Bras Are Not Breast Cancer

8 01 2010

So today, apparently, a message started going around Facebook saying something to the effect of “raise awareness of breast cancer! change your status to your bra color! and don’t tell the guys!” I did not receive this message- instead, I started wondering why on earth so many people’s statuses were colors, and discovered the explanation while going through my daily blogroll. And all I can say is how remarkably… stupid. My objections, below, in no particular order:

1. It’s really fucking annoying to have random colors popping up in my news feed every ten minutes.

2. This gets into TMI very easily. I really, really do not need to think about my old coworker in lavender, blue, and pink, or my director’s girlfriend in black lace. Really I don’t.

3. Remind me again how this does anything to solve the problem of breast cancer. Is it supposed to make people think about breasts? News flash: most of us don’t need any help doing that. I understand I might be being a bit hypocritical, because I’m explicitly writing about “little things” here, and this undoubtably qualifies as a “little thing,” but it fails in its mission. Most of the status updates look like this: Name color. Nothing about breast cancer. No facts, no pleas for donations, no imperatives to perform a self-exam. Just the color of your bra.

One of my friends posted a status in reaction to this whole… thing that I think sums things up very well: 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in her lifetime. Every 13 minutes a woman dies from breast cancer. Men can get it too. (I believe this is better awareness than my bra color thank you)

What really pisses me off is the weak attempt to tie this to breast cancer. The breast cancer awareness component was obviously secondary. Maybe I’m reading the situation wrong, but I see the addition of the Good Cause ™ as an attempt to justify an idea that was, frankly, kind of stupid. If you want to start a silly/stupid Facebook meme, just do it for the sake of doing it. (I speak as someone who participated in Pokémon Profile Pic month.) You don’t have to make everything be about a good cause, especially if there is little to no chance it will actually HELP said cause. You can just go and be frivolous without using a larger reason as an excuse. It’s okay, really. (That being said, I’d still rather not know about your undergarments.)

Okay, I’m ranting here, and so many people have said it better than me- so some links:

Over at Feministe:

An epic post from the UK:

The Harpies’ take:

How effective is “raising awareness” all by its lonesome?

Some info about breast cancer:

And donations to the American Cancer Society:



One response

8 01 2010

Rant on, dude. Rant on. I posted a similar gripe myself. I am pretty sure that the various Cancer Societies and the research institutions worldwide would prefer your time and (or) money to work towards cures and prevention over a viral campaign of status updates.

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