So we're going to do this again, eh?
Are so many people still not aware of breast cancer that we're going to stoop to any level, no matter how demeaning or useless, in effort to Raise Awareness? (I capitalized "Raise Awareness" out of respect for the Awareness gods, for they are to be worshipped and revered at all times. As it is written: Thou shalt not question any deed done in the name of Awareness. Ever. Even if it's really, really trashy and dumb.)
Well, the Breast Cancer Foundation of Singapore thinks so. Apparently there are so many women, (and I'm presuming men, too, based on their current campaign) who are not yet aware of the existence of breast cancer that they've decided to feature young, perky, bare breasts covered in cutesy body paint in their new campaign designed to Raise Awareness.
The name of the campaign is, "Are You Obsessed with the Right Things?" The breasts are painted to look like other things that women obsess about: pimples, frizzy hair, a large behind, with the goal being to make them obsess about other issues, like breast cancer.
Because trading one obsession for another is such a healthy approach, right?
If I sound like I'm taking this personally, I am. Both my mother and grandmother were afflicted with this horrible disease. I want women to know about the disease. I want them to know how to prevent it, diagnose it and treat it. I want a cure. I don't want to get it myself, for heaven's sake. But when it comes to these kinds of campaigns I have a real problem with their execution.
Because, once again, it's the boobs that get the attention. It's all about the boobs. Not the women. Not their families, their children. Not their precious lives or even their dignity. Nope. It's about boobies. Paint 'em up, encourage everyone to look at them and then throw in a suggestion to buy a pink ribbon in order to prove that you support the cause.
This campaign falls right into place with the many other tacky, insensitive and downright sexist attempts at promoting breast cancer awareness that have come down the pipes:
- Tipsy (or Tips) for Ta-tas dinners
- Save the Ta-tas bumper stickers (Because who cares about the women? Just save their boobs!)
- The wearing of anything featuring big, funny boobs as a show of support for breast cancer patients and research
- Posting your bra color as your Facebook status (Read more about my take on that here.)
Sure, some these methods may be humorous and attention-grabbing but in the long run do they really serve to further the cause of women? How can we demand that women's health be taken seriously when the very people who are supposed to be working on our behalf (like the Breast Cancer Foundation) distribute these kinds of images in the public arena and make a mockery of the very disease and its victims they claim to support and represent?
Even the pink merchandising of food, drinks, appliances and other goods can be a mixed blessing. Yes, this helps raise money for cancer causes, but it also has the effect of placating buyers into thinking they've done something meaningful when really they just bought some yogurt or a plastic spatula.
I'm curious what you guys think about this topic. Why has breast cancer taken on such a campy tone and why are we so tolerant of it? Any thoughts?