Diana Amaya - Oct 7, 2020

Tough Titties: Honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month with two time Survivor and Model Sheilah Renninger

It is officially October which signals a very special month here at Meg, and we’re not talking about #spookyseason; October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and for millions of diagnosed women across the world and their loved ones, this is a moment to focus on awareness, provide support, and celebrate triumph.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month we sat down with Sheilah Renninger, model and star of our FW ‘20 Collection, advocate for womxn’s health, and two time breast cancer survivor to chat about modeling in her 40s, the shit show that is 2020, and the importance of mammograms.

This month we are also releasing the latest design for our annual “Tough Titties” sweatshirt (available online and in-stores now)!  Meg will donate $10 from each sweatshirt sold to Gilda’s Club, a non-profit providing free support groups, lectures, and workshops for cancer patients and their families. Because as Sheilah will tell you, support and mental health is crucial. 

Find our Tough Titties sweatshirt here.

How did you start modeling and how long have you been at it?

I always tried modeling when I was younger but I didn't get too far with it. So when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 42, I wanted to document it through portraits and it sort of started then. I figured it was time to start doing things I love and living life. 

Sheilah with Meg and Heidi shoooting Fall'20

What do you hope to accomplish as a model?

I want to encourage women and men that they can start over and do anything they want at any age. We are always evolving. Life can be short so make it a happy one. 

"I figured it was time to start doing things I love and living life. "


What do you do outside of modeling?

I also got back into acting after my treatments. I had taken a few classes when I lived in LA. Acting gave me a feeling I never had before. I also enjoy writing and being behind the camera. My day job is at Trader Joe's. 

What's your favorite thing about being on set? Any particularly memorable shoots?

My first major show was for Rachel Comey. I was tickled just to be in the show, but I opened it! I think I was in shock at first. I was so happy to be doing my first major show at 47. And kudos to the designers that still want "mature" women representing their lines (like Meg)!

Sheilah opening for Rachel Comey Fall'19 via Vogue.com

"kudos to the designers that still want "mature" women representing their lines (like Meg)!"


What kind of support system did you have throughout your diagnosis and treatment?

My mom had breast cancer too so I always felt I could go to her. But I can't forget about my three friends, Karen, Kelly, and Kristy, they kept me busy. We got through it with laughter and I couldn't thank them enough. The second time I had cancer my dear friend Lana came down from NYC to PA to help me out. She's also good for a laugh, so that helped.


Needless to say this year has been a shit show. How has it been for you? 

I just moved to Brooklyn from PA on March 14th- talk about great timing! I'm an introvert so I handled it well I think. Plus, I work at Trader Joe's and I had the support from my awesome co-workers. 


How would you describe your personal style and how has it evolved?

I hope it's evolved for the better because I look back at photos and wonder what I was thinking! I dress more simple and classic now. I always look for pieces that are timeless, not trendy. 

Sheilah at 12 years old with a short perm! She can laugh about it now and so can we.

Describe your favorite Meg Look ;)

Aside from loving every outfit from the [Fall'20] lookbook, I really enjoy Meg pants. They are flattering and so comfortable! 

Sheilah rocking a cozy Meg Fall'20 look

What do you wish non-cancer patients knew about experiencing cancer?

It is so important to get mammograms. My cancer was as small as a salt particle and I never would have felt it- I don't want to scare anyone!- but don't wait to go to the doctor. I wish there were screenings more regularly for men too.

"If I had a magic wand, I would make prevention and screenings more affordable. I wish I could do more; maybe that will be my next venture."

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