I noticed a few strange things on my facebook newsfeed this week. Lots of my friends had changed their status to a colour. Apparently, you were meant to post the colour of the bra you are wearing in order to raise awareness about breast cancer.
I’m not sure how this slightly pervy tactic is meant to raise awareness. “Aha!” you say, “you’re talking about it on your blog so it obviously has been successful in raising awareness.” But really, what awareness has it raised? I am reminded that breast cancer exists. Believe it or not, I was already aware of that and I’m pretty sure other people were too. The only thing it’s probably raised is slightly creepy conversations where men ask the women who’ve posted to prove that they are in fact wearing that colour. I could see the point if the campaign asked people to change their status to “I examined my breasts today – here’s how you can do it too”. Although, that would probably cause even more pervy comments!
Also, I’d say that breast cancer is already no. 1 in the awareness stakes by a long way. The pink ribbon campaign, the race for life etc have been enormously successful – compared to other diseases and even other cancers, breast cancer receives a disproportionate amount of publicity (and, I would imagine, funding off the back of that)*. It would be nice to see some other campaign getting a look in for a change. I think there must be a lot of other health issues that really would benefit from people just being reminded of their existence. For example, I thought the recent campaign about strokes was really successful, as although alarm bells would have rung for me if someone started slurring their speech or if their face went droopy, I didn’t know about the not-being-able-to-raise-your-arms thing.
* NB I am not saying that breast cancer is not a horrible disease, nor that it does not deserve publicity and funding. It’s just that, compared to other causes, it already seems to be doing very well.