Because October is breast cancer awareness month, attention is being drawn to the issue left and right. Promotions, advertisements and commercials are being made to create awareness and get donations from viewers who may not have necessarily been personally affected by breast cancer.
One of these commercials begins with a pool party where everyone is having fun – mingling and doing what people do best. All of a sudden, everyone begins staring at one particular girl. She is strutting proudly, scantily clad in a white bikini. All eyes are on her as the camera pans in on her breasts for what seems like an eternity. She continues to walk, knowing that all eyes are on her body until she gets in front of one man in the pool and leans forward in front of him, putting her cleavage on display. The commercial ends with the girl in the pool – visible only from the neck down – wearing a ribbed tank top with nothing underneath. She then begins to take off the shirt to reveal her bare breasts … but instead, strewn across as if for censorship is a black bar that has the words “booby ball” on it.
I was appalled at the commercial to begin with, but when I found out that it was to garner breast cancer awareness I was hurt. This commercial, whose campaign slogan is “Save the Boobs,” focuses on the breasts themselves and the possibility of losing them over the idea that a woman might lose her life. It does not convey the idea that breast cancer is a serious thing that is killing women as early as their twenties.
Having an aunt who is a breast cancer survivor, I can say that I was not thinking about her breasts after they were removed. Seeing her lie in bed after surgeries, losing her hair during chemotherapy and the constant pain due to all that she had to go through, I doubt that her “boobs” were on the minds of anyone in the family. My aunt is so much more than the breasts she has: She is God’s creation and it would be highly disrespectful of me or anyone else to be mourning the loss of her breasts while she is still alive and well.
One young man that I spoke to said that the commercial was worth it to get the attention that breast cancer needs. Still, I wonder if it is breast cancer that is gaining awareness and support or if it is the breasts. Are people donating to save mothers, wives and ordinary people who are plagued with the idea of losing their lives or to save super models from having to walk around without being able to fill their swimsuits?
As I watched the commercial on YouTube, I looked at the comments and related videos. The majority of the comments were people talking about the way the woman looked in the ad and how much they wanted to get with her. There were very few comments that had anything to say about being made aware of what is plaguing our women. Looking at the related videos, I did not see a single one that was intended to raise awareness. Instead, they were mostly pornographic images.
This completely diminishes the issue at hand. The commercial is at the level of a pornographic flick made solely for someone’s pleasure.
This commercial was made to fund breast cancer research and spread the word for the annual charity event known as the “Booby Ball,” but I feel that this was prostitution. The creator of this advertisement, who happens to be leading lady Aliya-Jasmine Sovani, knows that the majority of men are attracted to what they see and will often donate to anything that is worthy of their attention.
These are incorrect and blatantly rude means to raise money. While breast cancer research is saving lives, the commercial objectifies women who may be suffering from breast cancer. One person I spoke to put it this way: “The commercial makes it seem as though women are not beautiful without their breasts.”
Shouldn’t we value one another more than this? Instead of being worried about women losing their lives and feeling that others will donate simply to save another human being, we feel that we need to “spice it up a bit” in order to get the attention that we need. Maybe if we respected each other more as people rather than worrying about others’ physical features, a commercial like this would not be necessary.