Home Pop Culture Breastless cancer survivor forbidden from swimming topless at public pool.

Breastless cancer survivor forbidden from swimming topless at public pool.

Jodi Jaeck
Jodi Jaecks

Trying to understand how one perceives women.

A woman who has survived a double mastectomy has been banned from swimming topless in a Seattle public pool despite 45 year old Jodi Jaecks‘ insistence it is too painful for her to wear a bikini top.

Seattle Parks and Recreation department have held firm on their decision despite outrage from fellow swimmers, arguing to allow Jaecks to swim topless would disrupt the family environment.

Explained Dewey Potter, the department’s spokesperson:

“Bathing suits must be appropriate at a family facility, ensuring that people from different cultural backgrounds feel comfortable swimming.”

Part of the problem it also seemed was the degree of discomfort that some felt about Jaecks willingness to display her scars even if one also assumed the dissent may also arise from Ms Jaecks displaying her breasts, something females are forbidden from doing in public pool environments. Then again by definition a double mastectomy would also discount that issue.

Recalls Dewey Potter:

‘She made it clear she wanted to show her scars as a “badge of courage” and wanted to use the pool to spread her message.’

Which begs the question how ready are we as a society to be exposed to images that may not be that palatable or controversial? Then again if one regards what takes place in popular culture today one could argue what passes as sweet, innocent or and entertaining can in and of itself be quite vulgar, discriminatory and even promoting false notions. After all a cursory regard of almost any billboard these days shows half naked emaciated woman that one can cheer for.

It was however after continued public outcry that the department reversed its controversial decision, allowing the woman to now swim in her shorts.

Offered Dr Patricia Dawson, a breast surgery specialist at the Swedish Medical center:

‘This clearly reflects how politicized women’s bodies and breasts are in our culture.’

Offered one commentator:

‘I’ve had to explain wheelchairs, dredlocks [sic], prosthetic legs, little people, burn scars, albinos, and about a million other things to our kids over the years. Pretty sure they’re better for it. This bit of ridiculousness is about adult discomfort, not kids.’

Adult discomfort or adult ignorance?