Stella McCartney, whose mum Linda, died of breast cancer, is backing the #nolessawoman campaign to make women proud of their scars
For breast cancer survivors, having a mastectomy can have a huge impact on your confidence.
But a new campaign backed by A-list designer Stella McCartney featuring frank pictures of cancer survivors proudly baring their battle scars shows the disease makes them no less a woman.
The 12 honest and beautiful images are being displayed on the designer's website as part of a collaboration with photographer Laura Dodsworth.
Ms Dodsworth's book, Bare Reality, tells the stories of 100 women, aged from 19 to 101, by examining their relationship with their breasts.
Women are also using #nolessawoman to share their stories on Twitter.
Proud: The women show breast cancer makes them no less of a woman
Among those taking part is a 46-year-old mother who has had three mastectomies and a reconstruction.
She said before the photograph she had had difficulty coming to terms with her scars and had not shown even her husband.
Campaign: Stella McCartney is launching a new mastectomy bra
She wrote: “Cancer was like an unwanted house guest, it made a mess, had parties, then went.
“I shut the door behind it and went, ‘Phew, thank goodness you’re gone, don’t come back’. But when I found out I had the BRCA mutation I felt like the cancer was part of me.”
Tragic: Linda McCartney died in 1998 after a struggle with cancer
Another woman, who feared the cancer had spread to her brain, said she had taken part in the project to show that despite losing a breast, she and other survivors were still beautiful inside and out.
She added: "Thinking you might die changes how you feel about life."
Open: The woman talk about their experiences openly
A 45-year-old who lost both her breasts, said she found in the black community breast cancer was still taboo.
She said: "I have known women in the Caribbean who have died of breast cancer rather than go to the doctor. I want this to raise awareness."
The campaign is close to Ms McCartney’s heart as her mother, Linda, died in 1998 at the age of 56 after a three-year battle with breast cancer.
Emotions: The website will tell the stories of 12 women
Inspired by her memory, the designer recently unveiled a compression bra designed for women who have had a double mastectomy. She called it the Louise Listening bra, after her mother’s middle name.
The 44-year-old wrote: "There are so many different emotions attached to the tragic realities of having had a double mastectomy, many cultures are unaccepting and terrible things happen to women both physically and emotionally.
Taboo: The women wanted to raise awareness and end discrimination
“We wanted women to know that you can still be feminine, have your sensuality, have all of the things that are attached to being a woman, and that part of your body can still feel beautiful on the outside, as well as the inside.”
Sales of the Louise Listening bra go to the Hello Beautiful Foundation, a charity spearheaded by cancer survivor Jane Hutchison, which promises a new centre in London to support women with breast cancer and their families.