gender, women

National No Bra Day

“Encouraging women to show off their braless chests in the name of awareness won’t save anyone, but its message to breast cancer patients and survivors is clear: Your disease is about your secondary sex characteristics, not about you” – Christina Cauterucci.

In my last blog post, “Dear breasts”, I talked about what it means to have “survived” breast cancer with a mastectomy and breast reconstruction. Truth be told, though I’ve been commended for my courage in speaking out, it took me 6 years to do so.

Today, on “National No Bra Day,” I am sitting here facepalming at the sight of innumerable photos of women supposedly bringing “awareness” to breast cancer by letting the girls out. As with the share-bra-related-information-in-your-Facebook-status gimmick, I struggle at the edge of solidarity and the inevitable sensationalism of all campaigns. I must believe that there are at least a few well-intentioned individuals who have contributed to this “Fauxliday” as Cauterucci puts it. But I struggle.

Why? Because these twitter pictures of celebrities sharing their perfect breasts with the public are yet another slap in the face for mastectomy-survivors like myself. How is it that their flaunting their still-existent-nipples will help breast cancer survivors?


2 thoughts on “National No Bra Day”

  1. If the emphasis is on “you” and not “your secondary characteristics”, then why emphasize these characteristics? I just don’t understand the logic.

    If the emphasis is on “you”, then why not share something of “you”-a created work of art, music, poem, essay, picture of family, knitted mittens, excellent pumpkin bread or shami kebap recipe, etc?

    However, I will say, the picture you show in your blog (is she a celebrity?) reminds me of the myth of Amazon warriors, women who cut off their breasts so they could draw their bows and fire off arrows with more accuracy. Nice to be reminded of women warriors.

  2. I’m with you in not understanding the logic, though logic isn’t necessarily the key agent here. I don’t know who the picture in my blog is of (it’s on Twitter and I couldn’t find a name), but I found it a powerful reminder of the post-mastectomy days. My surgeon refused to do the reconstructive surgery right after the mastectomy, and the trauma of coming out flat is still a nightmare. Truly, warrior women.

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