scars and her nonexistent breasts.
Our entire society benefits when courageous individuals work to remove the stigmas associated with disease and disfigurement.
— Esther Warkov, Seattle