#stopbodyshaming on Social Media

It is definitely time to #stopbodyshaming on Social Media!

If you haven’t seen the coverage around #stopbodyshaming on social media, then please take a look. This really is something I feel very strongly about.

As many of your know, I carry out a lot of medical work, including working with breast cancer patients. I don’t show my medical work online, partly because some of my clients don’t wish for their pictures to be in the public domain. Partly because social media sites flag pictures of scarring or nipple tattooing as being OBSCENE and INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT!! I mean…….come on, REALLY????

I recently posted a picture of a FAKE breast that I had tattooed, in order to promote 3D areola and nipple tattooing. It was reported and taken down within 24 HOURS, where I got a telling off followed by a warning of being put in FACEBOOK JAIL….yep, that exists!!

I am constantly seeing posts from other Medical Tattooists being taken down too, with them also being banned from social media.  Seriously, we need to all start standing up to social media sites over this stuff.  There is nothing inappropriate or obscene about this content – it’s really important to for those going through treatment to a) share their stories if they so wish and; b) to show people what support and treatments are available.

Why is it important to #STOPBODYSHAMING ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

There are many reasons I feel strongly about this.  I treat a lot of breast cancer patients, it’s why I re-trained, so this is something really close to my heart.

Raising awareness of cancer

This is important right?  SO IMPORTANT.  Lots of the posts that are removed have been of breast cancer patients that are sharing pictures after a mastectomy, of reconstructions, of their journey and experience through cancer. These EXTREMELY BRAVE ladies are sharing their journey so that they can raise awareness and help others that are also going through treatment.

Going through cancer treatment can be a lonely and frightening time. I speak to ladies at various points in their breast cancer treatment and for so many, the fear of the unknown, or the feeling of isolation can be overwhelming.  Social media can be a place where many turn to for support, comfort and a sense of community.

I am always in complete awe of the ladies that take to social media to share their journey and raise awareness and support others.  Right now, this article has been inspired by @KittyMorningStar and her incredible campaign for #dont4get2check – PLEASE GO AND CHECK HER OUT ON INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK. One inspirational lady!

Awareness of treatments available

I get super irritated when pictures of 3D areola and nipple tattooing are taken down! As a Medical Tattooist, I know it’s it’s really important for ladies to have information about treatments that are available to them after surgery.

We should all be sharing and shouting about treatments such as 3D areola and nipple tattooing and scar reduction treatments. Because these treatments have such a HUGE impact on confidence and ensure that patients get the best possible end result at the very end of the treatment journey.

I’ve tried to ‘cheat’ the social media system by writing MEDICAL TATTOO at the top of my posts, but it doesn’t seem to make much difference.  Surely there has to be a way around this……??

The next generation

#STOPBODYSHAMING in itself is huge when you think about our kids of today and the future.   When I was growing up, we didn’t have any social media (I’m in my mid 40’s at the point of writing this), so we didn’t see all of the images online that we’re seeing today.

Our little people are going to grow up with body images EVERYWHERE…..literally everywhere. So it’s REALLY important that we show them positive images and help them develop a positive mind set around their image and bodies.   How can we do that if we are body shaming on social media? If pictures are being taken down because someone is brave enough to share their scars and their journey? Or if people are leaving cruel and unkind comments because someone doesn’t fit the media standard of beautiful?

Shouldn’t we be teaching our little people that everyone is beautiful and that are perfect imperfections are what makes us US?  That after a cruel disease like breast cancer, you’re still beautiful.

Having two little nieces makes me incredibly passionate about this subject.  I want them to grow up with role models that are brave, fearless and REAL. One of my biggest fears is that they will grow up flooded with images of filtered perfections, where only the beautiful and flawless are shown to them.  That’s going to CRUSH them – I don’t want them growing up feeling that they aren’t good enough, or perfect enough.

SO PLEASE, PLEASE SUPPORT CAMPAIGNS LIKE #STOPBODYSHAMING and #DONT4GET2CHECK and any others that may come your way. And please follow and support @KittyMorningStar.   Let the brave and beautiful amongst us have a voice!

Thanks for taking the time to read this – it’s been a bit of a rant – but an important one!

Nikki x

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