After undergoing a double mastectomy at the age of 28, three-time cancer survivor Kelly Davidson decided against breast reconstruction and instead tattooed over her chest scars with an intricate fairy tale-style tattoo. As she describes it, “My tattoo symbolizes a transformation, my metamorphosis, like a butterfly I changed on the outside but remained the same on the inside. It is my badge of honor and strength, a piece of beautiful art that I wear with pride because it represents how I kicked cancer’s ass and how breasts don’t define who I am as a person or a woman.” Following its completion, Davidson posted a photo of her proudly standing displaying her body art and scars alike on the “Why We Ink” Facebook page, an online community dedicated to those with survivor or memorial tattoos for cancer. The photo quickly went viral receiving nearly 723 thousand likes on the “Why We Ink” page alone.
Davidson, who has worked for many years at a mastectomy boutique helping fit survivors with prosthetic breasts, understands how hard it is for a woman to adjust to her body without breasts. And meeting the challenge head-on, Davidson sees her tattoos as a way to celebrate her survival from not only her recent battle with breast cancer but her previous battles with thyroid cancer and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as well. “Obviously it’s devastating for anyone to lose their breasts because it defines us as feminine and female — but for me, I embraced it,” said Davidson in an interview with The Sun. “I’m still me, I’m still beautiful. I don’t need breasts to feel that way or to portray that to other people. I thought to myself, what better way to commemorate my battle and beating it than to put something beautiful on my chest.” With breast cancer being the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women, Davidson’s photograph has acted as a beacon of hope for women fighting against cancer who have made the decision to sacrifice their breasts in order to save their lives.
These articles might also tickle your fancy: