Disclaimer: This post is not meant to hurt feelings or cause drama. Please understand I have had it in my head for awhile, in drafts for over a week, & have edited & re-read mercilessly, until I’m sick of reading it & thisclose to not posting it. But I’m posting it anyway, because this is my blog & it IS October, after all. Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Be aware, yes, but most of all, be educated, educate others, & take action.
Someone please explain to me the reasoning behind the following:
-Posting the color of your bra as your Facebook status.
-Posting the location of where you put your purse when you get home, but prefacing it with “I like it on.” Example: I like it on the table.
-Changing your profile picture to a picture of your boobs/cleavage on a certain day of the week.
All of these things (and I’m sure there are more) are supposed to be for one thing: Breast Cancer Awareness. Here are the problems I have with this:
-Most people aren’t going to know what you’re talking about, so “I like it on the floor” is just going to sound dirty. I have not seen ONE status where several people (mostly guys) did not pipe up with an “Oooh yeah!” type remark, totally missing the “point” (as if there was one). I also haven’t seen a single instance where the woman who posted took it in the other direction and said “Thanks for the negative attention, but I’m posting this for Breast Cancer Awareness. Now tell your wife to get a breast exam.” No, just a lot of giggles & joking. The same for the bra color meme (I guess that was last year’s thing?). Posting your bra color isn’t helping anyone… except maybe the guys who are now imagining you in a pink bra.
-A snapshot of your sexy cleavage, which is perfectly healthy might I add, isn’t really the perfect picture for breast cancer. Women are having tumors removed, or in some cases, their entire breasts. There is nothing sexy about breast cancer. It is serious, and scary. Also, think about the attention you garner from this. Are women writing you saying “Thank you so much for putting up a picture of your boobs! That reminds me, it’s time for a mammogram!” Or are you getting a ton more followers than usual (mostly guys) & their attention?
In October 2008, I ran a 5K for Race for the Cure. I emailed friends & family members, asking for donations. It became very personal to me, because I began to realize that breast cancer affects women everywhere. It doesn’t care how old you are, what size your breasts are, if they’re tan or have freckles, if you’ve breastfed or haven’t. Did you know men can get breast cancer? Yeah, that’s not a popular Facebook status.
When I was walking up to the starting line on race day, I noticed a couple in front of me. The man was holding the woman up as they walked, as though if he let go, she would collapse. She was weeping. Then I read the back of her shirt: “I’m running for my mom in Heaven” & the date of her death. She lost her fight to breast cancer. To this day, I can’t think about that girl without crying. That’s a real life picture of breast cancer. But it probably won’t get you a lot of Twitter followers.
A woman I know is currently fighting breast cancer. She had chemotherapy & lost her gorgeous curly hair. While she is still a beautiful person, it is perfectly clear to me that cancer is ugly. When you think breast cancer, you shouldn’t think pink mixers & shirts & sparkly rhinestone ribbons. You shouldn’t use it as an excuse to be coy or get attention. Think: this could happen to my mom, my best friend, to me. And do something about it. Like write a check or raise money. Encourage every single woman you know to get regular check-ups. Educate yourself & those around you. Don’t trivialize it. Take it for what it is, and then do everything you can in the fight to kick breast cancer in its sorry butt.
Other great posts on this subject:
A bit of a rant: Another Dumbass Breast Cancer Meme
A well-thought-out, educated post: Spreading Facts About Breast Cancer, Not Fear