Offending By Saving Ta-Tas and Loving Boobies

2 Nov

My mom, her friend, and her friend’s granddaughter came over to my apartment for dinner.  In order to make the 11 year-old feel a little more comfortable, I casually asked her, “What does your bracelet say?”

Without blushing, she help up her wrist and replied, “It says, ‘I Love Boobies!’”  The world “love” was replaced with a heart icon. I swallowed hard hoping my face wasn’t communicating shock and horror.

“Uh, wow.  That’s something,” I croaked.

“Yeah, it’s for breast cancer awareness.  Everyone at school wears them, even the boys and teachers.”

Hmm…I know why middle school boys would want to wear a bracelet that says “boobies” on it, but teachers…?  What’s going on at that school?

“Where did you get such a bracelet?” asked my mom, clearly disturbed by the situation.

“Oh, my mom got it for me,” she said.

“Your mom got it for you?” my mom repeated loudly.

“Yeah.  She wears one, too.”  My mom then took the opportunity to share how she had seen a “Save the Ta-Tas!” display at a local gas station.  She was shocked and offended.

If I’m honest, it offends me, too.

So I decided to check out I *Heart* Boobies website, which is the youth outreach movement of The Keep a Breast Foundation.  According to the site, breast cancer can affect girls as young as 10 years old.  Therefore, “I *Heart* Boobies!” has the mission of making the taboo topic of breast cancer a little easier for tweens and teens to talk about. They’ve even been endorsed by Yoplait Yogurt.  Good thing I prefer Breyer’s.

Since last month was “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” breasts were front and center (no pun intended).  It is wonderful that such an important issue has garnered so much attention and that women are encouraged to get mammograms since early detection is a key to a woman’s chances of survival.  But I have a few problems with these shocking public relations messages.

First of all, they’re called “breasts”—not boobies, ta-tas, jugs, or any other slang word.  Almost every woman has two of these celluloid blobs and almost every man seems fascinated by them.  Slogans like “I *Heart* Boobies!” and “Save the Ta-Tas!” are startling and catchy, which is why they generate enthusiasm.  But does dumbing down breast terminology really help? Plus, doesn’t this objectify breasts and in turn, objectify women?  I mean, men want to save the breasts so they can “play” with them, right?  Isn’t that the *real* message behind these campaigns?  As far as I’m concerned, a man who really cares about a women’s breast health will don a pink ribbon, make a donation, or find a more appropriate way to show he cares.

Of course, adults are adults and can make their own choices about saving the tatas and loving boobies, but what about 11 year-olds?  There is a whole sixth grade class infested with “Boobie” bracelets…and the teachers wear them, too!  Even worse, the girl’s mom bought one for her daughter as well as for herself.  Is this teaching girls and boys to respect women and their breasts or to objectify women and their assets?

What do you think?

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No Responses to “Offending By Saving Ta-Tas and Loving Boobies”

  1. amymckie November 2, 2010 at 9:34 AM #

    Hmm… yeah, I have issues with breast cancer awareness and research ploys already. So much wasted money in awareness about something that everyone knows about. Kids don’t need to show support for ‘boobies’ and learn that the word breasts is ‘not to be used’ to learn about it.

  2. Christy November 3, 2010 at 4:17 PM #

    Okay, NOW I understand why my high school-age cousin was liking “I love Boobies” or something like that on Facebook. I tried to figure it out, but didn’t get it. Sometimes I think things like Breast Cancer Awareness end up becoming more “trendy” and we actually almost forget the real purpose behind it. It does make it seem like less of a big deal to call these campaigns “I *heart* boobies” and “Save the Ta-tas.” I’m pretty sure the kids wearing the bracelets and spreading the message around are not doing it for the intended purpose of breast cancer awareness.

  3. Donna November 4, 2010 at 12:39 PM #

    I’m still offended. This is just another symptom of the breakdown of the family, the church, and the dumbing down of America. When do we say, enough is enough and uphold some standards of decency?

  4. Chris November 9, 2010 at 1:35 PM #

    Ohkaye, well I just got told in class to take my bracelet off and I refused. Why because I paid for it. People in my family have gotten breast cancer and I want to support finding a cure. And yeah, sure it has a interesting slogan. But who cares. Its a donation to a cure. And if it offends you, well get over it, its for something positive. Someone always finds something negative in everything.

  5. Nauma November 18, 2010 at 4:45 AM #

    soooooo true!!

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