Breast cancer survivors often have to deal with the discomfort of breast prosthesis, especially at the beach, when they want to be active and swim and play with their children. These modern swimsuits, dubbed “monokinis,” help eliminate the discomfort breast cancer survivors face when they go to the beach and show us their bravery, hope, and determination. The project’s Finnish designers state that breast cancer survivors should not be ashamed of their breast removal scars – instead, they should feel proud of them, for they are marks of a battle well-fought. “Monokini 2.0 is a social art project that re-examines popular culture’s narrow view of a woman’s ideal appearance,” they explain.

Our other aim is to dig into the restrictive social taboo on what is considered appropriate – of exposing something that is not there. Seeing an exposed breast is considered nakedness, but why is exposing no breast also considered nakedness?“, the designers behind this photo series ask.

To see the strong women that participated in this project, check out the images below.

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Virve – design by T. Therman

“It was an amazing experience to be part of a project as great as this, raising breast cancer awareness. I hope my participation gives strength and courage to my sisters in the same situation. Living with one breast can be amazing!”

Elina – design by E. Halttunen

“I do not want to hide, I do not want to stop swimming, I do not want to undergo extensive plastic surgery operations, and I do not want to be forced to use the uncomfortable prosthesis on the beach. I want to feel as free and active as I did before my cancer, and Monokini 2.0 gives me a chance to do exactly that.”

Reetta – design by V. Riitijoki

“This is absolutely the most remarkable pink ribbon project that I’ve ever seen, heard, or been part of; considering that there is no need to see women with mastectomy as sad persons. It shows that project has achieved maybe even more that it originally was planned. Happy and proud to be part of it, a big thank you!”

Sirpa – design by T. Ämmät

“On my long and sometimes tough journey with breast cancer, Monokini 2.0 project has been an amazing experience. I hope that my picture will give strength, belief and courage to the women gone through mastectomy: womanhood is not about all breasts (or not having them). I hope that within this project the discussion of these matters will become easier and more natural.”

Camilla – design by T. Rissanen

Marjaana – design by S. Kauppi

“Cancer has drilled holes to my bones and taken away my breast, that’s all. I don’t let it in my mind to steal all the precious things in me. I’ve heard from many people “you are so brave”, but with you, first time, I really felt like it. ‘To indefinite and beyond’.”

Katja – design by M. Otsamo

Kristiina – design by O. Pyy

“I am so happy and proud that I can be part of this important and amazing project. Thank you!”

Solja – design by KAKSITVÅ

Milsse – design by T. Ämmät

“Being part of this project has been very empowering and I thank you for that! I hope that through these pictures everyone can find strength, courage, and certitude to endorse her/him-self. Everyone is perfect exactly as they are!”