Tattoo artist promises 3D nipples at no cost for women who have suffered from breast cancer
Massachusetts artist Mark Corliss offers his unique services to brave women who have fought for their lives.
This post contains images some may find graphic.
Mark Corliss should be ordained a saint.
A tattoo artist of twenty years and business owner of Spilt Milk Tattoo, his mission has gone viral: to help women who have undergone a single or double mastectomy feel confident and proud of their new bodies. How? By offering 3D nipple tattoos – at no charge.
Many women choose to get reconstructive breast surgery either during or following a mastectomy. However, even if a woman decides to undergo reconstruction, much of the time nipples can be lost in the process. Corliss’ tattoos aim to replicate the nipple, utilising specific shading, customised to the individual woman, with different colors and tones – as opposed to just flat circles – to help produce the 3D effect.
Corliss’ eagerness to extend his services stems from the discovery that many of his competitors charge exorbitant fees for reconstructive tattoos. He requested that his followers help him get the word out about his services – a wish that was granted when prominent tattoo artist Kat Von D’s shop regrammed his post, gaining over 43,000 likes.
“After a consult with a woman today I learned that the big names doing 3D nipples (media made them big) are charging 800 dollars just to do one nipple,” Corliss wrote. “Any tattooer that knows their stuff knows what it takes and it’s far from an 800 dollar service.”
“Please help me share this so it goes viral,” he added. “These women should not have to pay a ridiculous fee to feel whole again.”
Corliss’ commitment to 3D nipple tattoos began with a customer who originally came in to get a floral cover up on her scars. Before their final session was over, she urged Corliss to try and tattoo a nipple. He had never attempted a tattoo of this nature before and was reluctant, but eventually agreed. When he was done, he realized that, despite his reticence, the process had been straightforward compared to other tattoos.
But the most rewarding part of that first experience happened after the tattoo was finished.
“Her husband came in. He was a client, a giant guy with just a very serious presence about him,” Corliss recalls. “He walked up to me, looked me in the eye and shook my hand. Not like a typical handshake you brush off, but the kind of handshake a man gives to another man saying, ‘I really am thankful for what you have done.’”
It had a transformative effect on Corliss.
“I never looked back after that handshake and just kept doing them for no cost to anyone who asked.”
That first 3D nipple was crafted around four years ago, and Corliss has continued to refine his process and help women affected by cancer regain confidence in their bodies. (Corliss notes that his services are also available to men who have undergone similar procedures.)
It’s why he took to social media to call out his competitors and their overpricing of such an important service. Indeed, many of the women he has worked with have expressed their gratitude, describing how his tattoos have offered them much-needed closure.
Ultimately, the message is clear as far as Corliss is concerned: “I want women to know I will be doing this for them until people stop needing the service.”
Learn all about Mark Corliss and his work on his website: markcorlisstattoo.com.