Cancer Survivor Bares Double Mastectomy Scars In Powerful Equinox Gym Ad

'Scars aren’t ugly. Scars are really just beautiful badges.'

A cancer survivor has stolen the show in luxury gym Equinox’s bold January ad campaign for baring her mastectomy scars.

Samantha Paige, a 41-year-old artist, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer aged just 21. She was later diagnosed with the faulty BRCA 1 gene mutation, prompting her to have an elective double mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing breast cancer.

While she decided to have reconstructive surgery at the time of her mastectomy, her implants “never felt as though they belonged to her”.

She was diagnosed with PTSD, panic attacks and depression. And eventually, after 20 years, she had her implants removed in January 2016.

Now, having never felt more like herself than ever before she decided to bare all for the brand’s new campaign.


Equinox’s ‘Commit To Something’ is described by the brand as an “intimate, provocative and deeply moving exploration of personal identity”.

The campaign features seven images, photographed by Steven Klein, and “confronts current cultural issues and asserts that commitment has the power to define who we are in the deepest sense”.

Paige said: “When I had the implants out, I realised that we all know what matters most to us, and the next step is the action we take to stand up for those ideals and those beliefs and those values.

“Equinox’s message of ‘Commit to Something’ is about being able to look at yourself in the mirror and realise who you are and stand up to those values.”

She added: “We constantly are faced with moments and significant decisions, or last cuts as I call them, where we can more deeply commit to ourselves in order to show up more powerfully and fully in life.”

In a short video ad for Equinox, Paige added: “Scars aren’t ugly. Scars are really just beautiful badges reminding you what you chose to go against; not just the size of your opponent but the size of your commitment.”

Last year, the campaign, which is now in its second year, caused controversy for featuring a media heiress Lydia Hearst breastfeeding two children in a restaurant.

A bold comment on public breastfeeding and the sexualisation and glamorisation of women’s breasts - particularly as Hearst is childless.

What do you think of the advert? Let us know in the comments below.