As soon as I saw the wide receivers put up the pink gloves in anticipation of catches, I knew it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Which means it’s working.
I’ve heard some criticism as of late, regarding this recent tradition of the NFL: that in October, accessories should be pink to help raise awareness for breast cancer.
But, um, getting rid of cancer is a good thing. Duh. End of blog post. Just kidding … I have more to say …
Awareness is the operable word, here. It’s October, so I’m conditioned in two ways: first, to see pink and think about cancer of the chi-chi’s, and second, to drink pumpkin spice lattes.
I’m fully aware that the NFL makes billions of dollars, annually. I’m aware that they make additional money off of the pink merchandise. I’m aware that the various foundations (Komen, ACS, etc.) make money as well, with only a fraction going to actual research.
But most of all I am AWARE of the disease, AWARE of what to do for myself, and AWARE of the organizations working on its cure. So that’s good.
And while we’re talking about chi-chi’s …
I do struggle with some of the ways the NFL gets viewers to think about cancer, though. Because we aren’t really thinking about cancer. We’re mostly thinking about boobs.
This is actually an old conflict for me, and speaks to my love/hate with many things that actually objectify women. In October, two of these collide:
Cheerleaders and “Saving Second Base.”
Today the Seagals released their photo shoot which raised … something? … for breast cancer awareness. They look great in pink (duh).
I love the Seagals. I know them by name. I watched the whole audition process online. But I also recognize that they are undervalued (as they’re paid minimum wage) and yet routinely displayed (objectified).
And then there’s the men saving the boobs. Do they care about the women? Do they care about the horrible disease ravaging bodies? Or are they worried about not getting a good feelsie if one gets cut off? There’s no focus on the disease, just jiggly jiggly boobies.
But I did think the Save Second Base T-shirt was cute when I saw it, because I love men who love women. I think of my husband who thinks of me complexly, and would totally wear that shirt if I (God forbid) had cancer, and would not be objectifying me.
Focus, boys, focus!!
Wear pink shoes.
Sell pink caps.
Use pink graphics.
And I’ll remember to get my chi-chi’s checked.
But let’s remember why we’re doing all of this.
My eyes are up here.