I <3 Boobies!
Are we really afraid of boobies? Years ago, a nonprofit organization promoting breast cancer awareness, the Keep A Breast Foundation (http://www.keep-a-breast.org/) introduced a campaign selling bracelets that read, “I (Heart) Boobies.” Many school districts have banned the bracelets as being “sexually suggestive.” But the Easton Area School District in Pennsylvania went a step forward and just voted 7-1 to appeal a federal court’s rejection of their claim that the bracelets are lewd. That means this issue could end up before the Supreme Court.
You heard that right. Whether or not teens can wear cancer awareness bracelets saying “I (Heart) Boobies” may end up before the nation’s most powerful court.
According to the American Cancer Society, when detected and treated early, the five-year survival rate for localized breast cancer is 98 percent. Late detection drops the survival rate down to 27 percent. One in eight invasive breast cancers are found in women under the age of 45. So raising awareness of breast cancer, self-examination and early detection is important. The younger we can educate people, the better.
The campaign to get young people interested is clever. First, obviously girls have an interest in breast cancer because it’s 100 times more common in women than men. Secondly, guys love breasts, too. So by coming up with the “I love boobies!” tagline, it conveys a mutual interest in a cutesy way but has a real serious message behind it.
I get it that some people are offended by the word “boobies.” But believe me, kids are calling them by more offensive names than that at school. Some schools feel they have to ban the bracelets or it will be open season for other types of bracelets or T-shirts with more offensive terms on them
Enter www.feelmyballs.org a group put together by two guys who saw what the Keep a Breast Foundation had started and wanted to bring the same awareness to testicular cancer. Visiting the website seeing large breasted models modeling the bracelets gives one pause as to whether they’re in the cutesy bracelet business or in this for cancer awareness.
School district solicitor John Freund said he and the district are “concerned about the implications of a hyper-sexualized environment,” Really? If they have concerned about teenagers being hyper-sexualized take it up with God or Mother Nature. Hormones are raging whether or not kids are wearing these bracelets. A teenage boy doesn’t need a Boobies bracelet to get sexually aroused. He just needs to breathe.
And there’s nothing on a bracelet more offensive than what comes out of too many teenagers’ mouths these days.
But still, if people are wearing them simply as a risqué fashion statement, so what? The money still goes to a good cause. Maybe seeing them will send other people to the website. Maybe it results in a more educated population. Or maybe it’s just something that kids snicker over. I don’t see the harm and neither does the courts, obviously.
Court after court has ruled that the school district failed to produce evidence of harm done by the bracelets. The thought of the time and money already wasted on this case is mind-boggling. That’s money that could’ve been better spent on cancer research or education.
If schools are going to ban the bracelets or have students turn them inside out, then they should at least have a school rally on breast cancer or invite speakers from the American Cancer Society, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the Susan G. Komen organization or Keep A Breast to come to the school and speak about breast cancer.
Why are we so schizophrenic when it comes to breasts? The nation worships breasts when it comes to advertising. We live in a country that celebrates half-dressed pop stars, revels in nudie magazines and movies and sells tons of skimpy lingerie. Over 300,000 American women a year have breast enhancement surgery. We have teenage girls posting cleavage-baring selfies all over social media and no one is outraged. But when it comes to natural things like breastfeeding or breast health, all of a sudden, we get skittish.
Meanwhile, over 200,000 women and 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and over 40,000 will die.
And we’re going to the Supreme Court with boobie bracelets?