“I Dissent” – Our Secretary’s Message for #IFD2020

Devorah Anne Vester Borenstein I dissent International FLAT Day flat woman on bridge advocating aesthetic flat closure

NPOAS Secretary Devorah has a message for the world on this #InternationalFLATDay! Take a listen (don’t mind the wind):


“Hi everyone! I’m Devorah, from Boston. Happy second International FLAT Day! Right now, as you can see, I’m standing on a bridge. It’s the BU bridge that connects Boston and Cambridge, and in the background, our lovely city of Boston. I’m about to bike across; I biked here today. I’m here, like many flat women, to show solidarity, pride and connection with all of our flat sisters throughout the world. In 2019, my flat colleagues, Christy Avila and Robyn Towt, who testified before the FDA on the dangers of breast implants, launched this day to create awareness of “aesthetic flat closure,” a term that the National Cancer Institute just this year has officially recognized and endorsed.

“Aesthetic flat closure is a healthy and viable reconstructive option post-mastectomy which allows a woman to reclaim her beautiful, natural chest wall contour with minimal invasiveness and only one surgery. I am a flat woman, due to breast cancer, and I have reclaimed my body. Several weeks ago, our beloved RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice of the US Supreme Court, left us. Before I complete my walk across this bridge, I want to share a few thoughts that RBG has inspired.

“RBG said, ‘Fight for what you believe in.‘ This is what I do every day. I fight for truth, justice and equality for people who live with mental illness. I also fight for full and fair disclosure of all post-mastectomy options, including flat aesthetic closure, so that women like me can make an informed decision and give informed consent that works for them. RBG also said, ‘I dissent.’ And I say that too.

“I dissent, because I had breast cancer. I dissent, because I decided to get rid of the cancer AND my breasts. I dissent, because I decided to reconstruct my natural chest wall contour and not my breast mounds. I dissent, because a woman has the right to full and fair disclosure of all post-mastectomy options. I dissent, because a woman has the right to know about all the risks and benefits associated with each of these options.

“I dissent, because a woman has the right to be treated as a competent adult with agency to make her own healthcare decisions. I dissent, because a woman has the right to ask questions, and to be heard and understood in the medical consult. I dissent, because a woman has the right to have her informed consent respected. I dissent, because when I say ‘woman,’ I mean all women – black, brown, yellow, white, you name it. I dissent, because this is my body and my decision, just as this is YOUR body and YOUR decision.

“I dissent, because a woman doesn’t need breasts to be a woman. I dissent, because breasts do not define femininity or sexuality. I dissent, because beauty and life go far beyond breasts and nipples. I dissent because I’m fearless. And I dissent because I am whole. I dissent because I listen to the voice inside of me, and not inside of anyone else. I dissent… because aesthetic flat closure IS on the menu. I dissent because I am part of a supportive, energetic global community of strong women who are beautiful shining stars because they dissent.

“Happy International FLAT Day, ladies. And, be safe!”






Published by Not Putting on a Shirt

Founder of Not Putting on a Shirt, a mastectomy patients' rights organization that advocates for optimal surgical outcomes for patients going flat.

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