Breast cancer survivor raises awareness about going flat

Erica Deligne is a breast cancer survivor. She is also a stylist who chooses her outfits to express a choice she is proud of.

Deligne was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer in 2021 and underwent a double mastectomy. She decided against reconstructive surgery.

“Honestly, I feel better now without breasts than when I had breasts,” said the influencer and stylist. “You kind of learn what flatters your body.”


What you need to know

  • Erica Deligne underwent a double mastectomy and opted for reconstructive surgery
  • She is a stylist and influencer who shows women which tops flatter a flat chest after a double mastectomy
  • Deligne says that flat women should be seen in fashion. She has created a community of women on Instagram who follow her journey

“I knew that having a foreign object in my body when I woke up would prevent me from feeling that normal state of being,” she added.

A study by the Journal of American Medical Association found that one in three women experience complications after breast reconstruction, and one in twenty cases of reconstruction fail. Some complications include fluid retention, blood clots, and bleeding.

Deligne says there needs to be better education about options for women.

“I was not presented [with] the option to go flat. I did my own research,” she says.

Now she wants to change the narrative and inspire women to do what works best for them – and feel confident.

“It is possible to create your own sex appeal without breasts, and I promise you will find your happy place,” she said.

For Deligne it is important what she wears. Some clothes just look flattering on her new shape.

“This shirt has ruffles in the front, which gives your chest some volume,” Deligne said. The more people embrace the look, she says, the more confident survivors will become.

The AnaOno Deligne says it's time for flat-chested survivors to be represented in fashion.

“There's really nothing tailor-made for flat women,” she said.

On social media she comes into contact with women who are considering quitting. After posting a photo topless, she received comments like, “I'm going flat very quickly and feeling powerful watching your journey” and “Thank you for bringing awareness and normalizing being flat and beautiful.”

“I'm just grateful, honestly, that I can be so light for them, because for me it was an easy decision, and if I can help other women make it an easy decision for them, then that's my whole goal ,” Deligne said.

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