I should be very careful. I don't mean to offend anyone's good intentions, but I feel that I should point out an important distinction: Buzz is not Awareness. There, I said it. This month has some of the worst and most offensive advertising all in the name of Awareness. The majority of the nominal breast cancer awareness ads are little more than cheap excuses to be "risque." Sometimes this is to a pitifully mild degree; other times it is embarrassingly inappropriate. At any rate, awareness (read education) is sacrificed on the altar of buzz (read provocative).
Need for Maturity
I will admit it. The first time I saw a Save the [slang of your choice here] bumper sticker I snickered, and I like it. I thought it was a clever way to get people to be more aware of breast cancer. Then again, I was a 16 year old boy. Years later females all over facebook announced the color of their undergarments to the world and thought it was a revolutionary concept. And at first, that seems right, doesn't it? But, there's just something off too. Right?
There are actually three things off ... at least.
- Immodesty doesn't provoke health discussions.
- Awareness doesn't demand health education.
- Buzz doesn't encourage health action.
Oh yeah, and there's also the little problem that these ads miss the point completely. They've made improving the lives and health of women really about the pleasures of men. Way to go, guys.
Am I a Prude?
Maybe I'm being too prudish, but I don't think so. I get that "sex sells," but I think we should be mindful of what we are selling and what we are selling out. I'm sure you could line up the exceptions to the rules above, but does that make it worth it? I think not. It's low road advertising, and the high road is still available.
Now, go be more aware than you were before. Here's a great organization that provides service, education, research and outreach to those affected by cancer.