Maia was a healthy and active young mother of two—not a likely candidate for breast cancer. But she developed it anyway and had to have a single mastectomy and radiotherapy to get rid of it. Since then, she’s felt like her scar is a constant reminder of something she wishes she could forget.
“You’re sort of just dropped off and left and you’re supposed to just get on with life and pick up the pieces. And it’s hard. You kind of forget what life was like before.”
Maia had an implant put in, but she never thought it looked or felt like a natural breast, and she wasn’t happy with it or its impact on her body image. So after a couple of years, she had that removed and was again left with just the empty indent where her real breast used to be, punctuated by an ugly scar.
Three and a half years after the life-altering change cancer made to her body, Maia decided to do something else she never thought she’d do—get a tattoo.
“The only people that have seen my scars are the doctors and consultants and my husband,” says Maia. But she bravely removed her top for the cameras in preparation for the tattoo she hoped would change how she felt about her body.
Tattoo artist Poppy helped Maia work on a design that would be flowy, feminine, and beautiful to cover the scar on her chest. Then she set to work making the design a reality. And when it came time for the final reveal?
“She wasn’t trying to cover herself or hide,” says Poppy. “She was different.”
Check out the finished tattoo and Maia’s full reaction to the change in the video below.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?