It seems like everywhere you turn this month, there’s a new stunt masquerading as a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, and “mamming” — placing one’s breasts on inanimate objects and taking photos of it — is just another of many. But mamming creators Michelle Jaret and Michelle Lamont insist that it’s not just a silly craze; it’s inspiring people to get mammograms.
“We wanted to do something that focused on the woman as being responsible for her breasts and her health,” said Lamont, who is a breast cancer survivor herself. “Overall, we hope that mamming reminds women to get screened, and maybe makes them feel a little less awkward about putting their boobs in the mammogram machine. We love seeing people get really creative.”
If you recall, last week the pickup artists from Simple Pickup raised over $2,000 by motorboating for breast cancer donations. However, their donation, which was originally submitted to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, was rejected due to the “sensitivities of the communities [the organization] serves.” Essentially, making light of breast cancer by flirtatiously placing their faces between women’s breasts was not well-received by the women — and the families of those women — who are battling or have survived breast cancer. The foundation asked that its name and logo be removed from the group’s Youtube video postings.
One of the bros from Simple Pickup said that the Breast Cancer Research Foundation lost $7,000 ($5,000 of which were from video views, not just the actual motorboating) because of “haters.”
"It's obvious that they had to do this because they were getting pressured by a small minority of haters who thought that this video was 'offensive,'" said one of the bros. "So congratulations, haters. Breast cancer research literally just lost $7,000 because of your personal problems with this video."
And now, after that whole debacle, we have Jaret and Lamont attempting to promote breast health by encouraging women — and men, too — to place their breasts on objects and snap photos. Is the concept any different?
“Instead of reminding people of the horror of contracting and enduring this disease, these products seek to ‘lighten up’ a discourse that arguably should not be ‘lightened up,’” Reed McConnell of the Harvard Crimson wrote. “This upbeat banter takes the place of the real, serious conversations that people could be having about this disease, and that are the norm around other diseases that have similar mortality rates and health effects. No one would suggest having upbeat, silly banter about lung cancer, or about AIDS. But once breasts are involved, the conversation changes.”
But maybe mamming isn’t so bad. After all, it was created by a breast cancer survivor, which is more than can be said about the men who were motorboating for cancer donations.
Remember: there is only one week left in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For details on how you can contribute your time and/or resources to finding a cure, visit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Watch videos of people “mamming” as well as the rant from one of Simple Pickup’s “bros” below: