And How Together We Can Make The “C” Word Disappear Forever
Date: October 5, 2012
By: Lexi Mars
I love my boobs. To those of you who know me personally, that should come as no surprise. I’ve always dressed my chest with the “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” approach, and have been a long time supporter (read: insanely-obsessed-spends-all-my-money-there-patron) of Victoria’s Secret. In fact, there is no problem too big for a bottle of Jack Daniels and a supportive bra.
Well, actually there’s one problem those two things can’t solve and it starts with a capital C. Cancer is a huge word, cancer is so big of a word that we dedicate months of the year to the different varieties that rob us of our friends, family, lovers and … well even our breasts. I’m sure with the all the pink ribbons around it hasn’t gone unnoticed that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“At Remember MEdia it may seem that we’re all living fast, but as much as we like to live fast, none of us want to die young — or live without that love of our bodies and breasts that we have now.”
In Canada, 1 out of every 9 woman is expected to develop breast cancer and 1 out of every 29 will later die from it. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women 20 and over and accounts for 26% of all cancer cases in Canadian women. I don’t know how you did in math class, but trust me, that’s a huge chunk of a pie chart. According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (www.cbcf.org) breast cancer deaths have decreased by 40% since 1986 (fortunately for us that’s an even bigger slice of the pie). Breast cancer itself hasn’t decreased though, however we are fortunate have incredible organizations like The Keep A Breast Foundation (KAB) who strive to inspire conversation and educate about early detection, prevention and all those nasty things in our environment and daily lives that are cancer causing.
If you’ve ever picked up a copy of AP magazine, attended Warped Tour in the past couple of years or are an active philanthropist you have undoubtedly heard of KAB. Teaming up with various skate, surf and snowboard companies to start the breast cancer conversation, KAB has made quite the name for themselves and even infiltrated the music scene. You’ve seen the bracelets and the t-shirts; it seems that everyone (not just me) “hearts boobies”. KAB has made breast cancer awareness hip and accessible.
The brain-child of a skate-board industry designer Shaney Jo Darden and friend Mona Mukherjea — hosts of various art and fashion events which eventually became Modart, a grass roots arts curating and event organizing group. Their mantra was Creative Action Breeds Active Creation. When a young friend of theirs was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, Shaney looked to various organizations that already existed to create awareness of breast cancer and found that they were geared towards an older demographic. Shaney knew that creating awareness for her friend was her mission and that progressive art would be a means to an end, what she didn’t know was that redefining the game would be the outcome.
What came next was a series of Keep a Breast shows, which involved several pairs of boobies and a hell of a lot of casting materials. These awareness events showcased breasts cast from everyone from female snowboarders to volunteers; these casts were then distributed to artists to create a series of totally personal art pieces. The casts were then auctioned in 2002, a mere 3 years after her friends’ diagnosis and 2 years after the first official showcasing. With such momentum and popularity KAB was able to bring breast cancer awareness to a younger generation. Soon, Shaney wasn’t satisfied with just awareness — she wanted to educate. This was the birth of the Traveling Education Booth and the “Check Your Self!” breast self-examination cards.
Now, 12 years later, we are seeing celebs and rockstars adorning the “I HEART BOOBIES” bracelets with pride. Expanding into a global non-profit organization whose ambassadors include the babely band All Time Low and countless extreme sport athletes, KAB is taking the world by storm. Their incredibly well-designed and easy to navigate website includes an entire “Get Educated” section with all sorts of information about breast cancer — with prevention tips, how to check yourself and everything else you could possibly need to know. KAB keeps current and active on their social media profiles and continues to host various fundraisers staying active within their communities. For a full list of events you can visit their events calendar online at: http://www.keep-a-breast.org/events/2012/10/
“Now, I love my boobies. I really, really love them. I also love my lifestyle, but we all must remember that it is all about balance. As much as we love our boys and our booze, we love our yoga and our vitamins too.”
And we absolutely adore non-profit organizations that don’t preach, and are truly, truly looking out for our best interests. Or perhaps Victoria’s Secret’s interests in my case. So this month, do yourself a favor: visit www.keep-a-breast.org and find out how to do a self-check. Light some candles, throw on your favorite tunes and make a night of it. Hell, if you have a beautiful boy on speed dial, invite him over and show him the ropes — it’s for the greater good of your boobs after all. Frankly, the world is a better place with boobs in it.