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Woman Who Opted to have Breasts Removed Stars in Lingerie Campaign

Carla Atherton, a Breast Cancer ‘Previvor’ has recently flown the flag for breast cancer sufferers and survivors everywhere by showing off her newly reconstructed breasts in Scantilly’s next edition of the #TheNewSexy campaign. This season’s campaign shares another diverse line-up of powerful females ready to challenge mainstream perceptions of ‘sexy’. The new boudoir collection is modelled by women with an array of skin tones, body shapes, backgrounds, abilities and ages; all with the aim of celebrating the beautiful diversity of women.

Carla Atherton, 34, tested positive for the BRCA1 gene in 2014 meaning she had up to a staggering 87% chance of developing breast cancer and a 60% chance of developing ovarian cancer. After many meetings with doctors Carla opted to have a ‘bilateral preventative mastectomy’, meaning she had both of her breasts removed including all tissue and nerve-endings and then had her breasts rebuilt in the form of implants. Her road to recovering was long and is still not over, due to her high risk of ovarian cancer Carla will one day have to have more preventative surgery but wants to start a family before she goes through with the life changing surgery. Through it all Carla has not let this faze her and uses her experiences to help others going through the process.


Carla states, “I was told I was BRCA1 positive in November 2014 and I have come on a long way since then. Over the last two years I have set up a BRCA page on Facebook to blog my journey of being BRCA and difficulties I have had to face through preventative surgeries. The blog now has nearly a 1000 followers and I spend about an hour each night replying to messages off women reaching out for support. I am also an Ambassador for BRCA Umbrella support group and a voice for Ovarian Cancer Action where I support them with raising BRCA awareness. Everything I am doing is to support other women, raise awareness, and share my knowledge.”

Breast cancer is the most common cancer across the world, yet the effects of breast cancer surgery are rarely seen in the media. This lack of representation is a common theme not only against breast cancer sufferers or survivors but also amongst other traits that make the human race diverse. This absence is supported by a report run by The Fashion Spot in November 2016, exploring the range of models cast for Autumn/Winter Fashion Campaigns. Out of 438 models across 190 print campaigns, they found that only 23.3% of the models we’re of colour, only 4.1% were over the age of 50 and a disappointingly low 3.2% were plus size (over a UK size 16). #TheNewSexy has challenged these biases with models from all walks of life and, in the process, inspired people around the world to love their bodies.

Following the overwhelming success of the first campaign, the original stars were invited to select the next generation of inspiring models. Through this ‘Pay-it-forward’ system, eight women were chosen and photographed in the new Scantilly boudoir collection. These icons will be the core of the brand’s marketing plan and signify a new era for diversity in the fashion industry and wider.

Head of PR and Marketing, Hannah Isichei follows: “The use of diverse role models should no longer be news worthy; it’s something all companies should practice in all areas. #TheNewSexy campaign isn’t a one-off. Women of all shapes, sizes and looks model our collections as we believe a larger variety of models should be seen by all. Society isn’t made up of one woman and we know our customers are all different, so why not give them someone they can recognise.”

When speaking of the campaign, Carla says, “Women come in all shapes and sizes; curvy, slim, tall and small which don’t fit into what is being portrayed in the mainstream media. Don’t get me wrong, the women are beautiful and sexy in their own right but they do not represent all women. They certainly do not represent women like me, who have had to undergo major surgery. I am confident and sexy with how I am now, I am a new kind of sexy and it doesn’t take having my breasts removed to change that. That to me is #TheNewSexy.”

The fourth Scantilly collection is available through, Debenhams, Bare Necessities and Figleaves. The range including peep-hole briefs, sexy suspenders, half cup balcony bras and sheer basques is available in sizes DD-HH cups and S-XL. For more information please visit:

Read the next installment of the campaign with Yasmin here.

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