11 Women turn their mastectomy scars into beautiful tattoos

Oct 7, 2014 at 7:30 a.m. ET
Image: P-ink.org

A mastectomy is a life-altering surgery for many women. It's a double-edged sword, really, because the surgical removal of breast tissue saves lives, but it can also cause women to question their bodies and their femininity as the wounds heal.

While every woman has the right to handle her recovery in the way she deems best, we love how these 11 women chose to embrace their new femininity with these stunning tattoo masterpieces.

Delicate vines

vine tattoo

Photo credit: Gugo Tattoo

Vines curl delicately across the torso and chest of this woman, whose scars are barely noticeable with the tattoo.

Angel wings and a symbol of hope

wings

This young cancer survivor will forever remember her struggle and hope with this gorgeous piece.

Photo credit: P-ink.org

Flowered bra cup

flowers

Photo credit: Bleuvous.com

The simple design of a flower mimics the appearance of an intricate bra cup.

A tribal design

tribal

Photo credit: Tattrx.com

We love how the curve of this tribal design mimics the curve of this survivor's body, scars or not.

Colors and detailed design

spirals
Photo credit: Needles and Sins

Rather than opting for reconstruction, this survivor emblazoned a colorful design across her scars and collarbone.

A beautiful star

star

Photo credit: Tattoodo

There's so much to love about this tattoo, which is both feminine and strong in its design and execution.

A vine for a sleeve

pink flower

Photo credit: Tattoo Road Trip

We love when survivors appreciate their tattoos so much that they opt to continue the design onto the rest of their bodies.

Delicate and beautiful

nipple ink
Photo credit: Inked Mag

This cancer survivor's scars are so small that she could cover them with simple flower tats.

A fairy scene

whimsical
Photo credit: Daily Mail

After undergoing a double mastectomy, this young survivor chose to let her body tell the story.

Ethereal imagery

spiritual design

Photo credit: Rattatattoo

Spiritual and substantive, these tattoos wind with beauty across this survivor's double mastectomy scars.

Take courage

courage

Photo credit: Mastectomy Tattoos

Frankly, courage has never looked so lovely.

To support women who want a similar work of art, send a few charitable dollars over to non-profit P-ink.org, which exists to help women transform their scars into something beautiful.

More about breast cancer awareness

Pink camo nail design tutorial
11 Things to never say to women with breast cancer
I spent $97 on products that support breast cancer: Did it actually count?

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