It began with a small grassroots initiative: selling another version of those fundraising bracelets inspired by Livestrong. These ones, however, are for breast cancer awareness and fundraising, and what they say is “I Love Boobies”:
It’s not particularly original or shocking. There have been parallel trends in breast cancer cause marketing to both use the “sexual” power of breasts to get attention, and also to de-shame open discussion of breast issues through normalization. This campaign is the latter.
However, normalization of the word “boobies” by American teenagers has not sat well with school administrators. The Daily Mail quotes a Principal in South Dakota:
‘When we had an assembly the first day of school, I basically told the students we are not insensitive to the cause,’ he said.
‘I think everybody in the gym, including myself, has had a family member or relative or friend who has dealt with the issue.
‘I do think there are more proper ways to bring this plight to the attention of people and I don’t think this is a proper way.’
The kids, however, love the campaign. And the cause, Keep A Breast Foundation, have a different message for young people:
‘By wearing a “I Love Boobies!” bracelet or shirt you are proclaiming: “I love my boobies, and I choose to take care of them!”’ the foundation says on the website.
‘It’s a message about how important it is to appreciate, respect and love your breasts and yourself.’
They urge young women to realise their ‘breasts are an amazingly important and beautiful part of you’.
[Image from Daily Mail article]
Are some young Americans, especially boys, wearing the bracelets simply for shock and entertainment value? I would assume so. But the controversy has given this newest bracelet campaign the global PR it needs to make a real impact. And when it comes to reaching teens, what’s cooler than being banninated?
You can get your own “I Love Boobies” bracelets directly from the Foundation’s online shop, or you can just donate.
And yes. I also love boobies. Who doesn’t?