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Beauty and the Breasts

The forecast for Oregon Country Fair includes a definite chance of breasts — different shapes, sizes and protruding from bodies of all kinds.

This year, however, we’re getting down to business about boobs. Katelyn Carey, author of the recently published Beauty After Breast Cancer, is giving a talk about this increasingly common milestone for women.

Carey has been working on changing the dialogue about breast cancer for the past three years by creating a “coffee-table” book that isn’t overloaded with daunting medical terms and horrifying photos. Au contraire, the 38 folks in her 178-page book show off their newly sculpted bods and share their stories in ways that makes the experience more palpable — enjoyable, even. 

Carey is no comedian, but she clearly has a sense of humor when it comes to breast cancer. And why not? Since one in eight women are reported to get breast cancer in their lifetime, Carey says everyone knows someone who goes through the journey. What isn’t as common, though, is greeting the news with optimism. “This isn’t going to be a scary talk,” she says. “This is going to be a fun talk.” 

Usually breast cancer is met with fear, but Carey is actively trying to change the tools and resources for folks who receive the big news. “A new resource needed to exist for women,” she says.

That resource is hope. By discussing and humanizing breast cancer, Carey aims to give people an easier go of things when facing a big life change like a mastectomy, or even just trying to stay calm during a routine mammogram. 

Catch Carey’s talk, “Change the World (A Story About Boobs),” 3 pm Saturday, July 9, at Rabbit Hole stage and 12:30 pm Sunday, July 10, at Front Porch stage. For more details about her work, visit beautyafterbreastcancer.com.