Friday, January 08, 2010

Breast cancer meme on Facebook

I was wandering through my Facebook friends and started to see status bars with colors -- "black", "white," "red." I had no idea what it was about so I posted a query on Twitter and within 20 minutes had tons of replies. A sample: "Women are naming the color of their bras to heighten awareness of breast cancer. Interesting idea.."

Well, it turns out to be somewhat controversial. Here are two articles with lots of comments pro and con. Feel free to post your opinions here or there.


Steven K. Holderness said...


What is there really to say that hasn't already been so eloquently, plainly, to-the-point, matter-of-factly, tersely and, last but not least, already said in your imbedded links? As a cancer survivor myself, I do know that we all react differently to major illnesses. However, the Facebook meme described seems to trivialize, at least to me, a cancer that devastates so many women. I suppose if there were FB memes associated with lung cancer, prostate cancer, Hodgkin's Disease, Leukemia, Lymphoma, etc, etc, then we may be having a different discussion.

Medical Quack said...

On Breast cancer awareness I just happened to making another call out today for awareness and perhaps an extended analysis on the Womens Health Initiative to get some more numbers out comparing "FDA approved" bio identical drugs to the Wyeth drug Premarin as they were all lumped together in being dangerous in the area of breast cancer.

Dr. Schwartz and I had quite a conversation on this item and perhaps some day we might get some additional information I hope.

CornellSloan said...

All my female college friends have taken to this very well. They post colors on their facebook and everyone asks them what its about. They get to share their story and stimulate conversation a such an important issue. My girlfriend is especially for this idea since she lost two family members at young ages.

Anonymous said...

My college age daughter had the same reaction as CornellSloan's friends. She thought objections to it were "oversensitive" and that people were trying to do the right thing.

My feeling is, it's dumb. So there you have the generation gap.

Perhaps if it makes young women aware it can only help. Although quite rare, breast cancer does exist in the college age group.


jessica lipnack said...

It's sparked the unexpected under my status: a long thread on prostate cancer.

Anonymous said...

Transferred from Facebook:

Nancy: Breast cancer awareness AND action has progressed exponentially since PINK became "the word" - there is no one who does not know it's meaning. Utilizing social media to do what PINK campaigns have done - experimenting with it - seeing its stretch - gives us an idea of the capabilities and potentials of this new reach-out-and-touch millions technology. We do not need to spend money on ribbons - or t-shirts - or pledges for countless walking events - we need to keep the dialogue going - and strong - and connected.

I am thinking of the power of Eve Ensler and V-Day. With one play and a little shocking "grab you" logo and theme - she had captured our attention - she impacted the world - just think what we can do to address not only breast cancer, but other diseases, causes, life-saving messages, with the priceless click of a key - and zap - we reach out and touch the world. I am proud to post 'black' and 'white' and maybe 'red' tomorrow...and see my friend in Maine, my colleague in China, my high school classmates all over the world - but I am proudest to reach my daughters who then take their keyboards and reach thousands and thousands - so the next generation comes along. First you must get someone's attention - then you can tell them your story.

Lyette: I don't care what cause it's supposedly for; there is no reason for everyone I have friended on facebook--including 2 former bosses--to know the color of my damn bra.

Cyndi: if you are blessed without CA yet, then you are lucky enough Lyette, so please if it is white don't be ashamed, and if it is red smile and be so proud. It was so fun to participate, if only for 48 hours we could help someone smile who may not be able to wear a bra...and the networking made the 6 o'clock news so yes, it was making people aware of Breast CA and all the ladies who live with it!

Kourtney Govro said...

I just heard on the ABC news that in a matter of 24 hours the traffic to Susan G. Komen increase over 2000%

This is how we live - online - on social medias. Messages travel at warp speed. I tweet, fb, blog, and email on my lap top - on my phone.

Just because it's different dosen't mean it's wrong or dumb. It's fast - it's free promo - it's brilliant.

I have several family members who have had breast cancer - it broght the issue top of mind in a relevant fun way.

Kudos to whoever started it!

Kelly Stevens said...

I'm all for getting people's attention by creatively communicating a cause, but sometimes I think people use breast cancer awareness as an excuse to be able to talk about breasts in sometimes offensive and inappropriate ways. I was tailgating at a Ravens game earlier this year and someone was actually going around selling drink coozies that say, "I Love Boobies!" And we were supposed to pay $5 for one and trust that the money would go to breast cancer. They were selling like hotcakes! I just question whether the money actually goes to breast cancer, and whether posting the color of my bra really prompts people to donate money towards the cause. I genuinely hope that it does, but usually when I see these promotions I feel a huge eye-roll coming on. It takes overexposure to a whole new level.