I am honoured to share Lauren Mahon’s story this week. A wonder woman changing the way cancer is discussed, making the conversation relevant, accessible and supportive. Lauren was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, age 31 and could not find relatable support. Her mission is to change that. Lauren’s need to talk about cancer, out in the open, is so needed, not only for the cancer patient but also for the family and friends living with cancer. I am seeing first hand how difficult conversation is around cancer in the older generation, as my father in law has terminal brain cancer. The conversation has been devoid of feeling and empathy because the subject is about treating the cancer and the practicalities, rather than addressing the emotional needs of everyone involved. Discover how Lauren plans to facilitate her own recovery through action and changing the conversation. If you are affected by cancer take a look at Lauren’s platform. GIRL VS CANCER
FF: Can you tell us a bit about your background?
LM: I’m a born and raised Londoner who loves a good gig, a G+T and once performed at Glastonbury.
FF: What does Future Female mean to you?
LM: It means a platform of support and encouragement.
FF: You were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, what was the motivation to set up your blog platform Girls Vs Cancer?
LM: I’ve worked in Digital Marketing for most of my adult life and have a vast network within the influencer industry. When I began sharing my experiences on social media and saw the response I realised that there was a massively underrepresented group of females affected by cancer in some way, shape or form. I decided to put the skills and network I have acquired over the years to good use and GIRLvsCANCER was born.
FF: The recent #MeToo hash tag caught the attention of many women who joined the conversation, what is your view and have you been affected by misogynistic behaviour?
LM: I believe it to be an incredibly powerful and important movement. Women who have been affected are often made to feel as though they in some way deserved it, that they should be afraid. By opening the dialogue about inappropriate behaviour toward women we not only empower other females to speak out but also educate men on what is not-acceptable. Of course I have. I’m often told by men I am ‘too’ loud, ‘too’ sexually aggressive, ‘too’ laddish – essentially that I am not allowed to take up room. In the workplace I have been called a ‘silly girl’ once. yeah I lost it.
FF: How important is it to change the story around gender equality?
LM: It is vital. For me it’s about getting the male population to stand up and shout with us. To say that they will not accept gender inequality either. To deny it is privilege. By standing together is the only way to push forward.
FF: Describe your current work role and your creative process.
LM: I’m currently in the process of leaving my long-standing role as social media manager at a premium leather goods brand to go freelance. My intention is to free up more time for GIRLvsCANCER and facilitate my recovery. I’ll be moving into Social Media, Content + Influencer Strategy / Consultancy which I am super excited about. I’m looking forward to working on some incredibly exciting projects and guiding businesses toward an elevated social media presence. In terms of GIRLvsCANCER it is all so new I’m feeling my way through what feels right. My creative process usually comes from an experience I’ve had and a need I identify as lacking. This triggers an idea about how I can bring this to attention, in a really curated, authentic and accessible way. I’ll usually go off and buy some mags and scrawl pinterest and instagram for ideas.
FF: Can you tell us about a project that is inspiring you at the moment?
LM: The ‘A Super Hero Has My Back’ story by independent store Scamp and Dude. George at Asda have completely ripped off their brand slogan and the internet has rallied around them to push for court action. It’s really heart-warming to see and is important to realise that social media has a purpose outside of lining the pockets of brands.
FF: If there was one thing you would change about your life as a woman what would it be?
LM: Childbirth. It terrifies me!
FF: What are you reading at the moment?
LM: Slowly making my way through Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love. Chemo beat my cognitive function about a bit and it makes keeping my concentration on one page a real task.
FF: How would you describe your style?
LM: Androgynous, minimal and sexy / casual.
A massive thanks to Lauren for being part of our Future Female series. Changing the female conversation around cancer is very much part of the future female we want to see in the world. For support and inspiration follow Lauren GIRLVSCANCER INSTAGRAM and listen in to ‘You Me And the Big C’ podcast produced by BBC 5 Live