monokini 2.0If given a choice between keeping your breasts or keeping your life, which would you choose? Your life, of course! But that doesn't mean making the decision to have a mastectomy is an easy one. For many women dealing with breast cancer, choosing to part with their chichis is the hardest decision of their lives. However, it's far from the last big decision they'll have to make regarding what they want to do with (and relate to) their body.

Read more ¿Qué más?: 12 Celebrities who have survived breast cancer 

Here are 7 fearless ways breast cancer survivors have chosen to celebrate their strong and beautiful bodies. 

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Making a commemorative breast cast 1

Making a commemorative breast cast

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Since 2000, has been collaborating with talented artists to help women kind of, sort of keep their breasts by creating beautifully painted molds of their boobies before they are surgically removed. Better yet: participants’ casts may be auctioned off to help support breast cancer research and awareness efforts. 


Getting mastectomy scar tattoos 2

Getting mastectomy scar tattoos

Image via Lee Roller, Facebook 

It’s hard to believe Facebook administrators ever found this pic offensive enough to warrant being taken down. What? This photo is beautiful! It was taken by Ontario-based custom tattoo artist, Lee Roller. Roller created this one of a kind tattoo bralette for a breast cancer survivor who wanted to celebrate her new body. According to Roller, his brave customer even gave him her blessing to share the pic. Within days of the pic going up, it went viral. Though it was taken down for a brief period, Facebook has since allowed it back onto the social networking site, where it has been shared with countless survivors, and subsequently inspired them to get similar tattoos.


Designing & wearing beautiful monokinis 3

Designing & wearing beautiful monokinis

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Created by breast cancer survivor Elina Halttunen collaborated with a group of Finnish fashion designers to create, Monokini 2.0, a gorgeous swimwear line for women who’ve had mastectomies.  

Posing for Time Magazine 4

Posing for Time Magazine

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Twenty-one years ago, model and artist Matuschka bared her mastectomy scar on the cover of The New York Times Magazine. Wow!


Casting stories 5

Casting stories

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Before she passed away from breast cancer, Sandy Berninger made these plaster casts, and rubber-stamped them with women’s stories about breasts and body image. 


Get fit 6

Get fit

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Just five months after her last reconstruction surgery, Maj. Melissa Wright decided she wanted turn over a new, healthier leaf, so she started doing the ever-popular “Insanity” workout program. But wouldn’t you know it, the “Insanity” program caused her irradiated skin to break blood vessels. Ugh! Determined to keep going, she contacted the Marine Corps Community Services, and enlisted their help in getting healthy, the safe way. By 2012, she’d lost 20 pounds and even participated in a bodybuilding competition. She’s living proof that where there’s a will, there is always a way!


With grace 7

Created by a trio of sisters who all survived breast cancer, The Grace Project re-envisions breast cancer survivors as classical heroines in a series of beautiful (but totally NSFW) portraits.