Why You Need to See This Woman in Lingerie — and Not Just Because She's Sexy
As a single mom, Natalie Wicks has struggled with her body image. Her insecurities aren't due to any stretch marks, cellulite, or her relationship status, but instead due to what cancer did to her body.
While battling cervical cancer in 2015, Natalie had a urostomy, and although she credits the procedure that redirects her urine into a bag with saving her life, it also left her with a stoma bag attached to her abdominal wall. Two years later, the 28-year-old lovingly refers to her bag as "Tom" and posted photos of herself in a lingerie to show just how sexy a cervical cancer survivor can be. "I was so upset by my urostomy bag that I hid it from friends and I would cry myself to sleep," Natalie told POPSUGAR. "I had dreaded the surgery and wanted to avoid it."
However, that wasn't possible. Before having her new companion, Natalie's radiotherapy cancer treatment burned a hole through her bladder, she had a hysterectomy, and she suffered dramatic weight loss with a variety of complications. "I believed that no man would find it attractive — until now," she said. "When I thought about having a bag for life, I thought I would look so ugly I really didn't want it. I didn't think it would be something that people would see past."
Natalie struggled to come to terms with her new body and wouldn't even let her closest friends see her bag. As Natalie heals both physically and emotionally, her friend took raw photos of her in lingerie. She gathered the courage to post them for everyone to see on Tom's anniversary and was emotionally overwhelmed with the response. "I finally had the strength to show Tom to everyone, along with the real me and I wanted to lift a weight off my shoulders," she said. "Its really helped to start build up my confidence slowly, that people have accepted Tom and think I still look beautiful."
Natalie hopes that her photos hope empower other women and make people realize that a bag doesn't define a person's beauty.
"Being a young single mum, with a urostomy, I found it hard to date. I felt ashamed to tell anyone about it and instead pushed people away. Now after this, I found the confidence to tell people that I have it and believe that one-day Mr. Right will come along and accept me for me (with Tom).
Having a stoma of any kind, whether it be a urostomy like myself, a colostomy, or Ileostomy does not make us any less beautiful or attractive than anyone else, it makes us strong people that are still sexy. Our bags don't define us."