This Woman Runs Topless To Send A Message

Louise Butcher, a 50-year-old from the picturesque village of Braunton, Devon, is turning heads and making waves for an incredible reason. She’s running without her top on. While this might strike some as unusual, for Louise, it’s a powerful statement of resilience and defiance.

Louise, who’s clocked an impressive three marathons in the last year, is more than just an avid runner. Her choice to run topless is a symbolic gesture stemming from a personal challenge. Diagnosed with lobular breast cancer in April 2022, Louise underwent a double mastectomy. In a bold decision to raise breast cancer awareness and inspire body positivity, she now chooses to jog without a top.

Speaking about her decision, Louise said, “It’s really empowering and I do it every day. I did a local marathon on Sunday and had a massive outpouring of love. It’s opening up the awareness around breast cancer and helping to normalise it a little bit. It’s normal where I am now. It feels weird when I wear a top to run!”

Her new running attire (or lack thereof) is so ingrained in her local community that when she does wear a top, it causes concern. Louise shared a recent experience: “I went out the other day with a top as it was a little cold and I usually take it off when I warm up, and this woman stopped me in the street and asked me why I was wearing a top.”

Louise has decided against reconstructive surgery and doesn’t see her topless running as an act of bravery. “When I first did it, it wasn’t tough, it just felt a bit weird but now I don’t blink an eye, it’s who I am now,” she voiced. She passionately added, “It’s just about inspiring women to have body positivity – even women who haven’t had breast cancer. We don’t have to feel shame. It’s opened up the argument and the perception of what society looks at breasts as.”

Not one to rest on her laurels, Louise is gearing up for the London Marathon next year. She’s also organising a topless swim event ahead of the race, aiming to inspire more women to embrace and celebrate their bodies.

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, it’s vital to understand the signs and symptoms of this condition. Dr Hana Patel, an NHS GP and Medico-Legal Expert Witness, stressed the importance of early detection. She highlighted symptoms like feeling a breast lump, nipple discharge, swelling or lumps in the armpits, changes to the skin around the breast, or experiencing breast pain. If you or someone you know has these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult with a GP promptly.

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