Thousands of women (and men) are banding together to share their stories and fight to find a cure for breast cancer. With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, social media activists have sought to maintain a culture of awareness for the better — and sometimes the worse.
Take this Tuesday’s National Bra Day, during which women ditched their bras in solidarity with breast cancer warriors. The move meant well, but went left when participants used it to post explicit photos and braless pics of celebrities to gain retweets.
The NY Daily News points out that the holiday isn’t recognized by the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Many of its participants weren’t even aware #NoBraDay was linked to the cause.
Breast cancer seems to be one of the easiest diseases to objectify. Playing off women’s bodies through campaigns to “free boobies” makes the approach lighter. An unconfirmed site for #NoBraDay even encourages women to wear white t-shirts.
But the balancing act is tough when there are thousands of women who are battling the disease head-on. It’s also impossible to see any lasting effect when the trending topic vanishes from the Twittersphere in a matter of 24 hours or less.
Besides purchasing pink items and donating to breast cancer awareness programs, there’s plenty of productive ways to contribute to the cause.
From running marathons to busting out the “Nae-Nae,” here are some fun and productive ways to spread awareness about breast cancer — objectification free!
Run, Walk, or Volunteer For a Marathon
All-year-long there are 5Ks, walks, and marathons that raise money for breast cancer awareness and free mammograms for early detection. Use the opportunity to sign up for races with your friends, co-workers, or family members. If you’re not into running, sign up to cheer on breast cancer survivors from the sidelines. [Susan G. Komen]
Attend Outreach and Awareness Groups
A recent study revealed Black women are more likely to receive late treatment or misdiagnosis for breast cancer than White women. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle released their findings this week, reporting that 30 percent to 40 percent of Black and Hispanic patients get the wrong treatment more often than White patients. Nearly 34 in every 100,000 Black women die of breast cancer, although White women are the most diagnosed.
An understanding of the disease is the most helpful, regardless of race or sex. Read up on breast cancer and attend outreach programs for family members, survivors, and caregivers in your town. The African-American Breast Cancer Alliance in Minnesota is just one group leading discussions and conversations about the cause. Look out for a group in your community, or start your own! [NBC News]
Dance It Out
Dancing for the cause is one of the most active (outside of running) ways to join the cause. In conjunction with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the Pink Glove Dance began five years ago with doctors and patients dancing together to spread awareness. Today, the viral video contests continue, inspiring many. You can also take part in Zumba classes that support breast cancer here.
Donate Long Hair to Make Wigs for Cancer Patients
Donating your locks is more than helpful to a breast cancer warrior. It gives them a sense of confidence, love and support. According to Locks of Love, up to ten inches from tip to tip is the minimum used for hair pieces. Remember to wash and dry your hair and present it in a ponytail or braided fashion before donating. [Locks of Love]
Lend an Ear To a Friend
Sometimes we forget about the friends who have lost mothers, sisters, and grandmothers to breast cancer. Listening can be just what the doctor didn’t order. Make sure to hear out your friends and co-workers if they are troubled by the battle. It might be easy for some to fight it alone, but from time to time, everyone needs a friendly ear.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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