I have been a bit miffed about all of the attention breast cancer gets, at the expense of cancers that affect far more people in this country, including skin, lung and prostate cancer.
Let’s face it: It’s tough to compete with pink ribbons and breasts! Colon cancer is almost as common as breast cancer, but somehow brown ribbons and ass-shots just won’t cut-it.
And what about blood cancers? Add the leukemia’s, lymphoma’s and myeloma’s together and they are right there with breast cancer, too.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t begrudge their supporters working hard to find a cure. But don’t try and tell me we need more breast cancer awareness, when exposure is off-the-charts.
But after doing a little digging, I have learned that it isn’t just good PR. According to a feature in November’s Ladies Home Journal, “Each breast cancer death correlates with $19,419 in federal research funding. For lung cancer, that plummets to $1,888.”
This out-of-whack number doesn’t even include the overwhelming advantage breast cancer fund raising has over all other cancers.
And apparently, pink shoes being worn by NFL football players isn’t enough. Breast cancer awareness is becoming so “sexed-up,” that women are starting to balk.
So I’m not going to run eye-catching, gratuitous pictures to promote my post. Read the first part of an excellent perspective piece about all of this, written by Liz Szabo:
Sexy breast cancer campaigns anger many patientsLiz Szabo, USA TODAY
Campaigns like Feel Your Boobies and Save the Ta-Tas demean women and trivialize the disease, critics say.
4:51PM EDT October 30. 2012 – Many breast cancer survivors say a crop of pink-ribbon campaigns have hit a new low — by sexualizing breast cancer.
An online porn site this month has been using breast cancer to increase its Web traffic by offering to donate 1 cent for every 30 views of its videos. The intended recipient for the donation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, rejected the offer and instructed the site to stop using its name.
Yet pornographers are only the most extreme example of a disturbing trend: using sex to sell breast cancer — or simply get attention, say Gayle Sulik, author of Pink Ribbon Blues. Sulik, who recently lost a friend to the disease, notes that magazines and advertising campains now routinely use topless young women to illustrate a disease whose average victims are in their 60s.
“I don’t see the porn site to be much different from the ‘Feel your boobies’ T-shirts,” says Sulik, referring to the Pennsylvania-based Feel Your Boobies Foundation. “It sexually objectifies women, trivializes breast cancer . . . and uses the objectified woman as window dressing for the profit-making machine.”
Newer cancer groups are embracing slogans such as “Save the Ta-Tas” and “I Love Boobies” in the name of humor and reaching out to a younger, less conservative audience. Other groups say they’re trying to stand out from the crowd of public service announcements that arrive every October, during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
A poster for the “Save 2nd Base” fundraiser at Tao restaurant in Las Vegas last month, for example, depicted a curvy model in a string bikini, noting “everyone in pink bathing suits receives open bar.” An online version of the ad went viral, spread by outraged cancer survivors. The Las Vegas restaurant did not return phone calls for this story…
And check-out this quote fromend of Liz’s piece:
Cancer “doesn’t make you feel terribly sexy. Pain is not terribly sexy,” Horn says. “There’s a cruelty to this, when you’re in danger of losing the very sexuality that they’re selling.”
I rest my case.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat