‘I [Heart] Boobies’: Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelets Deemed ‘Offensive’
Students at Springvalley Middle School in Kelowna, B.C., have been banned from wearing breast cancer awareness bracelets because they’re considered “offensive.” The bracelets in question have the slogan ‘I [heart] boobies!’ printed on them, and they’re part of a youth-oriented breast cancer awareness campaign by Keep A Breast Canada.
School District 23 superintendent Hugh Gloster said he received complaints from parents who found the language unsuitable for teenagers. Gloster then decided the bracelets indeed violate the school’s code of conduct.
Am I the only one who finds this ridiculous? We’re talking about teenagers here. Most if not all are capable of handling the word “boobies,” and it most certainly captures their attention more than “breasts” (sorry, but it’s true). There’s a reason that organizations like Keep A Breast and Rethink Breast Cancer are using edgier campaigns to spread awareness and raise funds; if they want to capture a younger demo, they’re well aware of the fact that they need to speak directly to them and have some fun with it, no matter how serious the cause. (This all reminds me a bit of the new and brilliant “Fuck Famine” campaign against hunger by Bono & Co.)
Meanwhile, a similar incident is taking place at an Arizona high school. The cheerleading squad at Gilbert High School is being told they can’t wear their pink T-shirts to raise money for breast cancer awareness during the school’s football games. Why not? Because the administration finds the shirts’ slogan “objectionable.”
The shirts say “Gilbert cheer” on the front and on the back they say – wait for it – “Feel for lumps, save your bumps.” This is offensive?! Really, I think it’s the adults who need to grow up.
As Natalie Skowronek, a 17-year-old Gilbert High junior, told USA Today, “We’re not saying anything a doctor wouldn’t say.”
“We thought the shirt was age-appropriate,” she continues. “I think it’s hypocritical they would approve a fundraiser for breast-cancer research but they won’t approve a shirt to bring awareness to breast cancer.”
I couldn’t agree more.