These Women Showed Off Their Mastectomy Tattoos in a Powerful Photo Shoot

Mastectomy Tattoos
Sophy Holland Photography/Inked magazine

Over the past decade, more and more women have been choosing to undergo mastectomy surgery, continuing to bring awareness to the idea that breasts do not equal womanhood. Sophy Holland, a New York–based photographer, recently teamed up with Inked magazine to showcase a few of these strong, beautiful women. 

Images shared with photographer's permission. 

  • Called "The Dazzling Dozen," Holland's spread shines the spotlight on 12 women from all walks of life with inspiring mastectomy tattoos.

    The shoot was for Inked magazine's Inked for a Cause campaign, the first-ever issue that was dedicated to breast cancer, as well as other cancers.

    Holland tells CafeMom she wanted to take portraits of the women, who came from all corners of Canada and the United States, to showcase their strength without having them sexualized or competing with distracting backdrops. Each woman got to choose her own accessories, whatever best conveyed her own personality and style. 

    More from CafeMom: 10 Breast Cancer Survivors' Mastectomy Tattoos That Are Stunning & Inspiring

    And the stories they told Inked are just as beautiful and empowering as the photos they took.

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  • Jennifer Jaye, six years cancer-free

  • Dana Donofree, seven years cancer-free

    "Getting the mastectomy tattoo changed the course of a lot of things in my life because that was the moment when I took back a choice: I live my life. I make my own decisions."

  • Kim Hotchkissm, 11 years cancer-free

  • Mylee Cardenas, three years cancer-free

  • Kat Van Winkle, one year cancer-free

  • Christina Schroeder, four and a half years cancer-free

  • Starling W, eight years cancer-free

  • Jen Hearn, three years cancer-free

  • Stephanie Davis, five years cancer-free

  • Melissa Shelley, 11 years cancer-free

  • Karen Malkin-Lazarovitz, who chose preventative mastectomy after learning she has the BRCA mutation and an 87% chance of developing breast cancer

  • Allyson Olivia, two and a half years cancer-free

  • Check out this video for a behind-the-scenes look of the shoot, which Holland called her all-time favorite photo shoot.

    "[It was] fascinating to see these women and what they've gone through, and the strength and happiness in the room," Holland tells CafeMom. 

    In fact, the camaraderie hasn't ended yet. The women have joined together to form the Instagram account @inkedsisters, which describes itself as a place of support and inspiration for those in similar situations. 

    Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a movement showcasing the beauty of women who triumph over breast cancer.

body image body positivity breasts cancer