I just want to be clear from the start – cancer is a horrible disease that is now a permanent part of the human landscape. Many of us have lost loved ones to the horrid illness. The subject itself deserves to be taken seriously, and raising awareness and funds for treatment is hard to object to.
With that in mind I turn my attention to the amount of ‘no makeup selfies’ on my Facebook news feed of late. The idea of this campaign is for women to post photos of themselves without makeup, in an attempt to raise awareness of the plight of breast cancer sufferers.
My problem here is not with the desire to raise awareness, although let’s just have a quick look at breast cancer. No other cancer is as widely exposed in modern media as that of the breast. Despite advances in modern treatment the horrible disease still kills over 2,000 people per year in this country. It gets a lot of publicity, and it’s worthy of it.
Breast cancer is the only one that has practically trademarked a colour – pink (it’s much more flattering than the wonderful shade of ‘brown’ that comes with Movember prostate cancer awareness). This colour is used by business, sport and entertainment industries to show their support of raising awareness and money. The Sydney test has an entire ‘Jane McGrath’ day where everything turns pink and donations are made. The NRL has a similarly themed round in its regular season. Sports, seen as a wonderful representation of active patriarchy, have helped even the thickest males understand the issue. Continue reading