Posts Tagged Breast cancer

What Breast Cancer Is and Is Not

Susan G. Komen Run for the Cure doesn’t have much of a direct presence on this side of the border, so I could watch the recent public relations train wreck here with a sort of Olympian dispassion and, I have to admit, grim satisfaction. Frankly I’ve never been a fan of  Komen’s “pinkwashing” everything related to breast cancer, which seemed to both infantilize breast cancer sufferers and trivialize the larger social and health care issues related to the disease. Breast cancer sufferers need dignity and real research, I think, not pink ribbons used as a marketing tool for corporations. My mother died of breast cancer, you see, and my mother-in-law had a lumpectomy and radiation therapy six years ago, so I tend to wear these things on my sleeve.

So this video, which is making the rounds on the Interwebs, provides an antidote to all of Komen’s nonsense, and spells out as much dignity and courage as one could want in a YouTube video. Warning: delicate flowers easily offended by surgical scars may want to leave the room, or at least avert their eyes.



UPDATE: Minor editing/typo fixes. The first post by Android phone clearly leaves much to be desired, but as Samuel Johnson says, “It is not done wellbut you are surprised to find it done at all.”  Note to self: grow opposable thumbs. TE.

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Where Breasts Meet Art

Breast casts of various celebrities customized and tarted up by artists (more breasts here) to be auctioned and proceeds going to the Keep-a-Breast Foundation, a charity which promotes breast cancer awareness. The charity has been in the news lately because assorted fuddy-duddies principals and school boards have banned students wearing  the charity’s “I ♥ Boobies” bracelets as a distraction. [Via.]

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Smoke Pink Cigarettes, or Die of Breast Cancer

A well-deserved shot at corporate pink ribbon campaigns.

Lest you think the satire is a little harsh, or if you get warm fuzzies donating to pink ribbon campaigns, consider that corporations jumped all over pink ribbon campaigns not just because of their intrinsic worth, but more importantly, because it’s a “safe”, non-controversial issue, and more to generate profits. Think Before You Pink, an advocacy website, makes a necessary corrective:

She and the Times agree on the source of the disease’s peculiar popularity in corporate America. It is a quality that the breast cancer awareness ribbon both captures and enables. “Companies want to support breast cancer,” Cone says simply. “Breast cancer is safe.”

Unlike AIDS, breast cancer is free of what companies euphemistically call “lifestyle issues.” And, perhaps as importantly, breast cancer provides charitable credentials for what can be a very small investment. With the ribbon’s message of ”awareness” translating most often into a familiarity with early detection techniques, all a company has to do, to do good, is put a ribbon on its merchandise.

New Balance, for example, donates money from the sale of its Race for the Cure caps, socks and T-shirts to the Komen Foundation, but its pink ribbon sneakers, a Foundation spokesperson says, are ”just for awareness.” The sneakers have the tiny pale-pink outline of a ribbon sewn onto the corner of their tongues—difficult if not impossible for anyone except the owner to see. The possibility that those two wan loops might remind woman to get the mammogram that saves her life, however, provides the sneakers with their raison d’étre.

It is this dynamic that drives the pink ribbon’s detractors to distraction. “There is a value to awareness, but awareness of what, and to what end?” asks Barbara Brenner, activist and executive director of Breast Cancer Action (BCA) in San Francisco. “We need changes in the direction the research is going, we need access to care—beyond mammograms—we need to know what is causing the disease, and we need a cure. The pink ribbon is not indicative of any of that.”

Check out the website’s list of questions to consider before buying pink.

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Breast Fest

The brilliantly executed front page of the Breast Fest Film Festival website. Go to the site, click on the boob on the left for a short, very funny film — which really needs to go a little viral —  then click on the right for, well, you’ll see. According the festival organizers, an innovative charity called Rethink Breast Cancer (motto: “No pink ribbons required”), Breast Fest uses “the versatile medium of film to frame and explore the spectrum of issues surrounding breast cancer.”

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Bea’s Boobs Raise Money For Breast Cancer

Breasts on the brain this week. I  saw this late yesterday; I’m only sorry the fundraising is over. As a big fan of the late Bea Arthur, I really thought this was the cat’s pyjamas.

Mike Monteiro has background wallpaper on his Twitter account that’s based on artist John Currin’s famous topless painting of Bea Arthur. When a Twitter follower asked Monteiro to preserve the eyes of children by taking down Bea’s boobs, Monteiro turned his refusal into a fundraiser for breast cancer research.

It started out, as you can see in the screen cap, with Monteiro offering to donate 10 cents for every person who favorited his defense of naked Bea. Then, more people signed on to match his donation. At the time I’m publishing this blog post, every time you favorite Monteiro’s tweet, the American Cancer Society earns $2.10. [BoingBoing]

Is fundraising through social networks going to be the new norm? For my money, it beats the hell out of commercialized pink ribbon campaigns and, God help me, teddy bears.

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Are You Obsessed With The Right Things?

Some striking and clever use of body paint:a breast cancer awareness campaign for the Singapore Breast Cancer Foundation. I could visualize this on a bus shelter in Toronto, though I’m afraid someone, somewhere would find the images objectionable. [via Osocio]

More images below the fold.
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