Self-Love and Cancer
- At just 38 years old, Kelly Crump was diagnosed with breast cancer. She decided to get screened when she scratched an itch on her chest and noticed a lump.
- In 2019, Crump learned that her cancer had metastasized, spreading to her neck, lung, armpit, ribs and spine. She still goes in for additional treatment every three weeks.
- The cancer fighter was named a finalist in the 2022 Swim Search contest. The list of 14 finalists is exceptionally diverse, including the Swimsuit Issue’s first indigenous model and an astrophysicist.
The list of finalists in its 2022 Swim Search contest is exceptionally diverse, including the Swimsuit Issue’s first indigenous model and an astrophysicist. The 14 finalists are competing for a spot as a “rookie” in the 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and they are currently on their way to the Dominican Republic to shoot with photographer Yu Tsai.Read More
This year, Sports Illustrated made an effort to select women who “inspire action throughout their communities.” Additionally, they are trying to take a more progressive tone by only placing advertisements in the issue from companies that have “programs to advance gender equality and drive progress for women’s empowerment.”
At just 38 years old, Kelly Crump was diagnosed with breast cancer. She decided to get screened when she scratched an itch on her chest and noticed a lump. Her grueling treatment has involved six surgeries, and 60 rounds of chemotherapy. In 2019, Crump learned that her cancer had metastasized, spreading to her neck, lung, armpit, ribs and spine. She still goes in for additional treatment every three weeks.
It remains unclear whether Crump had a mastectomy (surgery to remove the breast that’s commonly used to treat breast cancer). However, another one of this year’s potential models, Sarafina Nance, underwent a double mastectomy at 26 years old after she found out she had the BRCA2 gene mutation. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations increase a woman’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer and are commonly passed down in families; if a parent carries a BRCA gene mutation, there is a 50-50 chance you could be carrying it as well.
This episode from the original series SN & You shows breast cancer survivors on their journeys to feel comfortable and beautiful in their own bodies.
Now 42, Crump recognizes how important her cancer battle has been for her self-image.
“It took an illness to make me stop worrying about what others thought and gave me permission to be my authentic self,” she said. “I am honestly much happier this way and have actually made more friends and connections just being me.”
“Having cancer and going through all this honest to god, horrible stuff and coming to terms with the fact that the odds of me dying quite young have made me stop sweating the small stuff,” she told Daily Mail. “It has also made me feel confident in being who I am so that I enjoy the time that I have versus worrying about pleasing others and thinking about what they might think of me.”
Body Positivity and Cancer
Many cancer survivors go through their own journey with their body image after finishing treatment. This is especially true for women. It is hard to ignore the societal pressures surrounding women and their bodies. Other cancer survivors, like Ann Caruso, have struggled with the same kinds of self-doubt.
Ann Caruso spends her days helping celebrities with the way they look and dress. Her take on body image was rattled after a breast cancer diagnosis.
Caruso had 12 surgeries to treat her breast cancer and told SurvivorNet that all of the change really affected the way she saw her body.
“You’re not the same carefree person that you once were, and it was very hard for me to look at myself every day,” Caruso said in a previous interview with SurvivorNet. “It was like I was a totally different person and didn’t fit into any of my clothes for so long.”
But the celebrity stylist has learned a whole lot about femininity and body image since beating breast cancer. She hopes to impart her knowledge upon others dealing with similar struggles.
“Femininity is a state of mind,” Caruso said. “And I think that’s something that we have to remind ourselves.”