May 31, 2023
Introducing the Fondle Project
Join us in our mission to redefine the conversation around breast cancer with The Fondle Project. Their revolutionary movement is all about empowering women to take control of their bodies and their health through self-exams and self-love. To further our cause, we are thrilled to announce a partnership with seven extraordinary, female-founded fashion brands including Fleur du Mal, Jacquie Aiche, Parrish LA, Sticky Be Socks, Smythe, and XiRENA. Together, we are raising funds and awareness for breast cancer research and advocacy. Starting June 1st, you can shop the entire collections of these incredible brands and 10% of sales from select items will be donated to our partnering charities throughout the month. Let's all come together to make a difference in the lives of breast cancer survivors and their families.
Discovering the Power of Self-Love: An Exclusive Interview with Gina Lamanna, the Visionary Founder of The Fondle Project:
Can you walk us through the initial inspiration for the Fondle Project and how it came to fruition?
I am a handful of years out from my diagnosis and I knew I wanted to give back and inspire other women starting their breast cancer journey. Despite two false-negative screenings and a misdiagnosis, I found my cancer through self-advocacy. I wanted to inspire everyone to trust their intuition regarding their health. After years of regular self-exams and screenings, I recognized when something was wrong. I also aimed to emphasize that cancer does not define us and that our lives can be full and vibrant. I encourage women to be aware of their bodies and what is normal for them, as knowledge is power.
As a stylist, part of my healing process after reconstruction was getting dressed in pieces that made me feel confident and whole. I understand that many women's confidence takes a hit during treatment, so I wanted to celebrate our bodies and feature the fashion brands that supported me along my journey. Seven female-founded brands involved in this project are donating proceeds to breast cancer research, and I am thrilled to be in such a supportive company. I was connected with the amazing photographer Kate Powers, who captured the survivors' beauty and shared our stories.
What was the driving force behind creating this initiative, and how have your personal experiences influenced its mission and goals?
My personal experience and my daughters inspired The Fondle Project. I was fortunate to find my cancer early, but seeing younger women affected by breast cancer motivated me to advocate for self-touch and self-advocacy. I discovered my cancer through a self-exam and intuition, and I wanted to empower all women to do the same. I also wanted to share my fulfillment and happiness in life to show that cancer is just a chapter in our stories, making us more beautiful with our scars. I aim to promote self-love and body positivity, offering a modernized approach to breast cancer awareness and giving hope to other women on this journey.
In your opinion, what are some practical ways that women can cultivate a deeper connection with their bodies and become more attuned to their health?
Regular self-exams are crucial for breast health. Set reminders or sign up for our monthly texts to ensure you perform them consistently. Early self-detection significantly improves outcomes. While breasts are often hypersexualized, they are like any other body part that requires care. Prioritizing breast health is essential for overall well-being. Practicing mindfulness and listening to your body is beneficial. Take note of any quirks, headaches, or recurring soreness/discomfort. Our bodies communicate their needs; we just need to pay attention.
Looking to the future, what is your ultimate vision for the Fondle Project and the impact you hope it will have on women's health and well-being?
The Fondle Project aims to normalize self-touch and foster conversations about breast health. I hope it encourages open communication between women and their mothers or friends, breaking the barriers of shame, lack of education, and support. Many younger women express the need for comprehensive education about proactive health practices in schools. We are the best judges of our bodies and should advocate for ourselves in doctors' offices. This concept of self-awareness and self-advocacy should extend beyond breast cancer to other cancer types and genders, encouraging men to perform self-exams for testicular cancer, for example.
Above all, I want women to realize they are never alone. Many others share similar experiences and have thrived and healed beautifully after a diagnosis. I envision a world where breast cancer doesn't define any of our lives.
As supporters of the Fondle Project, what are some actionable steps we can take to help promote and contribute to this important cause?
Supporters of The Fondle Project play a crucial role in spreading awareness. They can inform their loved ones, friends, and coworkers about the increasing impact of breast cancer on younger women and the importance of regular self-exams for early detection. Encouraging deep familiarity with one's body and recognizing changes or discomfort is key to self-advocacy. We believe that conversation and community have the power to save lives.
Supporters can follow our Instagram journey @thefondleproject and share our campaign. They can also purchase our t-shirts on our website, www.thefondleproject.com. In June, all proceeds from our tees will be donated to three incredible organizations - BCRF, Let's F*ck Cancer, and The Breasties - which provide resources, education, and support for our community.
Additionally, the campaign features seven female-founded brands - Goldie Tees, XíRENA, Smythe, Jacquie Aiche, Parrish LA, Fleur du Mal, and Sticky Be Socks. Shopping from these brands in June will also contribute to fundraising for our partner charities.