My Ta-tas aren’t amused

Reissuing this oldie in honor of a day many of us dread: the ridiculous No Bra Day. Keep your unmentionables hidden and support research that aims to cure metastatic disease.

You’re either a bumper sticker kind of person or you are not, and I am firmly seated in the latter group. I cannot think of a single thing I need you to know while we queue to brave the rotary. If pressed to slap something on my fender, I might be able to commit to, “You look pretty!” My community service call to action would resemble: “Did you make your bed today?” And the most politically polarizing statement I could muster is an endorsement of only white Christmas lights. (I’m actually kind of passionate about that one.) So today, as I inched the entire length of Beacon Street behind a “Save the Ta-Tas” truck in threatening weather, I wondered who convinced the owner of this otherwise serviceable vehicle to besmirch it with pink ribbon dreck.

Obviously, my reaction was informed heavily by my Cancer-versary. So whatever “Save the Ta-tas” intends to protect, it’s certainly not my patience. We never see this inane message translated into testicular cancer awareness in order to sell stickers. Defend the Danglers! Safeguard the Stones! Protect the Plums! Keep the Cojones! Oh, the hilarity of designing t-shirts that urge women to Cup Your Husbands for Cancer! But this is for sale:

You could find a Cancerous lump! It's sexy AND hilarious!

Oooh, sexy sexy! And maybe you’ll find a CANCEROUS LUMP! Hilarious!

The mission statement from this dreadful ta-ta advocate is that laughter heals. Well, sort of. Surgery removes cancer, chemotherapy intends to zap stragglers, and laughter makes the whole bald nightmare tolerable. But no amount of hee-hee-you-said-boobies humor kills rogue cells. And until we have a cure, launching a slogan that insinuates saving a cancerous organ is just irresponsible and confusing when it stops being sophomoric and insulting. Are we supposed to “save” our breasts at all costs, succumb to shark bite surgery and post-operative radiation that turns the ta-ta into a dried fruit approximation of breast-ness? Is this the message of “Save the Ta-tas?” Breasts are not endangered animals, and cancerous ones are unlikely to have a longer life expectancy for the five research projects you’ve funded with a pittance of the proceeds from your disrespectful swag. I can only imagine the weight of all of those horrible jokes on the good scientists whose work will be expected to atone for them.

An oft-viewed post on this site is Things to Say to People With Cancer. Because wordpress.com practically assigns you a blog at the first mammogram abnormality, we blabby girls in the Shitty Sorority become a Google-searchable source for cancer information and attitudes. I’ve been asked about Komen, and this Ta-ta nonsense, and even how to contribute in a grand gesture way. It’s quite simple. If you have time, donate it to your friend with Cancer: she’s too tired to ask. If you have money, contribute to funds for metastatic breast cancer research, because that is the disease that kills us. The Ta-tas don’t need saving. And no one needs goofball slogans about boobies intended to support the very women who don’t have them.

Well, that was an uncharacteristically shout-y, probably post-traumatic little rant. But I stand behind it with the full weight of my implants. Now go make your beds, my pretties.

White lights... only white lights.

And Merry White Light Christmas!

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16 responses

  1. Thank you for this, Britt. I think a lot of men are confused by some of this stuff in their genuine attempt to help. As a male who appreciates ta-tas as much or more than the next guy – and I think I have a highly developed sense of humor – I have never understood the sexualization of any cancer, regardless of intention. I am going outside right now to change my multi-color LED holiday lights to solid, beautiful white! Merry Christmas, Britt!

  2. First, your home is beautiful. Second, thanks for the lesson. I’ll never look at those bumper-stickers the same way again. One of my college friends lost her mother to breast cancer, and she put her son in one of those “Save the Ta-Tas” onesies, the first I’d ever seen them before, and I giggled at it but didn’t think about it again. I suppose I figured “if it raises money and awareness, it must be good, right?” Reflection is helpful… I’ll certainly look at campaigns like this differently.

    I love your blog so much. I really need to pop by more often. Hope you aren’t snowed in today!

    • Although I was rooting for a snow day for the little guys (remembering how awesome those were), I’m quite happy they’re off on the bus and I have an entire day stretched before me to wrap gifts and run errands. Thanks for these sweet words, KC.

      My very cursory internet research revealed that this company is really about making money and luring celebrities into wearing their HILARIOUS clothing by guilting them with the “awareness” argument. They donate only a teeny tiny amount (5% of each sale) to research. They’re making bank because your friend’s kid is wearing a snapped onesie joke in poor taste. It’s kind of deplorable, actually.

      • Oh my GOD! REALLY??? That’s awful!!

        I saw similar research on the NFL and their breast cancer awareness campaign. They won’t even disclose how much money they give, but someone ran the numbers and it looks like some 3% or less. That’s just deplorable. Really discouraging.

        • On the other hand, having these huge, hulking heroes wear bright pink socks is a very powerful message to kids. THAT is true awareness. I don’t care how much $ they give, because they are providing a kindness. Imagine how awesome for little boys like mine to think, on some level, that Tom Brady cares about women with breast cancer (just like their mom). That’s cool. So, it IS confusing… what to support, and what to condemn. And ultimately, it’s a matter of taste.

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  5. Fuck this noise. And you know what’s happened to me since 2013. Your message about Testicular Cancer was prescient. We don’t do “Dicks for Dollars.” And here’s my plug for Movember: Go to mobro.co/stevesafran and make a donation that will actually make a difference toward men’s cancer research. No “awareness” meme here. We need money.

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