Tattooist offers new nipples for breast cancer survivors
ROCKHAMPTON'S Haylee Cotter is all about self-love and wants every woman to love their body, no matter what.
That's why the local tattooist is offering her skills to provide women who have had mastectomies with tattooed nipples, free of charge.
Haylee, 24, has been tattooing for six years in Rockhampton and wants to help women who have battled breast cancer to feel beautiful on the inside and out.
"I'm really into self-love and this was just a way that I can help women who may feel that a feminine part of them is missing to love themselves more," she said.
"Some women who have had mastectomies are proud of their scars because it symbolises their strength and they want that reminder which is completely understandable.
"But there are women out there who feel like they've lost their femineity due to losing some of their breast and it's those women I want to help.
"After a reconstruction, they have the shape of the breast but may not have the nipple so just to have that extra bit of womanhood can make you love yourself that much more."
Haylee is launching the complimentary tattooing this month for Breast Cancer Awareness but has decided to make the service a life-long commitment.
"I'm using breast cancer awareness month to launch this idea but this will be available from my tattoo parlour indefinitely," she said.
"I've had a lot of people say they would consider getting it done or their relatives have been thinking about it, so I know there are women who would be interested.
"I'm willing to do the tattooing after hours and behind closed doors because this is a very personal experience and I don't want them to be worried about people seeing them or being interrupted by phone calls. I want them to feel comfortable."
The cost to have this procedure cosmetically done is around $800.
And it is a procedure that will need to be redone often.
"To have this cosmetically done is quite expensive and the pigment that they use is vegetable pigment which eventually fades and will need to be redone, resulting in more money," Haylee said.
"I don't think women should be expected to fork out money for something they had no choice in.
"Having your make-up permanently tattooed is a personal choice but being diagnosed with cancer is not.
"I can colour match the tattooed nipple to an already existing one as well as the position.
"If they've had a double mastectomy they can bring in a photo of what they want them to look like, it's completely up to them, whatever makes them feel beautiful."
This service is now available at Haylee's tattoo studio At Arrow's End Tattoo Parlour.
Contact Haylee on 49 211 000 for more details.