Topless and proud of it: Dartmouth woman embracing life after a double mastectomy
Milla DeynPublished in November 2020 / Updated in January 2021
Christina Belding is a cancer survivor and an inspiration in topless.
As she lives near the beach in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, she enjoys spending time walking and watching the ocean. But she doesn’t hide her scars: instead, when she’s sunbathing or swimming, she’s topless.
Her double mastectomy may cause people to stare, but she beat cancer. So, stare as much as you like. It will make you think, and that’s exactly what this lady wants.
Goodbye breasts, hello life
Honestly, is that anything more important or more significant than getting a second chance of living?
“My breasts already had a good time, and more than enough fun. I’d sooner have a flat start than trying to reinvent the past with boobs.”
Her story starts with a simple self-examination test. She noticed a lump in her right breast, which was at first missed by a mammogram.
A day before her 52. birthday, Belding had a double mastectomy. This was only a few days before the COVID-19 pandemic became official.
When it came to choosing what to do regarding how her chest will look, she opted for what’s known as esthetic flat closure, a procedure where the surgeon creates a smooth, flat chest with no excess fat or skin.
There are no regrets. Despite breast reconstruction being a reasonably easy procedure, the 52-year-old wanted a closure.
“The boobs took early retirement. I’m glad they’re gone because I feel safer.”
Christina Belding simply wanted to maintain her health, so no matter how easy breast reconstruction seems, she did want to avoid any further surgeries. And any surgery, as well as implants, may come with complications.
Breasts do not define you
As she explains, she wouldn’t be able to feel anything, so really, the whole point would be just to “look fine in a shirt.” And that’s not worth the trouble.
While that’s unthinkable for most women, Belding says that she loves her flat-chested look, and she even feels as if her clothes look better. Most likely because she’s no longer obsessing about achieving perfection, which comes as a burden to each woman on this planet.
Without her B cup, and with sunscreen, she is not a victim, but a survivor:
“I’ve always felt fortunate with even all the traumatic things and the adversity that’s happened to my life; I see myself as a survivor.”
This lady from Dartmouth enjoys sports, and she’s conscious of her health. And she wants you to be as well, which is what her Instagram is all about.
She gets people talking, and that’s part of the process:
“It doesn’t need to be scary, and it shouldn’t. Having breasts shouldn’t… define who you are as a woman.”
Instead of asking her if she will get new boobs, she would rather tell you about the reality of realizing you’re battling for your life.
“They don’t ask, ‘Hey, was it scary having cancer? Are you worried you’re going to die?”
Life’s a beach, for the most part
One of the most memorable conversations came from a stranger. A man approached her on the beach:
“He waved at me, and stopped me, and thought I was so brave for walking around.”
“His wife had died from breast cancer, and he had said he’d wished that she had possibly been more aggressive and had a mastectomy.”
She’s still winning this battle since it’s not over just yet. Apart from a double mastectomy, she’s taking oral chemotherapy and enjoys every day while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
“For the most part, right now for me, [it] feels like a bump in the road.”
She is flat-chested, but she’s also a fighter, an inspiration, and someone who understands that life’s actual values come from knowing how to live.