Breast Cancer Survivor Shares How She Learned To Feel Sexy Without Nipples

"I spent a lot of my life trying to fit into boxes and trying to be some way for other people."

Ericka Hart, a breast cancer survivor, hasn't let getting a double mastectomy stop her from feeling sexy. In a new video, Hart explains how her battle with breast cancer affected her body image. 

Hart's mother passed away from breast cancer when she was just 38 years old. Hart herself was 28 when she found a lump on her breast. "When I was diagnosed and the doctor said, 'you're going to have to have a double mastectomy," I asked 'am I going to go through chemo?' because I wanted to know if I'm going to have hair or not. I was more concerned about my hair when I was diagnosed than having a double mastectomy," Hart said in the video. 

The day before she had her surgery, Hart decided to throw a "boob party" on the beach to celebrate her breasts. She also decided a dramatic change to her look was in order and cut off her hair and dyed it pink. Surgery would certainly be scary, but she went into it with a positive outlook, understanding that her life would be different afterwards. 

And it was. Her relationship with herself, her body, and her partner changed. But, perhaps more importantly, Hart learned to be proud of her scars. 

In fact, she's totally uninterested in having nipple reconstruction. "Because my scars run across the breasts, I just reclaimed these scars as my nipples," she said. 

In August 2016, Hart decided to go topless while at the Afropunk Music Festival and made waves across the Internet. Her photos helped to bring awareness to what surviving breast cancer can look like as well as proving that breast cancer survivors have stories to tell other than their battle with cancer. 

"I love pushing up this notion that I'm 'not supposed to be.' I spent a lot of my life trying to fit into boxes and trying to be some way for other people, but that moment was a staple moment for me," she said. "I don't need to be anything for anybody but me." 

Learn more about Hart's experience in the video below:


"I'm Ericka Hart and I would like to dispel the myth that if you have scars as nipples that means that you are not sexy."

The video is a part of Allure's Dispelling Beauty Myths series, in which women share some of the struggles they've experienced to find self-love. In the past, a woman with vitiligo opened up about her experience being bullied and a woman who stands at 6 foot 2 inches tall spoke about the challenges she's faced because of her height


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