Costa Coffee boycott begins after chain 'glamourises' trans mastectomy surgery

Costa Coffee is facing a national boycott after featuring a cartoon image depicting a transman (woman) with mastectomy scars on one of its vans.

The company has defended the image as a celebration of "inclusivity and diversity," but it's facing a wave of anger from people who say it is glamourising complex, dangerous surgery.

Critics say the image could influence young women struggling with their body image who are vulnerable to society pressures.

Women who have undergone breast removal due to cancer have also joined the boycott.

TalkTV presenters Richard Tice and Julia Hartley Brewer said they will boycott the chain, accusing it of celebrating invasive surgery.

The cartoon on Costa Coffee's van depicts a woman who has had a mastectomy

Richard said: "This is revolting: celebrating a woman cutting off her healthy breasts. No more money from me. Go woke go broke."

Julia said she felt "physically sick, repulsed and horrified" when she saw the picture posted on X.

Julia said: "Ugh. That is absolutely HORRIBLE. Celebrating women who cut off their healthy breasts is just grotesque. I will never set foot in your coffee shops again. Boycott Costa Coffee."

Feminist campaigners and individuals who have undergone breast removal due to cancer have also called for a boycott.

Social commentator James Esses posted the picture on X, former known as Twitter

Julie Bindell, a feminist campaigner concerned about the influence of trans activism, said: "What's really scary about it is the actual mastectomy scars are seen as a badge of honour, as cool."

She added it was "absolutely bonkers" that Costa Coffee was celebrating breast removal while discouraging discreet breastfeeding in its outlets.

The image was posted on X by social commentator James Esses, who said: "Private corporations like Costa Coffee engage in mindless virtue signalling in pursuit of profit.

"They pay no mind whatsoever to the damage they are inflicting on society, particularly vulnerable children. The only way to make them listen is to vote with our feet."

Mr Esses claims the image was created by UK artist Ashton Attz, who has also illustrated a children's book called Amazing Bodies.

The website Creative Debuts describes Ashton as a 23-year-old artist who produces "colourful, bold and joyful" illustrations.

It continues: "It is unapologetic in both style and message - Ashton's art celebrates moments of everyday life and what makes us who we are.

"The characters that populate the majority of their paintings and illustrations are representative of the endless identities and diverse expressions of the everyday person.

The Costa Coffee image is thought to have been created by 23-year-old artist Ashton Attz

"Their unique world-building in popping bright hues creates a utopia, where everyone and anyone can step inside a dreamy landscape. Ashton's art covers a range of topics from LGBTQ+ advocacy, visibility, unity, positivity, music and mental health.

"Their art seeks to empower LGBTQ+ people and people of colour on a global scale."

Costa Coffee said in a statement: “At Costa Coffee we celebrate the diversity of our customers, team members and partners. 

"We want everyone that interacts with us to experience the inclusive environment that we create, to encourage people to feel welcomed, free and unashamedly proud to be themselves.

"The mural, in its entirety, showcases and celebrates inclusivity.”