By Lucy Notarantonio
A talented tattooist who specialises in mastectomy cover ups has shared her frustration after claiming Facebook blocked her ‘rude’ work.
Mum-of-one Lucy Thompson, 29, has invested over £12,000 into tattooing realistic areolas on breast cancer patients after setting up a charity to help those after invasive treatment.
Despite Facebook’s rules agreeing that ‘mastectomy is a life-changing experience and that sharing photos can raise awareness’ – Lucy claims her account is continuously blocked for nudity.
Lucy, from Bradford, West Yorks, flew to Texas, US, in 2017 to complete a course to become the UK first artist to specialise in this craft pioneering a new technique that creates a 3D nipple.
She said: “I am very passionate about helping breast cancer survivors as they have already been through so much and the ones offered from the NHS are only semi-permanent.
“Nobody wants a nipple that fades away, these tattoos are not a luxury, they are a necessity and an important part of the healing process for breast cancer survivors.
“A semi-permanent tattoo will only temporarily boost their confidence and it does not look very realistic, I have customers come to me and they can’t even look in the mirror.
“The tattoos I do are permanent and they must be good as Facebook is mistaking them for ‘nudity’.
“I set up a charity last March  that allows people to donate money towards a nipple tattoo for someone who can’t afford it.
“I am constantly being locked out of my account due to the photos I post, but the terms and conditions state mastectomy photos are allowed.
“Blocking my account hinders the goal as I need to post my work to show other survivors how realistic the tattoos are.
“It is frustrating and a battle that I keep on fighting, I can never get in touch with a human who works for Facebook so I have to email but I never get a reply.
“I am trying my best to raise awareness of breast cancer and I feel it is my responsibility to make sure the best nipples are done.
“I believe these women should have more access which is why I plan on training tattooists up and down the country.”
The ‘Nipple Innovation Project’ founded by Lucy – a charity to provide funding for specialist treatment of permanent 3D nipple tattooing.
She adds: “I know what my tattoos have done for my confidence which is why I started doing this as I knew it would massively help those who need it the most.
“I feel so privileged to be able to help these women, their reactions are priceless when they look in the mirror and burst into happy tears; it is humbling.
“Everybody deserves two nipples, it is imperative for me to use Facebook to showcase my work for other women who have underwent a mastectomy.
“It is beyond frustrating when I get blocked, sometimes it is just for a day but has been 30 days before.
“I use the page to update people about upcoming conventions and fundraising events but most of all to raise awareness of breast cancer. “
To read more visit; www.nippletattoos.co.uk