Women with scars from breast cancer surgery now have options to improve their lives. Tattoos applied to cover disfiguring operations are revealed by a cancer survivor and client of Seattle’s renowned tattoo artist, Madame Lazonga. “Kim” explains why she chose a full-body tattoo to cover her torso from shoulder, to chest, to hip.
Madame Vyvyn Lazonga has been tattooing for 37 years. Her business, Madame Lazonga’s, is located at Pike Place on 1529 Western Avenue where she opened in 1989. When she started tattooing it was hardly as main stream as it has become today, but now, even Seattle Magazine is writing about her. What makes her special- aside from her notoriety- as one of the first female tattoo artists in the country is that she tattoos over mastectomy scars. In doing so she came to know breast cancer.
For many people having to have breast cancer surgery to remove part or a whole breast is a traumatic event. The aftermath leaves people feeling less attractive. They stand in front of the mirror and see physical scars that are a constant reminder of what life has dealt them. One of the main fears is that you no longer feel whole and that your partner may no longer find you attractive. You stop being you and when on holiday or out and about you cover up, because people may stare at your scars.
Now the future seems a bit brighter for many people in the shape of Madame Lazonga and her team. Using their artistic talents to provide a tattoo or tattoos that cover the scars. People who have never had a tattoo are now finding that they are turning to this art to help them heal. You no longer have to cover up, as these beautiful pieces of art cover all the scars and you can now feel like a different person. When wearing your summer clothes or on the beach in swimwear, people will now look at you because of your wonderful artwork and you will feel so much better knowing this that you will forget all about the scars underneath. Although it will never take away the memories and trauma completely, it is a postive step in the right direction and more and more people are having them.