Posted by Tom Megginson
| 13-04-2012 11:21 | Category:
This may just be the ultimate example of a breast cancer awareness effort using the borrowed interest of sex to get attention.
Yes, “[boobstagram]” is a parody of the popular photography-based social network, Instagram. Except this one, based in France, is all about boobies. Their motto roughly translates as “showing her breasts to the internet is good, showing them to her doctor is better”, and they encourage women to submit creative self-portraits of their cleavage.
There are many:
While harnessing the willingness of young women to expose themselves to an always-interested Internet is hardly a new idea, this campaign wraps itself in the virtuous cause of cancer prevention. But is this really needed? The sexualization of breast cancer is a contentious issue—at best Machiavellian, at worst deeply offensive to survivors and victims.
In their “why?” page, founder Julien GLT and “sociologist” Lionel Pourtau (both men? hmmmmm…) explain that this is a way to engage young people in an important discussion about breast cancer prevention, using the means of expression at hand.
Take away the cause, and this is no different than any voyeur site. Encouraging young women to commodify their bodies online is not helping anyone except those whose motives are not so lofty.
Want a fun, irreverent campaign to empower young women to be proactive with breast health? Check out Keep-a-breast (”I Love Boobies”), Coppafeel, Feel Your Boobies, Self Chec, or any other cause that does more to raise awareness than say, “Hey, tits!”
As a breast cancer survivor who has endured reconstructive surgery, I appreciate a nice breast as much as the next person. Post-BC, I don’t have animosity towards Playboy, Maxim, and other magazines that focus on women’s bodies or even businesses such as Victoria’s Secret or Hooters for that matter. If people can make a buck from celebrating women’s bodies, more power to them.
However, Boobstagram is NOT that and I take issue with them aligning what amounts to nothing more than a free, voyeuristic site with a serious—and often deadly disease. The intentions of the horribly misguided judgment of the men who launched this site are nothing short of exploitive—not just for luring women to submit photos of their breasts, but FOR DOING SO UNDER THE GUISE OF ‘PREVENTING’ BREAST CANCER AND ‘RAISING AWARENESS’. Because this site doesn’t do either. It doesn’t educate, it doesn’t inform, and it doesn’t raise money. It’s nothing but a free alternative to soft porn sites that men can look at without a paper trail for their wives and girlfriends to find on their credit cards.
Let me be perfectly clear: If Boobstagram was simply a site for men to look at pictures of boobs and/or bimbos looking for their 5 minutes of fame, I wouldn’t have an issue with it. Heck, send them out as e-cards to one another if that’s what turns you on. BUT ... aligning the site with a horrible disease—especially one that has such devastating physical and emotion effects on women, is not just insensitive, but an act of depraved indifference—and the women who are participating are as much to blame as the men who devised this site.
Still not convinced? Let me share a few “fun” and “sexy” breast cancer FACTS:
1) BC is NOT a disease that only afflicts older women. I personally know 30+ women who were all under 40 (and some as young as their mid-20’s) at the time of their diagnosis).
2) There is NO WAY to prevent breast cancer NOR does a cure exist. Awareness has taught women the importance of self-exams and mammograms, HOWEVER, such diagnostic tests are utilized to FIND breast cancer that may already exist. These tests DO NOT PREVENT breast cancer. Are we clear?
3) ‘Awareness’ also is NOT a cure. The only value to ‘Awareness’ is that the disease (is hopefully) diagnosed at a stage when it can be most successfully treated. That is the best a woman can hope for. Successful treatment and surgery are NOT cures and do NOT guarantee that the disease will not recur down the road and metastasize, taking a women’s life—who might be YOUR sister, YOUR girlfriend, YOUR grand/mother, YOUR aunt, YOUR wife, or YOUR friend.
Still think all the boob pics are sexy and fun??
Would it be okay for someone to launch a site called “Bottoms Up” to support families who have lost loved ones to DUI accidents and ask people to upload pictures of themselves responsibly enjoying alcoholic beverages in the name of ‘Awareness’?
I think not.
Posted by BeenThere2009 | 19-04-2012 18:59
Thank you for your detailed comment. You make some excellent points.
Posted by Tom Megginson | 19-04-2012 19:12