Posted by Tom Megginson
| 17-10-2013 16:31 | Category:
Erin Daniels is best known for her role as Dana Fairbanks on The L Word, a character dying of breast cancer. She is the celebrity face of this funny video for #mamming, a movement started by a creative team at NYC digital marketing agency 360i — Michelle Lamont and Michele Jaret.
It’s explained like this:
#Mamming is the act of laying your (clothed) boobs on a flat surface. Like a counter. Or a bench. Or the body of a person who is #planking.
#Mamming is a chance for all* of us to show solidarity with the millions of women getting mammograms this Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Because when a woman reaches a certain age, doctors recommend that she get a mammogram to screen for the disease, and the procedure involves laying her boobs on the machine’s flat surface.
It’s awkward. But it can save her life. Because when breast cancer is caught early, over 90% of women beat it.
So let’s all embrace the awkwardness of mammograms and inspire more women to mam where it counts: at the doctor’s office.
*With a little creativity, dudes can mam, too.
According to staticgram, it’s going viral:
Like “I Love Boobies,” “Coppafeel” and other “fun” breast cancer awareness campaigns, #mamming is essentially millennial. (Ms. Lamont, 25, is a breast cancer survivor.) It uses the preferred methods of social media, hashtags, awkwardly-posed photo fads (like #planking and #tebowing), collaboration and, of course, narcissism.
But will it make a difference? I’m skeptical that it is doing much to reduce the number of women dying of breast cancer. But I am also not offended by it. Since we started the #pinkverts project on Osocio, two years ago, we’ve noticed that breast cancer campaigns fit into a handful of types. The cynically sexualized ones are the worst. But I’m not sure this one counts as “sexual”. Certainly there will be some who use the hashtag as an opportunity to show off cleavage, but overall it seems like a harmless bit of silliness, like these “Mammo-Grahams” my friend Liana shared recently from simplethrift:
Annoying to some people with cancer in their lives, but inspiring to others. That’s the wired world we live in now, isn’t it? Tastes and sensibilities are diverse, and just getting people talking about an issue is the best many cause marketers can hope for.
Cancer, however, doesn’t give a rat’s ass what we find funny or not. As someone who has lost three grandparents and a father to it, I encourage you to get involved with a charity that puts money towards prevention, early detection, and care for people afflicted with all cancers — not only the “naughty bits” ones.
I’m not sure where to begin.
Well, first of all the idea of flaunting boobs in support of or as a reminder to #BREASTCANCER is incredibly offensive to anyone who has lived through any cancer, or is currently battling it. Go ahead and ask Xeni. I’ll wait.
My other objection is purely my own pavlovian response. Having grown up in Sweden, where parents watch the news every evening and EVERY story about cutting costs in healthcare, or about cancer and sometimes even about breast cancer specifically is ALWAYS read over images of a woman receiving a mammogram. I’ve seen breasts of all ages, shapes and sizes flattened like pancakes on the nightly news since I was 8. I used to recoil, assuming that what looked so painful actually was. I don’t know if it is, but it doesn’t look comfortable. Plus I didn’t really need to see all those boobs. Story about prostate cancer? Flatten a boob. Story about need for more nurses? Flatten a boob. Story about a new hospital? Boob-flatten. Story about cancer-research? Lets crush some boobies!
I really don’t want to meet that machine. It eats boobs on national telly.
Posted by Dabitch | 18-10-2013 10:11
I’d love to hear Xeni Jardin’s opinion on this.
I’m just trying to understand the Millennial approach to the issue as well. Since Michele Lamont is a survivor herself, her perspective deserves to be looked at. It may be a naive one, but the whole “joiner” thing is part of their generation’s culture that will eventually be the mainstream as they mature and we get old. I’m just watching from the sidelines.
Posted by Tom Megginson | 18-10-2013 11:52
There’s certainly levels to the offensive tactic, as you point out the sexualized campaigns are the cynical worst. But having sadly lost many people near me to cancers that weren’t located in the breast, and been blessed with a girlfriend surviving a cancer in her ovaries, I also get annoyed that only the breast cancer is getting attention. Fuck cancer, of all kinds, forever and not just in October.
I appreciate that boobies will attract the funds for research, but at this point it really looks like more money is spent on making products pink than kicking back some cash to research or to help people currently battling any cancers. It’s a big “me too” at this point.
How I would BUY THE HELL out of any brand that kicked the cash to that research hospital which had to shut down the cancer research for 200 patients - 30 children - during the US government shutdown. What is Nestlé had just said: “Let those patients in, we’ll foot the bill”.
There would be no pink required, and honestly I don’t think it would have cost Nestlé that much.
Not sure I’m making any sense, so I’ll quit now. ;)
Posted by Dabitch | 18-10-2013 12:29
No, you make too much sense…
Posted by Tom Megginson | 18-10-2013 19:41