Jr. High Boys and the I Love Boobies Campaign

Article first published as Jr. High Boys and the I Love Boobies Campaign on Technorati.

My twelve year old son has recently become an advocate for breast cancer awareness.  Who knew he was so compassionate about fighting cancer? He even wore a pink armband in his last football game.  And though I am excited that I can actually find him on the football field in a dog pile, his obsession with NFL.com/pink raises some big red flags for this mama.  Now call me naive….but I wonder if his sudden interest has any connection to do with the “I Love Boobies” campaign?
In a brilliant marketing scheme, capitalizing on our hyper sexualized culture, the keep a Breast Foundation folks have certainly generated publicity, but at what cost? Is an adolescent boy with raging hormones their intended audience?  Because, quite frankly, his parents hold the checkbook and it’s only pissing me off, not helping their cause.  There are plenty of non-profits legitimately raising funds for breast cancer research that I am more apt to support versus the ones exploiting boobs for cash. 
Why this campaign smells like a rat:

 
• It’s Offensive

 
First of all, our national obsession with artificially enhanced breasts has absolutely nothing to do with a cancer victim fighting to save her life.  While Heidi Montag may be the epitome of the Girls Gone Wild mentality, having boobs the size of a beach ball doesn’t evoke a lot of sympathy to a woman facing death and a double mastectomy.  If anything, it trivializes the devastation to both her breasts and the disease itself.  If I saw an infant wearing an I Love Boobies t-shirt, I might be more prone to levity, but on a pimply teen, it’s just plain offensive. This campaign objectifies a woman as a sexual object instead of a human being battling a serious illness.
Tracy Clark-Flory put it this way. “When death is truly knocking at your door — and I’m not talking about early, uncertain cases — most aren’t thinking about how much they love their breasts, they’re thinking about how much they love not being dead. They’re thinking: Chop those things off, now.”
• What’s the real message?

 
I also have two daughters at home and I can only speculate what this message conveys to them?  Do we love hurting women or just their mammary offering to society? What is the worth of a woman… her contribution to society or her bra size? And, what’s next? Do we allow our girls to run around in Juicy sweats with “I Love Colons” plastered on their little bottoms? How about an “I Love Balls” t-shirt?  Does this really heighten awareness or advance perversity masquerading as a worthy cause?
• What are the Consequences?

 
And for those that minimize this, I would argue that the battle for our sons to protect them from a lifetime addiction to pornography starts here. During the most impressionable age of sexual identification, this is another area of compromise alluring to our children.
Ron Hogan at PopFi stated, “Maybe some kids are just wearing these bands because they say “boobies” on them. But “who cares?” The bracelets are getting out an important message. Besides, students are exposed to “much worse things than breast-themed bracelets” at school every day.
Who Cares?  I do!  And while we can’t protect our children from everything, schools do try and limit their exposure to harmful behaviors. I would argue that the very same reasons why schools outlaw guns, sexual harassment, bullying, and gay bashing also motivate them to ban these bracelets from the playground.  Why would it ever be beneficial to degrade a woman fighting cancer?
Breast cancer is destructive in its own right.  Exploiting our kids in the interest of propagating an ad campaign doesn’t further the cause.So, even though I love breasts, particurally cancer free ones…I won’t be buying any of their bracelets for my pree-teen son to show my support

Read more: http://technorati.com/lifestyle/family/article/jr-high-boys-and-the-i/page-2/#ixzz132PETejm

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