A woman who had both her breast removed after being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 23 is "taking back her body" in the most artistic way.
Nikki Black, now 25, is turning her mastectomy scars into works of art by getting her breasts covered in beautiful floral tattoos.
"The tattoos were a way for me to feel like I'm in the driver's seat again; to make my body a place that was safe and where I wanted to be," the Los Angeles-based comedian told Daily Mail Online.
After finding out the devastating news Nikki said she was disappointed by the sexualisation of the disease, with some men saying they would miss her old breasts or asking her what cup size she was going to get when surgeons reconstructed her chest. Rather than concentrating on the woman behind the disease, they were fixated on her assets.
"You don't feel like you own your body anymore," Nikki explained.
Before undergoing a double mastectomy, Nikki also had to go through chemotherapy. Throughout her treatment she experienced uncomfortable side effects and used drawing and makeup to cope and take ownership of her body.
"Your period stops. You get hot flashes. It just becomes very uncomfortable to be in your body," she told Daily Mail Online.
After opting against replacing her nipples, she contacted tattooist Holly Feneht of The Gilded Lily, who specialised in tattooing breast cancer survivors. Together they designed the floral pieces to cover Nikki's scars.
"They feel like armor, like protection against world,' shared Nikki, who added: 'I get to choose what my body looks like."
Inspired by Nikki's breast cancer survival story? Tweet us @sofeminineUK!
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