Elina Halttunen had a mastectomy about 10 years ago for breast cancer. An avid swimmer, she became frustrated by the lack of swimwear options available that suited her one-breasted body, with most designs requiring the use of uncomfortable and sweaty prostheses. Never feeling quite satisfied with anything she could buy, she thought “there has to be something better!”
Instead of waiting any longer for a revolutionary design to appear, Elina decided to create it herself! But, since she’s a scientist and had no background in swimwear design, she needed help. Partnering with Katriina Haikala and Vilma Metteri, aka the Nutty Tarts, the Finnish art and design duo, they created Monokini 2.0, a swimwear collection for one-breasted women.
Katriina, Elina, Vilma
The website explains, “We think that the current focus on a breast-reconstruction after mastectomy as the only way to a full life, is a breast-fixated way of seeing what a woman is. We want to incite a positive self-image of breast-operated women by showing that you can be whole, beautiful and sexy even with just one breast or with no breasts at all. Our other aim is to dig into the restrictive social taboo on what is considered appropriate – of exposing something that is not there. Seeing an exposed breast is considered nakedness, but why is exposing no breast also considered nakedness?”
The haute couture swimwear collection, became a social art project with the initial designs being modeled by women who have gone through breast cancer. Thanks to the internet, the images of the models made their way around the world, and the design team received hundreds of inquiries from women who wanted to know where they could buy the swimwear.
Well, now you can! Last week Monokini 2.0 launched a crowd funding campaign to raise funds to produce three of the styles for anybody to buy!
“Monokini 2.0 re-examines popular culture’s narrow view of a woman’s ideal appearance. We strive to expand what is accepted and considered beautiful!”