Meet the Specialist of Nipple Tattoo for Breast Cancer Survivors

June 4, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

Vinnie Myers was once a regular tattoo artist, but has now become world-renowned for his skillful nipple tattoos for breast cancer survivors who have undergone mastectomy. In a short New York Times video report, we follow breast cancer survivor Caitlin Kiernan, who is traveling hours to Finksburg, Maryland for her tattoo appointment. Many have travelled from much farther.

It’s quite a celebratory moment for Kiernan. Sitting on her couch, she muses  “I think a lot of women don’t like to talk about it because they don’t know how to handle that uncomfortableness. But I live for that.” Women have flocked to Myers because the tattoo artist’s palette allows for much more subtlety and diversity in nipple color than do regular reconstructive surgeons. “There are a lot of bad nipples out there,” says Kiernan. The dynamic between this straight-laced woman and her tattoo artist is adorable, and her catharsis is joyful.

Myers sacrificed his regular artistic tattoo practice to almost exclusively do nipple tattoos, something he questioned until his own sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. “You definitely lose the artistic satisfaction you get when you’re doing the nipple tattoos all day,” Meyers says,” but you gain this other satisfaction that’s even more rewarding.”