Pioneers in Flat Advocacy
A blog series designed to highlight and amplify the voices of the flat advocates who blazed the trail and laid the foundation for those that followed.
Trine Amazon of Denmark began blogging about her breast cancer experience shortly after her diagnosis in 2017. She examines beauty standards and gender norms from her perspective as a “magical uniboober and queer ninja,” and works to promote flat visibility.
Trine has worked closely with the hospital system in Denmark to ensure providers are offering the flat option to their patients, and one hospital even now offers flat closure pictures alongside their breast reconstruction gallery. You can find Trine’s work at TrineAmazon.com.
When you were making your reconstructive choice, how did you end up choosing flat?
“It was more the other way around. There wasn’t one single good reason for me to reconstruct, so there really wasn’t any choice. It was the only sensible thing for me to do. Less surgery, shorter recovery time, less rehabilitation training, less chance of side effects and complications.”
How has your surgical result affected your healing process moving forward?
“I think the scar is so beautiful and I love that this is a part of my story now. Don’t get me wrong, I never thought cancer was a good thing for me, but now that I had it, I think the scar represents my story and what I have been through. I love to watch it and it’s been a big part of my healing in a positive way.”
How did you decide that you wanted to be an advocate?
“Going through chemo and at the same time realising that this wasn’t a publicly known option, feeling how unrealistic beauty standards were pushing women to reconstruct, made me want to spend time on showing this as a valid option. There haven’t been many in Denmark or Northern Europe pushing this agenda, so I felt like I could contribute a lot. And it kept my mind of the bad thoughts from the disease itself. Today I’m doing it mostly on the side, but I still think it’s very important to talk about it.”
What is your proudest accomplishment as an advocate?
“There are actually many things, but they all involve the health care system. Talking in front of a lot of nurses at the yearly breast cancer conference in Denmark and feeling that I really brought some new information to them. Also got a chronicle published in one of the biggest newspapers in Denmark and this is now used by healthcare professionals in different breast cancer centers in Denmark to inform about the flat choice. And of course that I managed to change the practice at the largest hospital in Denmark to also offer pictures of flat choice to patients, as opposed to before when only pictures of reconstructions were available.”
What has been your biggest challenge as an advocate?
“Having enough time as I also work full time and want to spend time with my family and friends.”
What have you learned as an advocate that you would like other advocates to know?
“That every experience is unique and that you can only speak for yourself. This is so important to remember when you try to push an agenda, that in the end you only represent yourself.”
What is your vision for flat advocacy generally? What do you want the future to look like for women going flat?
“That it is considered a beautiful, valid and normal choice to not be questioned. That we see many flatties in society around us and that this even pushed for health reasons.”
A pioneer may start as a lone voice in the wilderness, but their passion for and commitment to their cause inspires others to join them. This has led to exponential growth in the field of flat advocacy over the last decade or so. In 2020, we have flat photography projects, full length memoirs, nonprofit organizations, communities on social media, and even gatherings across the world… all made possible by the work of the advocates who blazed the trail.
If you know of a pioneer in flat advocacy that you’d like to see featured, please let us know!
Disclaimer: Any and all information published by Not Putting on a Shirt (NPOAS) on behalf of a third party is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for medical or legal advice from a licensed professional. Views expressed and claims made by third parties do not necessarily represent the views of NPOAS.