I read in the Los Angeles Times the other day about a new ad campaign promoting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. MSNBC picked up the story, which included a clip of the ad "Save the Boobs" from the non-profit Rethink Breast Cancer.
Dan Neil's L.A. Times story is headlined "Breast cancer ads use lechery for good."
I'm not so sure. It's still lechery. It's still more of objectifying women's bodies. It also reinforces the thinking that, when it comes to women's breasts, bigger and bouncier is better. How does that make women with smaller breasts feel?
I understand, of course, the intent of this ad. Get attention. Get people talking. It looks like that's worked (evidence: this post, the L.A. Times and MSNBC stories and others).
I'm just not sure if this was the way to do it. Ads on serious subjects can use humor to get attention and recall. Coincidentally, I saw another ad on breast cancer awareness (it's part of the MSNBC clip linked above) that had closeups of women with their hands on or under their chests, pledging allegiance to fight breast cancer. Each woman referred to her breasts using a different slang expression -- my hooters, boobies, tatas, my girls, chi-chi's (never heard of that one), etc. But they weren't in tiny bikinis; they were wearing street clothes. And they were women of all sizes; not just the Barbie stereotype 36 double-Ds.
From what I've seen online so far, I may be in the minority here.
The "Save the Boobs" ad is drawing positive comments from ad critics and from readers. But I just wonder if the same message to younger women and the men who love them -- that breast cancer strikes young women too -- couldn't have been communicated in a way that doesn't reinforce the objectifying and demeaning of women.Maybe it's just me -- I'll admit it.