Authentic Self Designs was created out of need! deZengo Moore , Tennessee based design consultant, yoga instructor and breast cancer survivor had undergone a radical mastectomy October 5, 2005 and discovered a lack of support for socially responsible clothing that promoted her desire to look and feel like a woman – not just a breast cancer survivor. A former student at the University of Maryland, North Carolina – Asheville, Bee County College and graduate of the Art Institute Seattle, deZengo has always felt a passion for women’s issues and using her talents for self-empowerment and healing. Upon her diagnosis of Stage III Advanced Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (breast cancer) in August 2005 the race to save her life began and a new way to look at life was discovered.
It was during those moments of silence, while she was undergoing adjuvant treatments – and in the middle of an emotionally & physically abusive divorce that she discovered her inner power and voice. In the stillness she remembered how it felt to be at peace!
At that time there were not many alternatives for clothing, especially those for women who wanted to get active as soon as possible. Her divorce was typical in that it left her and her children in what would be considered poverty. Forced to live with family, an emergency relocation back to Tennessee she spends the next two years battling cancer, fighting a divorce pro-se, raising children as a single parent and working to regain her physical mobility and strength. Many women at this point on the road to recovery would opt to have surgical procedures that would produce symmetry again so that they might fit perfectly into the clothing being produced and look “normal” once again. However, what deNise found were reconstruction procedures that left her with additional scarring and loss of mobility with the addition of extensive medical bills. So she resolved to stay a la natural and find other means to solve her fashion dilemmas! She tried wearing several prosthesis types, but each one had associated problems. While teaching a yoga class and in an inverted downdog pose – her own temporary breast fell to the floor and confirmed in her mind something needed to be done! Any woman who survives breast cancer or other traumas may experience a loss of self esteem and work through body and image fears – knowing we are not alone in the struggle does help. It was at that point that she began her research into the market and knew that now was the time! It was during this time that she truly felt the impact of the clothing industry and how the designs were not made to accommodate the exponential number of breast cancer diagnoses each year. The entire industry had over looked a growing number of women, almost 200,000 new cases are estimated in 2010, who still wish to dress fashionably with or without 100% symmetry.
~Our Manifesto As a group of breast cancer survivors- we believe the concept of appearance for post op breast cancer victors should be revolutionized. Present trend is to hide the loss with variety of dishonest and incriminating methods, as if to insinuate the problem never existed. Post-Op cancer victors should be encouraged to feel good about their appearance regardless of loss. No one should feel forced to hide the reality and fact they have fought a significant battle and won! To refuse acknowledgment that cancer still continues effecting millions of women and men each year adds insult to injury. Society must not be lulled to think that the Breast Cancer is minimal or that it does not exist because huge numbers of effected women hide their scars or continue with additional surgeries and costs just to “feel” normal again. In an attempt to change such common perceptions, we need assistance to put together a competent design/production team to create sensitive approach couture for breast cancer effected women which does not hide the facts but presents an intelligent, honest, positive mindset change.
We will not hesitate to come out, wear this attire and assume role model positions. We can look and feel beautiful without having to cheat our struggles. We feel the need for progressive presentation, made by a cultural icon who has the effective thrust we need to present this historic revolutionary idea of change to the hearts and minds of the people. While we locate our survivor models to make history are you ready to help us create the designs that will accommodate this victory? We hope that by sharing this here, with the community we will be able to gain support and bring this dream to reality.
With Respect to all the survivors who continue to create positive experiences from their adventure with cancer!
You can find out more about our clothing designs, request free private consultation, or place your order here: Authentic Self DESIGNS