Narcissism is not awareness

All throughout the month of October, pink was a prominent color. It was on bumper stickers, ribbons and other random items like water bottles. As people loaded up on pink merchandise, they were supporting research to find a cure and fight breast cancer.

Breast cancer awareness was in the air.      

But there were some things that people did to “raise awareness” that I just do not understand.      

At the beginning of October, a letter was sent out to women on Facebook saying that they should change their statuses for breast cancer awareness. The letter gave specific details as to what they should do.      

Last year, girls were asked to make their status a color. Many people wondered what the colors were about, and Facebook was abuzz with inquiries on the subject. Later, it was revealed that the color was supposed to be that of the bra that the girl was wearing while she updated her status.      

This was a low way for girls to direct attention towards themselves. All this succeeded in doing was to further the objectification of women by men as they fantasized about them in their (insert color here) bra.      

Something similar happened this year again. Ladies were supposed to make their status say where they liked to put their handbag when they got into the house. The statuses read, “I like it on the…” Considering that there was no context to this status, it would be easy to let the imagination wander as one read it. Eventually, as men started to bother women, they revealed the real reason for the statuses.

While the intention was to garner breast cancer awareness, I just do not see how this would do it. First of all, even after people find out what you are talking about, are they going to donate or wear a ribbon because they find out you “like it on the table”?

Secondly, that’s just wrong. In the society and times in which we live, everything leads back to sex. With a statement that is overtly sexual, it is hard to think of anything else if you do not know what it is supposed to be about.      

As Christians, we are not supposed to do things to cause our brothers to stumble (Romans 14:21). It is easy for men to be taken by words and for their imaginations to transform words into something obscene, and, that is a sin (Matthew 5:28).

We need to be mindful of our intentions. In the long run, this had nothing to do with breast cancer awareness but was instead a half-baked idea that could be viewed as a ploy to get attention. We have to be careful that the things we call “good” are seen that way if it is our true intention (Romans 14:16). If a girl didn’t know that it was obscene, then I hope she realizes now. We cannot walk in our naïveté forever.

In the event that this was truly to promote breast cancer awareness, I would like to see how many people actually donated towards research or bought some pink memorabilia. As far as I know, this has not done anything to help the women that are currently suffering from this terrible illness.

So, now let me ask those women who took part in the status updates: were you raising breast cancer awareness or just drawing attention to yourselves?

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