“I Don’t Have Breasts Anymore, Why Do I Have To Pretend Like I Do?”: Kathy Bates On Her Decision To 'Go Flat'

Date September 19, 2018

Many breast cancer survivors have been opting to 'go flat' and refusing reconstruction surgeries these days. Many find it empowering to embrace their bodies and not try to be something they're not anymore. There's even support group on Facebook called Flat & Fabulous where women can share their stories and inspire others to lead full lives, despite their conditions.

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As we know, celebrities aren't immune to breast cancer and there are many famous women, who had to go through this terrible battle. One of them is legendary Kathy Bates, and she's very open about her experience of going flat.

Kathy's choice

Misery star faced cancer twice in her life. In 2003, 55-year-old Kathy was diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer but kept it secret, because she was afraid it would damage her career.


She underwent a surgery and got better. But in 2012, Bates found out she had breast cancer. The actress opted for double mastectomy due to her complicated family history with the illness.


Kathy decided against having a reconstruction surgery. Instead, she had prosthetics, which accompanied her every day.


At some point, Bates heard about the 'flat' movement and how many women were revealing that their lack of breasts didn't affect their happiness.

READ ALSO: Woman Who Lost One Breast To Cancer Urges People Not To Be Ashamed Of Their Scars

The famous actress shared with Parade:

I’ve recently decided to “go flat.” I read that more and more women are doing that, and finally I came to the conclusion, “I don’t have breasts anymore, why do I have to pretend like I do?” I have prosthetics and I can put them on for a character.


And she hasn't looked back since.

Other struggles and taking back control

Bates doesn't have to worry about pretending to have breasts anymore, especially when she's dealing with lymphedema, a common result of a mastectomy. Lymphedema causes pain and swelling and there's no cure.


Despite her struggles, Kathy keeps moving forward. She became healthier and lost over 55 pounds in order to feel good about herself. At least her weight is something she can control.

READ ALSO: Breast Cancer 101: 9 Tips To Ward Off The Most Common Type Of Cancer That Affects Women

Kathy Bates