Raising Awareness – Or Not

Soapbox alert!


For real??

Facebook, do not be putting “Raise awareness” campaign signs on my page. You should know better, you big social media giant. You make it possible for people in China to know what people in Argentina wore to prom last year. You can’t possibly think we don’t have enough “awareness.”

In most cases, doing something simple to “raise awareness” for a good cause is ineffective at best and harmful at worst. Pink ribbons, anyone? They don’t cure breast cancer. Neither does going bra-less. Going braless doesn’t make people get mammograms, either. It just makes riding the bus a little more interesting than usual.

The worst of awareness campaigns is that they simulate accomplishment so effectively they often prevent any further action. Took your bra off today? Great. Someone probably donated somewhere, right? But it wasn’t you, was it.

Ask yourself some questions. [This is the best antidote to blind following yet to be discovered.] Is there anyone who’s likely to lay eyes on you today who is not aware of breast cancer? Anyone who is not clear that it’s a very bad thing? Anyone who thinks of monthly self-checks when they see you passing by without your usual “support system” on?

I’m reminded of my first and only visit to a megachurch, at which the evening service began with a hot blonde belting out a song called Sweet Surrender. A quick glance around the room was enough to convince me that my fellow college students might not all be thinking of Jesus.

Keep your bras on, ladies. This isn’t the first smooth move designed to get them off, and it probably won’t be the last.

-Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash