Breast Cancer Survivors Tell Their Stories Through Mastectomy Tattoos

Perhaps you missed this, but last week, Facebook was in a tizzy over a topless photo of a breast cancer survivor showing off her chest tattoo. The piece was meant as a celebration of her survival and a means of covering up her mastectomy scars, but Facebook classified the image as “pornographic.” The company’s official stance on photos says that Facebook  “aspires to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.”

And for some reason, the photo of breast cancer survivor Inga Duncan Thorell has riled Facebook’s censors. The photo was originally taken as part of the book Bodies of Subversion: The Secret History of Women and Tattoos, and is more than 10 years old. Thorell had the tattoo done after going through a bilateral mastectomy.

After all the controvery surrounding the image, Facebook seems to have relented, and the pic is currently up on Ontario, Canada’s Custom Tattoo Design Facebook page. It has more than 270,000 shares.

Either way, the firestorm around the photo and its subject reminds us how little we see of women’s cancer struggles. Click through to see more amazing tattoos and inspiring stories of life after cancer.