About Us

Welcome to Stand Tall AFC. A body positive campaign that brings aesthetic flat closure (AFC) to breast cancer events to empower women and transform perceptions about going flat through visibility.

Stand Tall AFC visibility

  • supports body positivity & body acceptance — take a look at some of our teams!
  • promotes inclusion & healing
  • counters stigmas of shame
  • demonstrates AFC in real life; a contrast to torso-only photos presented to patients at surgical consultations
  • offers an alternative path to wholeness for those suffering from “reconstructive burnout”, illness, or pain

Today, AFC and the going flat movement is normalized through community resourcesmedia representation, the global body positive movement and outreach to the medical community.

Founding Story – There’s Nothing Shameful about Our Scars

In 2019, a group of women without breasts took their shirts off to celebrate survivorship as they crossed the finish line of a breast cancer walk. This vulnerable moment in a space dedicated to those impacted by breast cancer — many of whom had lost hair, breasts, ovaries, fertility and mobility to cancer — was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from participants and news media.

The following year, this group applied to host a booth at the walk to share information on “aesthetic flat closure” — a recently defined surgical term by the National Cancer Institute which gave dignity and definition to the option of “no reconstruction”, which was often subjectively interpreted by surgeons.

Shockingly, the breast cancer support organization rejected the idea of a booth on AFC. What followed was a call to action for women with scars instead of breasts after mastectomy to attend breast cancer walks all over the country and be visible, shirts on or shirts off.

Within 4 weeks, over 225 people joined the 2021 campaign. By October 2023 BCAM (breast cancer awareness month), over 120 teams and fifteen hundred people walked to support AFC as a healthy option. Tens of thousands more witnessed another aspect of breast cancer awareness: survivors embracing their scars and modeling that it’s okay to have one or no breasts. We are still whole.

This phenomenon of flat visibility as a catalyst for transformation repeats itself over and over again at breast cancer events. The presence and vulnerability of Stand Tall AFC teams touches participants in a way that is profound. In an instant:

  • a breastless woman is transformed by representation
  • a child see someone who looks like mom
  • a husband asks where can he find tattoos for his wife who is home recovering from mastectomy

These are true and profound experiences that STAFC members have had with fellow participants in the pink streets of BCAM. This is is why we walk.


Q: Why a breast cancer awareness event?

A: Breast cancer awareness events throughout the year (BCAM is October) brings hundreds of thousands of people together at public events. These ‘pink walks’ are opportunities to present AFC as a valid post-mastectomy option and destigmatize the loss of breasts.

Q: Is Stand Tall AFC a fundraiser?

A: STAFC is not a fundraiser. Team members are welcome to donate (or not donate) to the event organizers (e.g. Komen, American Cancer Society, etc).

Q: Does everyone take their shirt off?

A: No. Breastless and one-breasted team members are visible in whatever way that feels right for them: shirts on or shirts off. Those with native or reconstructed breasts should not remove their shirts and one-breasted women should cover their remaining breast.

Q: Why do women choose AFC post-mastectomy?

A: AFC offers lowest rates of complications, no long term health risks, fastest recovery, no maintenance of a foreign object (implant), and makes wearing a breast prostheses more comfortable. Many women are not eligible for breast reconstruction or find it medically necessary to remove implants or failed tissue reconstruction.

Q: Do I need to have aesthetic flat closure to be on a team?

A: Not at all! STAFC teams have at least one member that is flat-after-mastectomy (smooth or not smooth!) and any supporter of AFC can join a team. This includes friends, family and our pink sisters with any breast reconstruction or lumpectomy.

Q: Can I participate as a sole individual?

A: Yes, it only takes one person at a breast cancer awareness event to make a difference. However, we strongly encourage having at least 2 members per team.

Q: Are there remote/online STAFC teams?

A: No. All teams participate at in-person events.

Q: Can I create a team for an event that is not during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM)?

A: Yes. Even though most BCAM events occur during October, an event can be anytime of the year. All events needs to be approved by Stand Tall AFC or find a pre-approved event here.

Q:  How will Stand Tall AFC support my team?

A:   STAFC volunteers send newsletters and host Zoom meetings. STAFC events are posted on the website and social media platforms to welcome those who wish to join a team. 

Q: Can I buy Stand Tall t-shirts and posters?

A: Soon! Stay tuned for our merchandise shop.

Q: How can I find a team or BCAM event near me?

A:  Check our Events – Flat Meets page or google “breast cancer events near me”. If you are unable to join a team, consider sharing AFC educational material from Not Putting On A Shirt or making a tax-deductible donation to the campaign.


To bring aesthetic flat closure (AFC) to cancer awareness events and transform perceptions about goingflat after mastectomy through visibility.


  • VISIBILITY — seeing women without breast(s) at cancer events destigmatizes the effects of mastectomy.

  • DIGNITY — being whole is not dependent on breasts, hair or any body part lost to cancer or its prevention.

  • EMPOWERMENT — inclusion at cancer events is healing for those with AFC as well as others impacted by breast cancer.

  • INFORMED CHOICE — patients should be presented post-mastectomy options with parity which includes using aesthetic flat closure (AFC) to replace “no reconstruction”.

  • INCLUSION — STAFC teams support patient rights to all post-mastectomy options including AFC, implants and tissue reconstruction.