Linds Lets Loose: Why must breast cancer be sexualized?

Lindsay Kriz

Recently I came upon a flier on campus advertising an on-campus event to raise money for breast cancer research.

However, the phrasing of the ad was what caught my attention.

The flier read, in large pink letters, “I heart boobies.” As soon as I saw the flier, I was infuriated.

Before I go any further, I am in no way condemning events held to raise money for breast cancer research, and I fully support the activity of the group.

What I have a problem with is how these events are advertised. I have seen many a vehicle pass by me — usually with male drivers — with a bumper sticker that reads “Save the Ta-Tas.”

These types of ads are problematic because they trivialize a serious situation. While this may be a way to help bring much-needed humor to a deadly illness, there is a fine line between funny and offensive.

A woman (or man — they get breast cancer too) who suffers thanks to chemotherapy and or a body-altering mastectomy may not appreciate that sentiment, however.

Secondly, these types of sexist ad campaigns only focus on the sexual aspects of women’s bodies. Are breasts only worthy of saving because men see them as sexual objects to be desired?

“Save the Ta-Tas,” “Hope for Hooters” and “Save Second Base” are actually saying “Save breasts for the sake of male pleasure.”

Nowhere was this more evident than during the ridiculous controversy surrounding Angelina Jolie and her double mastectomy in May. Jolie decided to have both of her breasts removed after having a blood test that showed she had an 87 percent risk for breast cancer and a 50 percent risk for ovarian cancer. Her act was courageous, and her fiancé Brad Pitt was nothing less than supportive.

Unfortunately, many on the internet were not as supportive as Pitt. Some comments found on the Internet include: “Who needs boobs if you have lips like that?,” “Oh my days. I actually fancied the tits off Angelina Jolie” and “Why has Angelina Jolie lobbed her tits off? She hasn’t got breast cancer so why do it. Attention seeking slut.”

In today’s society, breasts have become so over-sexualized and so personified that their existence has become more important than the person to whom they are attached.

Breast cancer is a serious and deadly issue, and until we as a society can agree to advertise breast cancer awareness ads in a non-sexual light, let’s do away with cutesy advertisements. It’s cancer research — not a Playboy spread.