Sunday, June 06, 2010

a lapse in judgment

In the last couple of weeks, I have received two emails from Rethink Breast Cancer, an advocacy organization aimed at younger women. The messages urged me to by tickets for the Rethink Romp, a Toronto fundraiser and party.

I like a party as much the next girl and the idea of a superhero themed party made me smile. I love superheroes.

I eagerly clicked through to check out the "Shazamer", an interactive site where I could make my own superhero. At that point, the fun came to a screaming halt, as I read the words: "Show of your six packs and your great racks in support of Rethink Breast Cancer".

It's a great site, with some really cool interactive features but the model is built like Barbie and the "Superheroes" title bears the sub-head "with a great rack comes great responsibility."

The idea that a group of diverse, smart breast cancer advocates sat around a table and decided that this was a good idea is just inconceivable to me. Even more shocking is that this idea went from that table to a high profile, glossy campaign without someone shouting, "Hey wait a minute! Don't you all think this is a little insensitive?"

Yesterday, I sent Rethink this brief email:

Has no one complained to you about this?

A breast cancer organization talking about "great racks"? What if you only have half a rack or none at all? Can I still be a superhero if I'm not white [I did discover after I sent the note, that you can change the skin colour of the model, once you get inside the game but both the male and female superhero start as fair and light-haired] , with big boobs and able-bodied?

I love the idea and I love the spirit of fun and celebration to which you are clearly aspiring. I just don't understand how a group of breast cancer advocates sat down together and agreed that this is the best imagery and wording for this event.

So disappointed.

I haven't heard back yet. Rethink Breast Cancer has a great mandate and does good work. I love the spirit of fun they try and inject into their work. With this campaign, though, the organization has displayed a serious error in judgment.
super me
a one-breasted warrior
with really great boots
a rhea belle top
and some seriously funky accessories (thanks to Babz for that suggestion)
generous hips (the better to shoot from)
crows feet
and smile lines
and always compassionate
but ready to kick ass
when she needs to.


Dee said...

I completely agree - a lapse in judgment! Let us know if they respond, okay?

Lene Andersen said...

I'm agog. Just... agog.

Karen said...

De-lurking just long enough to leave a quick comment.Your e-mail was incredible and I am anxious to hear their response.If they can come up with one that is.....Blessinga and warm thoughts....

Christine said...

My superhero would have several missing or misaligned body parts from various surgeries, radiation tattoo marks, and eyebrows that never grew back after the 2nd round of chemo. She’d be wearing spandex pants (because that’s what’s comfortable on a bike) with a baggy t-shirt that says “Superhero” across her damaged but beautiful rack.

Good for you for writing to them and letting them know that this was a DUMB idea. It would be great if they changed their site to be able to create superheros who represent who we really are.

Anonymous said...


You couldn't make this stuff up! What a crazily stupid public relations gaff!!!

Please let us know as soon as you hear from these folks. I can't wait!

B in T

laurie said...

Thanks all. It makes me feel validated that you all agree.

Mom2Amara said...

Laurie, have they responded? I just read your post and I'm so applauded. Quite insensitive. I have to imagine you are not the first complaint...

Anonymous said...

I look exactly like Christine's superhero. I'm only missing the T-shirt. May have to get one!