By Kelvin Wade
Are we really afraid of boobies? A nonprofit organization promoting breast cancer awareness, the Keep a Breast Foundation has introduced a campaign selling bracelets that read, “I Love Boobies.” The Clovis Unified School District in California, as well as districts in other states, have banned the bracelets as being “sexually suggestive.”
According to the American Cancer Society, early detection boasts a 98% survival rate. Late detection drops the survival rate down to 27%. So raising awareness of breast cancer, self-examination and early detection is important. And the younger we can educate people the better.
The campaign to get young people interested is clever. First, obviously girls have an interest in breast cancer because it’s 100 times more common in women than men. Secondly, guys love breasts. So by coming up with the “I love boobies!” tagline, it conveys a mutual interest in a cutesy way but has a real serious message behind it.
I get it that some people are offended by the word ‘boobies.’ Believe me, kids are calling them by more offensive names than that at school. Some schools feel they have to ban the bracelets or it will be open season for other types of bracelets or T-shirts with more offensive terms on them.
After all, suppose a nonprofit organization battling testicular cancer came out with bracelets with their own cutesy tagline. You can see where this could head. So I understand the concern of school districts not wanting to have to police this kind of thing. Districts don’t want to pick and choose which messages can be displayed so they’re conducting a blanket ban.
But still, I don’t see anything wrong with junior high school kids sporting the bracelets. The money raised from their purchase goes to a good cause. It does promote awareness. The controversy alone forces people to talk about breast cancer.
And if schools are going to ban the bracelets or have students turn them inside out, then they should at least have a school rally on breast cancer or invite speakers from the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen organization or Keep A Breast to come to the school and speak about breast cancer.
Let’s not let a little squeamishness get in the way of a truly important message.