My Fabulous Life

Breast Cancer Awareness? Really?

I am a huge ‘hater’ of Facebook campaigns on almost every circumstance.  I’m annoyed by Facebook statuses that state “copy this if you love your mom too”.  Why?  If I don’t it means I don’t love my mom?  Or my husband?  Or my daughter?  My son?  I find it silly.  I love reading my friend’s status updates because it captures their daily life.  Some of them are downright hilarious.

Last year, a few of my friends, including my 16 year old nieces and my 32 year old mom friends, were posting status updates that said something along the lines of, “black lace” or “pink with polka dots”.  The statuses were references to what bra the person was wearing at the moment.  The email circulated stated that this was “a fun way to spread breast cancer awareness, but don’t tell the boys!  They will go crazy wondering what this is all about.”  Uh….huh.

I posted my own update calling the idea stupid, and I voiced my opinion on a news talk-show that I also thought that some (not all!) people posting this as their status had no intention of promoting breast cancer awareness but rather promoting their breasts and being provocative and cute, making their ex-boyfriends or highschool buddies imagine them in such an ensemble.  I offended people with that comment for sure – I didn’t  mean that everyone who posted it thought that way, just as a general blanket statement (blanket statements are notorious for getting the person in trouble, by the way).

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s  no surprise that this little cutesy campaign is once again making it’s rounds on Facebook, but this time I’m losing my flipping lid over the absurdity of it.  Recently, I saw a few of my friends posting a Facebook status like this “Jane Smith likes it on the kitchen table”.  Huh??  At first I thought my friend’s husband got ahold of the laptop and changed her status to be silly, but then a few more friends posted a similar status. “Likes it on the coffee table”, “Likes it on the floor” and “Likes it on the bed” were all showing up in statuses.

The final straw was when my 17 year old niece posted it as her status.  On the kitchen table.  Uh…huh.  I messaged her and asked her what exactly the joke was supposed to be and that’s when it was explained.  Sorry Facebook members, I’m going to ruin it now and now “all the boys” will know what’s going on.  Apparently, in an effort to encourage breast cancer awareness (???) you are asked to answer this question in your status, “Where do you like to keep your purse?”  But remember, don’t tell the boys and they will go crazy wondering what your status really means.

Seriously?  Really?  How does a provocative statement like “Jane Smith likes it on the kitchen table” have anything to do with breast cancer awareness and how does that status do anything to encourage your friends to do monthly breast self-exams and to learn about the risk factors, signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and early detection and screening programs?

I wish people would stop trying to be sexy, or coy, or provocative in their status while veiling it as promoting something it clearly is not.  If you really want to promote breast cancer awareness, how about posting the above links in your status so you can actually help someone, instead of having your 70 year old auntie picturing you having sex on the kitchen table.

(Edited to add – After posting this a reader sent me this breast cancer story, that really brings it all home.  Worth a read if you have some time!  Thank you Chelsea.)


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  • It’s making the rounds again, this time with your shoe size, ‘followed by a sad face’.
    The ridiculousness goes to new heights. Have already posted a status directing people to actual information and support online.

  • I think the posts are a bit silly, and not all that related to cancer, but they don’t offend me. If the point was to get people talking and mentioning breast cancer awareness at all then I guess it worked. And anything that gets people talking, and is rather harmless, is fine by me…

  • I’m so glad I read this-yes, I feel the same way too, and very strongly. As did my mom who died of breast cancer 3 years ago. Same to be said for the pink ribbon campaigns, which are marketing, marketing and more marketing. Companies, have some decency. And Run for the Cure-arghh! Why don’t people do something GOOD for someone else to raise money instead of RUNNING?? Where does it all end. (I’m done now.)
    All the best-love your blog which I have just discovered!

  • I have to say that all of the so called “Breast Cancer Awareness” campaigns including pink ribbon anything make me want to scream! They are doing nothing for raising awareness and the fact that they are no promoting “Don’t Tell the Boys” makes me want to throw a brick through the window of the genius who thought that was cute idea. My husband has Stage 4 Breast Cancer that has now spread to his bones. How many men out there realize that they too can get breast cancer? How many think to check themselves for strange lumps or bumps? The Pink Ribbon Campaign and all the breast cancer fundraisers rarely if ever mention that men (while rare) are fighting this disease too. The message needs to get out there and not for fund raising purposes but to teach and maybe save lives.