Woman Helps Breast Cancer Survivors By Tattooing Them In The Best Way

Sarah Kester
Women holding breasts
Unsplash | Rebekah Vos

Think your job is interesting? Try Terri Benamore. 

She’s a tattoo artist who’s been using her skills to create life-like nipples on women who survived breast cancer

Her job has been changing the lives of women, as she gets to witness them put their battle with breast cancer behind them. To date, she's tattooed over 500 nipples.

Terri was 16 when she first began her career as a tattoo artist. 

Terri showing off her shirt
Metro | Metro

“I’d always loved art and studied it at A-level. I got my first tattoo as a teenager – a playful cherub on my back (although I loved the results, it was a painful experience) – and from that moment on my dream was to become a tattoo artist,” she wrote in an article for Metro

She landed a three-year apprenticeship at a studio in Milton Keynes and then opened her own studio at only 23. 

Terri's tattoo work
Metro | Metro

Since she never liked the look of a traditional studio, she worked hard to make hers “welcoming and inclusive to all.”

“I played soothing music, hung a floral wreath over the door and decorated the studio with plants and nature photos,” she wrote. 

Spa room
Unsplash | Mediamodifier

As for her tattoo style, she specialized in full-color realism and loved to create realistic tattoos of birds, animals, and botanicals. 

Becoming a tattoo artist who specializes in nipples was never something Benamore imagined. 

Unsplash | charlesdeluvio

It sort of just happened one day. A woman who survived breast cancer heard about her work and contacted the studio. 

“She’d had a mastectomy and reconstruction on the NHS, but the nipple tattoo she’d been given as part of her surgery looked awful and had begun to fade straight away.”

Terri went to work on fixing it, creating a realistic areola over her scar tissue and using the woman’s remaining natural nipple for guidance.  

Alexis being grateful
Giphy | CBC

The woman was so happy and grateful for the results. This led Terri to wonder if there were other women who needed her help.

After determining that there was a need for this, she found an artist in Canada who specializes in ART (Areola Restoration Tattooing) and began a week of intensive training. 

Nipple statue
Unsplash | Victoria Strukovskaya

The process of tattooing a nipple is quite intense. "Base tones, mid tones, highlights and shadows as well as veins and nipple pert fusion blush tones are all part of the process," she wrote.

The hardest part of the job was learning to tattoo body tissue that had been through radiotherapy or narcosis.

Nipple donuts
Unsplash | Annie Spratt

"This skin behaves very differently and the pigment needs to be applied with skill and care to ensure it’s not causing further trauma to such a delicate area."

In 2018, the tattoo artist founded her own medical tattooing clinic called The Kiri Clinic.

She's become an expert in the world of nipple tattoos. "As well as my realistic nipples I can also cover scar tissue with beautiful designs if that’s what my clients prefer."

To date, she's tattooed over 500 nipples.

Terri selfie
instagram | @missterritattoos

Getting to help these women who have gone through breast cancer has taught her a lot about resilience and recovery. She also finds it incredibly rewarding to help them feel better about their bodies.

One client, for example, said that she had felt lopsided and "totally wrong."

Woman's chest
Unsplash | Dainis Graveris

"I’ll never forget her testimonial afterwards, she said I’d ’treated her like the only person in the world that matters,'" Terri shared. "I absolutely love my work."

"I feel privileged to be able to create them and I want to show them to the world," she continued.

"My clients tell me their new nipples are life-changing, helping to restore their confidence in their bodies and celebrate getting their lives back on track. Hearing that gives me the best feeling in the world."

H/T: Metro