Should Breast Cancer Awareness Be Sexy?
Most of us are pretty used to October’s pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness. We’ve seen the self exam ads, the notes to get a mammogram . . . and many of us pass it by as an older woman’s disease. This is a big mistake. There are entirely too many young women who are facing breast cancer, but does that mean we should turn to the one marketing tactic that has worked to sell just about everything from deoderant to cars?
Sex has been used to promote just about everything, but breast cancer awareness? A recent ad done by Canadian MTV presenter, Aliya-Jasmine Sovan, has some people up in arms over the sexual content of the video.
The concept is simple. A well endowed young woman walks through a pool party in nothing but a rather inadequate bikini, drawing gasps and stares from everyone from old ladies to gay sailors. The text reads, “You know you like them, now it’s time to save the boobs.” The stats for young cancer (breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women 20-49). The ad promotes “Booby Ball” which was held on Oct. 2 . . . but the video is still going strong, being passed around the web as a viral video.
While the idea behind the ad is to get people thinking about breast cancer, some are wondering if anyone will actually remember what the campaign stands for or if they’ll just be oggling those bouncing bikini triangles. Others say it’s degrading to women in general, not to mention women who have suffered through breast cancer and may no longer have breasts, or who are suffering from side effects of cancer treatments.
Like many good campaigns, this one is particularly controversial. In a way, that’s good. Everyone is talking about breast cancer awareness and we can’t deny that sex and gorgeous bodies have been used to sell things for decades. Whether or not it’s sexist, it’s a part of marketing that just isn’t going away. The big question is . . . should it be used to promote breast cancer awareness?
Here’s the controversial video: