A breast cancer survivor has proudly shared a topless picture after hearing negative comments about her looks.
38-year-old Laura Owens was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and had her right breast removed as a result. She had reconstruction surgery in that same year before going on to have her left breast removed and reconstructed in 2014.
Following the surgeries, Laura suffered a ‘severe’ reaction which turned her skin yellow and caused pain down her left arm, the Liverpool Echo report.
In an attempt to stop the issues, the yoga teacher decided to remove both of her breast implants earlier this year.
On Wednesday (December 19), the 38-year-old took to Facebook to share a topless photo of herself, explaining two male friends had made comments about her looks right in front of her and she wanted to show she was proud of the woman she was now.
The post read:
This is for the women. In the last week, I’ve had 2 male friends, who I haven’t seen in a long time, say to people in front of me, “You should have seen Laura in her heyday, 10 years ago…”
Rude. Or am I supposed to be grateful that guys used to think I was hot?! If I hadn’t been through everything I have, and was still the girl I was 10 years ago, it might crush me to hear that. But it doesn’t. [sic]
Laura went on to explain how having cancer taught her she doesn’t need makeup or perfect hair to love what she looks like, and she’s learned to wear what makes her happy rather than what other people approve of.
I’m proud that, at 38, I haven’t succumbed to the pressures of Botox & fillers, even though the effects of #BII rapidly aged my skin, and this is not me having a dig if you’ve had Botox, I understand what it’s like to be so self-critical you won’t even leave the house, it’s just that after having my breasts amputated twice through illness, I’ve learned to appreciate my body exactly the way it is.
It makes me laugh that some people think my heyday was when I wore a face full of make up, perfect hair, sexy outfits, padded bras. i.e. dressing for someone else’s approval.
F*ck that. I’m strong and capable, I stand up for what I believe in. I walk away from people or situations that make me uncomfortable. And I wear what makes me feel happy, not sexy. [sic]
The post ended:
A lot of my 20’s were spent working in the world of high-end nightclubs where image, money & status were everything, and I’m proud that I‘m no longer part of that bullshit. I’m proud that I care more about what I think than what anyone else thinks.
I’m scarred, wrinkled & flat-chested, but I’m also feminine & full of life. I’m a strong f**king woman, not a sex object. I’m not here for your benefit.
There’s a lot more to me than my looks. And if you can’t see that, then it’s your loss.
THIS is MY heyday. [sic]
Hundreds of people have shown their support for Laura as the pictures have received over 2,400 reactions and 350 shares, with comments calling the yoga teacher ‘inspirational’ and ‘powerful’.
If you’ve been affected by these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 8pm).
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.