A LOCAL woman who provides realistic tattoo solutions after breast cancer treatment says she was suspended on social media after her work was mistaken for pornography.
Specialising in the art of micro-pigmentation, trained tattooist Vicky Martin recreates 3D nipples for people who have had single or double mastectomies.
Last week, she protested outside Facebook headquarters in London with a giant inflatable breast, calling her re-constructive tattoos a form of art.
Ms Martin was joined by roughly 50 supporters, many of whom have been tattooed by Vicky after breast cancer treatment.
“There were three reasons for my protest,” she explained. “Firstly, it’s not just me and my account that has been affected.
“Women who have had the artwork done, and shared the images in closed Facebook groups for people who have had mastectomies have had their accounts suspended.
“A woman deserves better than that.”
Ms Martin developed her own method for tattooing an areola. She now teaches the Vicky Martin Method (VMM®) internationally. She also invented a realistic VMM® Breast Mould which now helps medical tattooists around the world practice their art.
Ms Martin added: “I train up lots of artists to use this technique, and whenever they want to share their artwork, they get it blocked too.
“Finally, whilst you can get something similar done in hospital, it isn’t as realistic as they don’t have the time to create it in that much detail. It’s important that women know there are other solutions out there.”
Facebook has since apologised, saying the suspension of her account was a mistake, and they are sorry for any upset caused.
They added that “whilst nudity isn’t allowed… we make exceptions for posts which are clearly intended as medicinal or educational”.
However, Ms Martin isn’t satisfied.
“I’ve been blocked over 50 times,” she said. “They haven’t reinstated all my accounts.
“I want to work together with Facebook so that artists over the world can share their work without it being taken down.”
“Since the protest, I’ve been inundated with responses from all over the world. I’ve had people from Egypt, South Africa and America contact me saying that their accounts are still blocked for sharing the images.”
Ms Martin started organising the protest three months ago. She worked with Merlin Inflatables to produce a giant blow-up breast to use at the event. She was also joined by patients, another artist and the Tuneless Choir, which many of her patients are part of.