Recently, I’ve heard a lot of people are confused by a lot of Facebook posts saying “I’m __ weeks and craving __”. Many people were similarly confused last year when people posted colors, such as “green” or “black”, or posted “I like it __”. Here’s an explanation.
Supposedly, making confusing and partially suggestive statements like this is a way to raise breast cancer awareness. I think these posts generally don’t accomplish that. They’re meant to confuse people, which is halfway defeating the purpose. There’s an expectation that people will look to someplace like Google for clarification. But how many people just took the “cravings” postings at face value and said “Congratulations!” or “You’re having another kid!?” Besides, if someone finds out it is about breast cancer awareness, they’ll likely say “Oh, okay” and do nothing more. We’re aware of breast cancer, people. We see the pink ribbons everywhere. There is no purpose in making “breast cancer awareness” posts.
Speaking of “pink ribbons”, does anyone else think that the emphasis on pink and “i♥boobies” trivializes the very real crisis of breast cancer? If you know anything about breast cancer (besides what you read on Facebook), then you know many breast cancer survivors don’t get through without having their breasts removed. They may not be able to conceive because of the toll chemotherapy takes on their bodies. They may not enjoy sex as much because they’re recovering from surgery and self-conscious about the changes cancer and its treatment cause in their looks. How must they feel when they see themselves represented by symbols of feminine sexuality they no longer possess? Would they feel grateful that people are “raising support”? Would they feel encouraged, or would it make them feel more alone than ever.
People are well-intentioned. I don’t argue that. But they also need to know that good intentions can have no meaningful results at all—or results they never intended.
If you’re passionate about the issue of breast cancer, why not instead promote simple ways to support finding a cure for it? One very easy way to do so is to click the button at http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=2 once a day. If you’re like me and often forget to do things like this, sign up for their email reminders. They genuinely have sponsors that donate money and/or services (ex, mammograms) for every click—it’s legit. They also have links to other sites in the same family that donate food to the hungry, food for shelter animals, save acres of rainforest, and much more.
Also, if you want to know how a breast cancer survivor feels about the whole thing, click here.
If you want to make a difference, make a REAL difference. Spreading awareness is nice, but action is better.