Bra contests for cancer aren’t the best approach

Both genders have specific pieces of clothing designed to protect “naughty bits”. For women, it is the ubiquitous bra. For men, it is the jockstrap or athletic supporter (also known as a “cup”).

So far, so good.

Here’s my question: why do they have contests to design the most amazing and outrageous bras to raise money for breast cancer research? And it’s not just one contest of this ilk – it’s just the one I happened to find in the news. In fact, there could be one near you right now.

You’d never find a self-respecting charity anywhere who would have a contest for designing men’s jockstraps (even if it did support prostate or testicular cancer research). Is it that women take their bodies somewhat less seriously than men? Perhaps men have no sense of humor? Or maybe there’s a kind of reverse sexism going on here, where men’s genitalia are off limits, while women’s breasts are okay?

Regardless, I find the creation of bras to raise money for breast cancer to be somewhat misplaced. After all, it’s focusing on that very item of clothing that becomes most problematic for a woman with breast cancer, especially if she ends up with a mastectomy.

I can hear my readers now: It’s for a good cause! Come on, Monique – lighten up a little!

I know. I also know women who have had breasts removed. The glorification of that piece of underwear that most reveals to them the results of their surgery, seems a misplaced – if well meant – approach to raising awareness and dollars.

Here’s hoping that while we’re having fun – and making light of those precious “naughty bits” of ours – that we can also remember the women who have lost a breast to this disease. These women may not have the same congenial relationship with their bras anymore.

If you are a woman who has had a mastectomy, you can find information on our site regarding post-mastectomy bras. If you are in the very early days after a mastectomy, this may provide you with some information that can help.