Firstly, and I want to make this absolutely clear, any sane adult can do whatever they choose with their bodies. We may not always understand why, or may think a choice strange but nevertheless, live and let live. A lack of self confidence in this go getting, high achieving culture can have devastating impacts on peoples’ lives, the fear of not being good enough both drives and paralyses the choices we make. And god forbid we make these choices to please a………. gasp, horror…… man!
Which leads me to tittooing. If the so called social commentators who have the ear of the media are to be believed, it is the devils own juice. Let me put this right. Nipple Tattooing is a tiny little patch of colour applied to the skin. Just like hair dye, spray tans, tattoos, camouflage make up and millions of other beauty procedures. All we are talking about is putting colour on the body – so get over yourselves. It has been called ‘wrong’, ‘ abhorrent ‘ ‘a fad’ (by fashion magazines – der) and ’vile’. Well, boo hoo! What is wrong with a women saying (at last) “I’m putting the cherry back on top of my gorgeous bangers because I choose too and I can”.
The fact is, 85% of nipple and areola tattooing is carried out following a long and harrowing journey through breast cancer. These people (men and women) have usually been given a brilliant breast reconstruction but even the best surgery cannot create colour and a reconstructed breast remains a mound without features and often with scarring. For many patients this is enough. However, over 75% of reconstruction patients choose to have areola tattooing because it is the cherry on the cake. It is the finishing touch which means they can look in the mirror and see the same reflection as they did when they started their treatment. For many it also means they no longer turn their backs on their husbands and partners when changing, or hang around in the gym waiting for people to leave the shower.
There is an entire army of medical tattooists within the nhs. Nurses, plastic surgeons, dermatologists, prosthestics specialists are all trained to implant colour into the body, where colour is missing. They are also able to soften, flatten and re pigment scars following trauma, surgery or for people with burns and vitiligo.
It would be terrible if press commentary and opinion was allowed to stigmatise this treatment.
Some choose these treatments to look like a celeb, and that’s fine. But most choose it because they just want to look like themselves again.