More “Teehee! Boobies!” from the breast cancer awareness industry

And again, a ‘breast cancer awareness’ ad misses the mark completely.

This ad is from the pinkified crazysexycancer campaign “Rethink”, sponsored by a femirazor company and fashion, makeup and hairstyling product manufacturers, among others. You may remember Rethink from such campaigns as the Booby Wall.

The ad features a series of enboobified suburban white dudes admiring their own and each others’ large perky bouncing breasts. The ad comes complete with lascivious auto-Polaroid-snapping and carwash-wet-T-shirting.

The tagline:

If men had breasts, they’d really appreciate them.

Look after yours.

Learn the facts about breast cancer.”

Now didn’t that just motivate you to ‘look after’ your breasts? Men love ’em, so you got a responsibility, missy.

I’m left pretty cold when women are lectured about ‘looking after’ their breasts by being sneered at about how inferior they are to a bunch of leering men.

Categories: gender & feminism, media

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10 replies

  1. Now didn’t that just motivate you to ‘look after’ your breasts? Men love ‘em, so you got a responsibility, missy.

    Because of course the worst thing about breast cancer is having to get them chopped off and thus not be leerable and thus not be a woman anymore. The dying thing? Not so much.

  2. If men had breasts, they’d really appreciate them.”
    subtext: men, who advertisers would like us to believe are incapable of caring for children/pets/potted plants/themselves/their belongings, would always have perfectly perky, large, firm, symmetrical, cancer-free boobies; unlike us ungrateful, unappreciative women, who just allow our breasts to be small or saggy or cancerous. the nerve!
    “Look after yours.”
    subtext: you COULD have perky, large, firm, symmetrical, cancer-free boobies. you just don’t want to work for it.
    *sorry, the rest of this insightful comment imploded in a blaze of aggravation.*
    ladoctorita’s last blog post..paging amy?s brain!

  3. That looks as if it’s trying to emulate the look and tone of the “Cam Breast Exam” PSA from the Canadian Cancer Society a few years ago. That one didn’t piss me off like the new one does. Maybe it’s because the young guys are so gormless:

  4. Wow, I don’t appreciate my breasts enough because I’m a woman?
    How about I appreciate them just fine, you know, actually having them?
    How about if men actually had breasts, they might fetishise them less, and be forced to see them as ‘this physical part of my body I have a complex relationship with’ and not ‘those things that help me get off’, which is what society resues them to when they’re attached to women. Come to think of it, maybe they are attached to the wrong people. Women seem to know fine
    This reminds me of the brief campaign here in the UK where women were encouraged to nag their men into looking for signs of prostate cancer. Because men are children, and their wives/girlfriends need
    The focus of that campaign was that women are fairly good at breast examination, and there is a lot fo awareness over breast cancer, but men tend to focus less on their health. But you’d think the answer would be to get men to care about their health, not make women care for everyone.
    But this advert is deplorable. Breasts don’t have a value based on whether men like them or not. They belong solely to women, and women should look after them for their own benefit only. You’d never be telling men ‘look after your prostate because it will make women sleep with you’, or ‘be aware of appendicitis; you owe to your spouse!’. We owe it to yourselves, and only ourselves to look after our bodies.

  5. This ad actually made me really angry. As if breast cancer, a SERIOUS illness, isn’t “sexified” and commercialized enough, now this.
    If anyone hasn’t read Barbara Ehrenreich’s scathing essay ”Welcome to Cancerland,” I *highly* recommend it as an antidote to Rethink’s utterly offensive tripe.
    annaham’s last blog post..If Ryan Phillippe Doesn’t Approve, Then Neither Can I.

  6. Bog knows the way they worship their dicks it is a good thing they don’t have teh boobies.

  7. Ah, looks like I’m not the only one pissed off by crap like this. Why does anyone think that because it’s a campaign aimed at young women, the marketers should be talking down to them and insulting them?
    Reminds me of the PUA[1] “negging” fetish.
    *vomits on smouldering ashes of la doc’s comment*
    [1] PUA = Pick-Up Artist

  8. I have to say, ad aside, when I clicked on the rethink link, I was rather pleasantly surprised at the overall design of the front page — especially the inclusion of a fair amount of men in the header — making it obvious this is not a woman-only disease, whether it’s who contracts it or who is affected by it.
    That’s not to erase the disturbing elements of the campaign, however…
    amanda w’s last blog post..I *heart* Elizabeth Edwards

  9. An infuriating ad, but I don’t have anything more profound to say than that which has been said by the comments above. Fabulous critique from all of you.
    blue milk’s last blog post..Thomas Beatie on Oprah

  10. Men DO have breasts and can get cancer in them. This ad campaign is as absurd and ridiculous as it is insulting.

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