So October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One fall during my junior year of college, my parents called me. My mom had breast cancer. She's been okay for long enough now that the chance for reoccurrence is pretty low. But now October is different for me now since it's impossible not to forget especially when I see things like this:
I concealed the user who shared this on purpose.
"Saving the Tatas" and "I [heart] boobies" things are my least favorite part of this time of year. My first thought when I see these slogans is that the people who made them up only care about my mom's breasts, my breasts, anyone's breasts! But not about the people themselves. I know that can't be right so I assume that most of the people who have things like this care about women and do not want people to die of breast cancer and just like saying risqué things. But, it still makes me feel uncomfortable because it does seem like the focus of this type of awareness is just on the sexualized nature of breasts.
I'm 27 and no longer breast feed so I could care less about my mom's breasts. But I care about my mom. My mom is a whole wonderful person and she would be still be my wonderful mom even if she had a double mastectomy and didn't have reconstructive surgery (this is not necessarily what happened to my mom). She would not be able to be my mom if she had died of cancer. So maybe another part of what distresses me is that these slogans obscure the real stakes when it comes to detecting breast cancer. It's not about about one part of your body--it's your whole life.
For some reason I found this one particularly galling.
I also am incredibly suspicious of corporations who seem to use Awareness to simply to promote their products. I don't really ascribe any motive to large corporations other than increasing profits. For example, I don't think companies that sell yogurt really care they just want me to buy their yogurt so they say they'll give some non-profit 10 ¢ for every cup of yogurt sold.
|I am looking at you Lilly Pulitzer!|
(I may end up buying this murfee but
that will be because I like the print.)
While, I don't ascribe the same motive to smaller companies that are run by one or a few people. It is still so odd to see people trying to get me to buy pink things to so that the company selling them can share profits with the American Cancer Society or the Komen Foundation or some other non-profit that is related to breast cancer. I would prefer to give my money directly to the non-profit organizations that help people with breast cancer or that raise awarness.
I'm sorry that I've been so cynical today. Like I said, I imagine that most people who want to "save the tatas" are genuine in their attempts to raise awareness about breast cancer and to raise money for research. It just rubs me the wrong way. And, I know different people react differently to different things so saying "lets save the tatas" might be comfortingly humorous to someone in circumstances similar to mine. I just needed to vent. Thank you for reading.