There is so much nonsense that goes on every October in the name of breast cancer awareness; it’s really quite remarkable. There could be an entire book written on October breast cancer awareness bullshit. And sadly, the bullshit is leeching out into the rest of the year as well. One of the many things that troubles me most about all the breast cancer awareness bullshit is the trivializing of this still serious and still potentially deadly disease. And this trivializing goes on a lot.
There are the outrageous, silly costumes many good-intentioned supporters who walk or run in races often wear, in the name of having a good time of course. There are brightly colored bras hung out for display on busy city streets, bra chains placed on bridges and even rocks painted to look like breasts. There are numerous awareness campaigns with cutesy slogans using words like grab, feel, tatas, boobies, honkers…. There are countless outlandish t-shirts, trinkets, and too many to keep track of carnival-like products and foods available for purchase that may, but often do not, support breast cancer anything.
There are breast cancer awareness parties held during October where organizers promote the illusion of doing something wonderfully admirable for women, but in reality the events are just another excuse to throw a party, serve silly refreshments, talk about boobs all night long and/or make money.
And then there are organizations we all know and love (that’s sarcasm) who post images of dogs wearing bras stuffed with balloons, because yeah, that makes those with breast cancer feel supported and respected and encourages the public to take a deadly disease seriously.
Image via Susan G. Komen Facebook page
How in the world does stuff like this educate the public about what a breast cancer diagnosis really entails?
It’s all so ridiculous sometimes a person just wants to scream, or hide, or both during October.
But I do neither (okay, sometimes I do). Mostly, I keep at it. I keep churning out blog posts. I keep talking to anyone who’s willing to listen.
Because breast cancer is still a deadly disease taking 40K lives annually in the US alone. And those of us who do not die from it, are often impacted horrendously by short and long term side effects from treatment. It’s never over.
Breast cancer is not pretty, pink, or party-like in any way, shape or form. Period.
Portraying it as party-like and demeaning women while also trivializing a still too often deadly disease is irresponsible, anything but supportive and just plain wrong.
It’s time to stop trivializing breast cancer, in fact, it’s way past time.
Do you feel breast cancer is trivialized, or do you think any attention is a good thing?
Do you ever feel demeaned or offended by awareness campaigns?
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