Sexualization of breast cancer.

I read an article about this once. I tried googling and it and couldn't find it again. So I'll try to form my own opinion and tell this in my words.

I hate when I see things that say "Save the ta-ta's" or the boobies, or whatever other slang word sounds cute or sexy. I hate when I see people posting pictures of underwear on their Facebook page to help promote awareness of breast cancer.

For one thing - I'm pretty we are all well aware of breast cancer by now. Thanks to the large commercialization of all things pink in the month of October. And posting a picture of your bra really isn't DOING anything.

Breast cancer isn't sexy. It isn't cute. I think that by doing things like this we are belittling what this disease is. Now I feel like I can't take all that strong of a stand on the topic. I have never had breast cancer, and I'm lucky enough that I've never watched someone I love suffer and die from breast cancer. But I do know people who have. And I am sure they will tell you there is nothing sexy about losing your hair. Or your breasts.

I imagine if I did have breast cancer, and lost my breasts and was in fear of losing my life I would not feel kindly towards people sporting shirts with slogans like "Help the Hooters". I cringed when I saw someone post "Feel them up Friday". Apparently encouraging your monthly self breast exam. I have nothing against self examinations. I know they have helped a lot of people catch cancer early enough to treat. But "Cop a feel" and "feel them up" just seems a bit much. It also seems to be getting worse. I saw a t-shirt the other day that said, "Don't let cancer steal second base".

And, if I remember right from the article I read, other less sexy cancers are having a hard time coming up with funding. Apparently no one wants to buy t-shirts that encourage colonoscopies.

Am I being prudish? Does anyone else feel this way?


lrbodine said...

Having lost my mother to breast cancer, I'm split on this issue. On one hand, I am all for whatever it takes to earn more money for breast cancer research and finding a cute. But I think there are definitely better ways to handle it than turning it into a sexual thing. It's definitely far from that!

Ashley said...

I'm with you, Lauren...while I think it's important to stay positive and upbeat and raise awareness...I think all this stuff pushes it.

Especially because of what you pointed out--we're coming up with stuff like this about colon cancer or prostate cancer or non-Hodgkins lymphoma...it's just frustrating because I know and love people who have had all those, too.

Laura said...

Tough call. I do see your point on how it "belittles" the disease, but in the same breath, there was a time talking about any of these things, even in the most clinical ways, was forbidden, taboo, etc. And because of that, less cases were detected and more women (and men) died.

I think it's a "there's no such thing as bad publicity" kind of thing.

But definitely some good thoughts on it, Lauren!

Rebecca said...

I'm not crazy about the "ta-tas" wording either, but I will admit I do have a t-shirt that says, "Yes, they're fake. My real ones tried to kill me." That's about as far as I'll go.

As someone who's survived breast cancer, there's a part of me that would rather forget the whole thing ever happened. It wasn't fun. I didn't like surgery, chemo, the scars, or losing my hair. But I really tried to find the humor in my life because it made everything else bearable.

When I see the wording that I think is slightly outlandish, I try to think of the people behind them. Maybe that' the way they cope. And it may also be the only way to get through the "younger" generation. (I, honestly, can't imagine my grandmother talking about her ta-tas. And, she didn't survive her battle.)

Ok, enough rambling from me.