• Thu, Oct 10 - 12:40 pm ET

I Hate Your Stupid Breast Cancer Awareness Status

breast cancer awareness tactic

A colleague of mine received the following message on Facebook this morning:

Hi Beautiful Ladies, So here is the time of year again when we try to raise awareness for breast cancer through a game. It’s very easy and I would like all of you to participate. Two years ago we had to write the color of our underwear on our wall. Men wondered for days at what was going on with random colors on our walls. This year we make references to your love life status. Do not answer to this message just post the corresponding word on your wall AND send this message privately to all the girls in your contact list!!!!!! BLUEBERRY = single; PINEAPPLE = it’s complicated; RASPBERRY = I can’t / don’t want to commit; APPLE= engaged; CHERRY= in a relationship; BANANA=married; AVOCADO= I’m the better half; STRAWBERRY= can’t find Mr. Right; LEMON = want to be single RAISIN = want to get married to my partner. Last time the underwear game was mentioned on tv, let’s see if we get there with this one !!!!! Copy and paste this message into a NEW message and send to all your girly friends – then update your status with your answer ONLY.

My initial reaction:

the wire GIF

Chain letters are always dumb, but they’re especially stupid when done under the guise of doing some sort of good for the world. Here’s the thing: they don’t. They are just as useless as the “THIS LITTLE GIRL DIED AND IF YOU DONT PASS THIS ON TO 7 OF YOUR MOST IRRELEVANT EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBERS SHE’LL APPEAR ABOVE YOUR BED AND VOMIT F’ING BODY WASH” ones.

hate these statuses. And pro-tip: so do most of your friends. The ones who don’t hate them ignore them, so basically, they do nothing.

“Men wondered for days”? Uh, no they did not. They saw it and moved on because nobody cares what color your panties are, and if they do, that’s weird. And if people do find out what this means — which they will, if they can use Google — then there will be at least one dude wondering why his partner is a “Lemon.” But in all likelihood, he won’t care, because that lady is the type of person who shares chain letters and he is tired of being told he’s going to die in 7 days.

By the way, I do not think the creator of this idea knows what a game is.

Don’t get me wrong — I fully support raising money and awareness for the devastating effects breast cancer. For example, Breast Cancer Care‘s amazing photography campaign (semi-NSFW) to show women who have had mastectomies, tell their stories, and emphasize the fact that none should feel shame about how they look. And when it comes to Facebook, the way thousands of people angrily spoke out against their awful ban and deletion of a breast cancer survivor’s photos was incredible (and effective).

These are efforts I support. Not stupid statuses that will do nothing but make people irritated at you for sending them endlessly-replied-to group messages and then ignore your dumb posts on their newsfeed later.

Photos: Shutterstock, The Wire.

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  • Julia Sonenshein

    FRUIT BERRIES BREAST CANCER CURED

  • Cee

    Ugh! I HATE those! It has nothing to do with anything other than a ploy for attention. I remember when they did something similar but it had to do with your birthday or something and you had to type “Im 2 months along and craving cheetos puffs.” Of course people would reply to those statuses with “wtf, u preggo?” And the reply was usually “teehee no” NOT “well Carl, this is breast cancer awareness month. Do you know that so many people die from it a day? Please encourage your family members to get mammograms and see if you have it in your heart to donate to the cause.” Its just as meaningless as liking statuses to save the poor people in Africa. Its all about attention or an e-pat on the back.

  • Ashesela

    Ugh, yup.

  • http://poorgoop.com/ Samantha

    Yes! Amen! Here-here! Further affirmations!

    Currently I’m getting a lot of “October 13th, go braless for a cure. Share if you’re going to participate.” If going without a bra meant curing cancer, I’d have have a Nobel prize and be a hero. But it doesn’t. And awareness does very little, especially since there’s usually no follow through with these online slactivists. The flippancy with which we treat an illness that still kills so many women drives me crazy. Maybe if instead of talking about berries and bralessness we pushed for more research into prevention and causes so we could find a cure, then I’d buy into these awareness campaigns. But otherwise, they seem rather futile.

  • DaisyJupes

    I hate these campaigns. Generally, they’re about getting attention for yourself (everyone is already “aware” of breast cancer so there is no point in most of these campaigns). I find that things that have to do with breasts and saving them and all that stuff really only puts the importance on the boobies, not the women. Three women in my life have had breast cancer and two lost one or both of their breasts. THEY are what I want to save and THEY are worth saving, not their boobs. Campaigns that show that this is what it’s like to have cancer and live through it push women into getting screened. SAVE THE BOOBIES!!! is not effective, but “this is what breast cancer did TO ME (not my breasts) and I survived so make sure you get screened because all of you, not just your breasts, is at stake” is effective.

  • Jackie

    Slacktivism: “The act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem.” (thanks Urban Dictionary)
    Worst thing ever. Makes me just as pissed when people think changing your profile picture to a cartoon character to support children affected by sex crimes or something, or changing your profile picture to an equal sign to support gay marriage, actually makes a difference.
    Support a cause by actually DOING something.