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Full Chest Tattoo

Posted 2/24/2013

Posted in

  Tattos are sometimes part of a woman's life after breast cancer. Women who have mastectomies and reconstruction often/usually opt for a nipple to be constructed as the final phase. This nipple starts out "normal" skin color, so the question of a tatto arises. The color can be applied in a plastic surgeon's office or at a careful and skilled tatoo artist's studio (? parlor). If you are near Boston and are potentionally interested in the latter option, be in touch with me; I have a wonderful referral.

  Tattos may be part of the choice for women who have a mastectomy without reconstruction. Many of you have seen the classic poster in my office of a very healthy and strong woman, arms raised and outstretched, proudly displaying a tattoo of a flowering vine across her flat chest. I have known women who opted for a tattoo like this, and there are also temporary tattos available. I have used those sometimes as they can be a "cheerful" option or addition. If that is of interest to you, Google "temporary tattos" and many options will come up. You want the ones that are long and thin, bands that are intended to go around an ankle or an arm.

  The story below is about a remarkable full chest (actually full front torso) tattoo on a woman who had bilateral mastectomies. According to the story, it has gone viral, especially after Facebook reportedly deleted it from their site more than once. I can't copy the picture itself, but here is the story and a link, and I strongly suggest you take a look. It is quite something--and I am impressed by the patience and courage of the woman. This must have hurt!



Photo of a Breast Cancer Survivor’s Chest Tattoo

Goes Viral After Facebook Tries to Remove It

Neetzan Zimmerman

Facebook photos go viral everyday — but

Facebook photos go viral everyday — but

how many of them go viral because of

Facebook's efforts to prevent them from

being seen?

According to the official Facebook page of

Ontariobased ink design collective Custom

Tattoo Design, a photo on their feed of a

breast cancer survivor with an allover chest

tattoo has been repeatedly removed by

Facebook, ostensibly due to a violation of its

infamously opaque terms of service concerning nudity.

To protest Facebook's actions, Custom Tattoo

Design has been reposting the photo every time it's removed, and says it will continue to do so in honor of the

woman's bravery and strength.

To help them in their cause, the company has asked its thousands of followers to like and share

the photo " to show your support for this and many other women who have lost so much."

At the time of writing, the post has over 140,000 likes, some 115,000 shares, and around 17,000

comments, most of which express indignation at Facebook's heartless disrespect toward cancer


It seems that the backlash has ultimately persuaded Facebook to let the photo be, as it appears

to have been left up unmolested for the past several days.

UPDATE: The photo above is republished with permission from

Bodies of Subversion: A Secret

History of Women and Tattoo

by Margot Mifflin, published by powerHouse Books. Postmastectomy

tattoos by Tina Bafaro.


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