I blogged about this particular campaign back in May of this year, in a post entitled "Boobs: What's Not To Love". At the time I had this to say:
Now call me crazy, but is anyone who's a party to this lawsuit taking a step back and considering how much this is all going to cost ? Time, effort, actual dollars ? Does anyone think this time, effort, and actual dollars wouldn't be better spent actually trying to eradicate breast cancer, rather than paying for more plastic bracelets to be manufactured to pollute the earth a little bit more ? And for what gain ? So the kids can keep wearing their fashionable little bracelets, someone can keep profiting from their sale, and we can continue to perpetuate the myth that this is all done in the name of breast cancer awareness and First Amendment rights to free speech."With that said, this snippet just in from the breast cancer news wires. Yes folks the breast cancer marketing cause has gone all hip and trendy with the high school kids now wearing all manner of merchandise emblazoned with the slogan "I Love Boobies", as part of a breast cancer awareness effort amongst the youth culture by something called the Keep-A-Breast foundation. As recently reported in the Seattle Times, apparently certain high schools are starting to get a bit concerned about the clothing items and their flagrant use and depiction of the term "boobies" claiming that it's leading to conduct unbecoming of their teenage students. And being part of the great democracy that is the U.S.A, of course the banning of such items being worn at school is not about causing offense or being inappropriate but a limit of freedom of expression under the Constitution, the extent to which will no doubt be tested in the Supreme Court by some spotty 16 year old and their over-indulgent parents.Ho hum, where does one start with this ?First of all, I go back to my point from this and other posts that Breast Cancer itself, is a highly marketable cause because of it's sex appeal. It's about boobs. Teenagers are obsessed with fashion and boobs. Edgy clothing with the word boobs to appeal to the younger generation ? Genius. Do you think we would ever see a similar campaign for Colon Cancer ? T-shirts with "I Love Small Intestines" ? Or Bladder Cancer ? Bracelets with "I Love Urine", Anal Cancer ? "I Love Ass" ? Doesn't have quite the same cache' now does it.Secondly. I love boobs as well. At least I loved the ones that I used to have before they became cancerous and had to be surgically removed and rebuilt from other bits of my body and artfully placed lumps of silicone. Does it help me to see some fashion victim teenager parading around with a t-shirt/bracelet/bag emblazoned with "I Love Boobies" all in the name of "breast cancer awareness" and "freedom of expression" fashion, just to remind me of everything that I once loved and then lost because of an insidious and awful disease that struck me without warning ?"
I don't know about you but I can't wait to hear what the arguments are in this particular case. Who's going to testify ? Are we going to hear from anyone for whom breast cancer is a terrifying reality, an experience made even worse by ridiculous and offensive campaigns such as these ? Are they going to debate the appropriateness of the term "boobies" ? Will the term's relative merits be compared and ranked alongside "titties", "hooters", "ta-ta's, "funbags", "bazoombas", etc ? Does anyone even care that the real term is "breast" and that using the term "boobies" to supposedly signify breast cancer awareness, is just another way that this disease is trivialized, sexualized and infantilized by the use of silly memes ?
And you know that as a result of of this lawsuit there's going to be a big payout. Money will shift from the school district who, by the way, are in the business of educating the next generation, to where pray tell ?
So now I think I've seen it all. Not a lawsuit to charge the corporations still pumping carcinogenic materials into our environment. Not a lawsuit to hold any of the pinkwashers accountable for their labeling of products with a pink-ribbon, despite selling the very products that contribute to breast cancer risk. Nope. The world's greatest democracy is going to debate the merits of the term "boobies".
And with that dear readers, my hopes for meaningful change in the breast cancer movement just went out the window.