Nine Spanish women who have undergone mastectomies following breast cancer diagnoses have taken part in a fashion show to prove they have every reason to be proud of their post-op bodies.
“A woman is not just a pair of boobs, we're so much more!” 37-year-old Paqui López told national daily El Mundo.
López, the youngest model to hit the catwalk, has high incidences of breast cancer in her family as in the case of Hollywood star Angelina Jolie.
“It didn't take me by surprise,” she told El Mundo.
“It did affect my confidence at first, but having cancer does not make you less of a woman or less sexy. You learn a lot from it and you get to know yourself more than ever.”
The cancer catwalk, organized by Spanish cancer association AECC for the past 13 years, gave the nine women the chance to overcome their body complexes by wearing special bras and swimsuits with fitted prosthesis in front of a cheering audience.
One of the other models, Maite Vázquez, told El Mundo that Angelina Jolie's decision to have both her breasts removed to counteract the high risk of breast cancer she had was a positive example for all women.
“If my daughter or granddaughter had a high chance of developing the illness, I would definitely encourage them to have a mastectomy before it came along,” Vázquez said.
But AECC psychologist Elisa Alonso told The Local that doctors should be the ones to determine whether it's best to prevent than to cure breast cancer.
"What Angelina Jolie decided to do doesn't happen very often in Spain," Alonso said.
"We never encourage women to have mastectomies unless doctors deem it necessary or a suitable preventative method."