How ghd changed the narrative for women who've survived breast cancer
Telling these women’s stories alongside that of the tattoo artist helping to empower them, helps to raise awareness of what it means to be a survivor of cancer.
Assistant Editor, BITE
This year’s emotive campaign features tattoo artist David Allen, who has spent 10 years working with breast cancer survivors to create tattoos that conceal mastectomy scars. The goal, to raise $1m for cancer charities globally through sales of the ghd, Platinum+ styler.
More women are surviving breast cancer than ever thanks to better awareness, improved screening and more effective treatments. Although it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the UK, around five out of six of those women will be alive in five years’ time, compared to one in three 40 years ago, according to Breast Cancer Now.
Yet while many more women are surviving, many still bare the scars of the procedures they’ve undergone and the life-changing experience they’ve faced. These are scars that many women will choose to hide or cover up. But it’s these mastectomy scars that tattoo artist David Allen, working alongside brave survivors, is determined to turn into artwork.
For ghd’s fifteenth annual ‘Pink’ campaign which sees the brand partner with cancer charities worldwide, Southpaw created an emotive ad that celebrates Allen’s work and the incredible women he has tattooed. The video explores how this artwork made each woman feel under the tagline, ‘My tattoo, my story.’
Allen, who has worked with breast cancer survivors for the last ten years, says that he “helps conceal the scars.” Allen’s goal through his work is to help women take back control of their bodies and he says he sees “the change, the transformation happen” as he tattoos each woman’s body, as their perception of their own body shifts.
Ghd have raised more than $10 million in the past 15 years for cancer charities around the world and the goal with this campaign is to raise $1million through sales of the ghd Platinum+ styler. Allen’s designs feature on this year’s limited edition ghd platinum+ and ghd gold styler. As part of the campaign, £10 from every styler sold will go to cancer charities around the world including Breast Cancer Now in the UK.
Telling these women’s stories alongside that of the artist helping to empower them, helps to raise awareness of what it means to be a survivor of cancer. Through sharing these stories of bravery and empowerment, the hope is that more women who have been through the life changing experience of breast cancer will in turn share their own. This is the kind of marketing that shifts perceptions and raises awareness, while also raising money for an important cause. A trio of achievements that justly makes this the kind of work everyone involved should be proud of.