A man in a pink tutu is on a mission

Posted at 1:40 PM, Dec 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-13 13:40:05-05

NEW YORK — A man with a tutu takes on a unique project to honor and inspire his wife and other women during their battle with breast cancer.

Bob Carey, a commercial and fine art photographer, who had moved from Phoenix, Ariz., to the east coast with his wife about 10 years ago, has taken on a project that now has a huge following. The Tutu Project is a series of unique photographs taken in interesting settings which feature Carey as the subject, wearing nothing by a pink tutu.

According to the Huffington Post, the project started back in 2003, when Carey took the first picture of himself wearing a tutu after being asked to shoot an image for a media campaign by a ballet company in Arizona, where he used to live. Shortly after that, he and his wife, Linda, moved to New York. Six months later, Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The diagnosis and hardships of the illness reminded Carey of his initial tutu photograph, and how great the need for laughter is during such difficult times. As a form of self-therapy, he began taking more of the photographs in every setting he could think of. He started using the photos as a way to help his wife laugh a little during very hard times.

Linda, who is very admirable of her husband and his work, would share the photos with medical staff during her treatments. The pictures helped to spread the laughter and joy to those around her, which she said helped her to stay positive and feeling better.

“Women really like the fact that he’s standing out, that he’s standing by me, and they appreciate that because they’ll say, well my husband wouldn’t do that for me,” said Linda of her husband’s efforts.

Carey attributes the original tutu idea to his interest in fine art which he said for him, is all about transformation. He said the pink tutu can really change the context of the environment it’s in as well as peoples’ reactions to it.

In 2006, Linda’s cancer returned and she began doing chemo therapy, using her husband as a pillar of support.

“My focus is about real life and moving forward in life, and he helps me do that,” said Linda.

After the couple launched their website and media caught on to what Carey was doing, word spread quickly, and the project went much farther than initially planned.

“I knew that it had to go further and I knew I had to keep making the photographs and they really started to mean something to me,” said Carey.

Carey has created a book and calendar which features all of his photographs. Proceeds go to support The Carey Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization established by the couple in 2012.