"I like it on the floor," one read.
"I like it on a chair," read another.
What was going on? Had the women in my social network suddenly become super bold and outspoken about their sex lives? Not that there would be anything wrong with that, but it seemed strange.
When I learned what this meme was aimed at, I couldn't help but roll my eyes. Apparently, by stating where you like to keep your purse (how does that have anything to do with anything?) YOU TOO can help raise awareness for breast cancer! And titillate (pun unintended) all the creepy guys you went to High School with in the process! Everyone wins!
This sort of "awareness" campaign is nothing new. A few years back we had the charming Save The Ta-Tas campaign, which, while well-intentioned, also makes light of a serious and horrifying disease.
Both of my grandmothers fought against breast cancer during their lives. They both underwent mastectomies. There is nothing playful or sexy about their experience, and though they were strong women who ultimately beat the disease, I could tell that the experience left them scarred emotionally as well as physically.
That's why I think it is so important to remember the harsh realities of the disease, and why I think causes like The Scar Project are so inspiring. The site features beautiful and heart-wrenching pictures of real women, 18-35, who have fought the disease, or are in the midst of various stages.
Photographer David Jay sums up his mission on the website:
Dedicated to the more than 10,000 women under the age of 40 who will be diagnosed this year alone, The SCAR Project is an exercise in awareness, hope, reflection and healing. The mission is three-fold: Raise public consciousness of early-onset breast cancer, raise funds for breast cancer research/outreach programs and help young survivors see their scars, faces, figures and experiences through a new, honest and ultimately empowering lens.The project makes a good point of not only raising awareness, but also of acting upon that awareness by funding research.