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We Dare to Bare – The Boobie-Thon

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I am so proud to be associated with the Boobie-thon, as a participant, a donor, and photo editor. What began as a lark has turned into something that inspires hope on many levels.

*For Immediate Release: Bloggers bare all for breast cancer research!*

October 1, 2005 –Boobies. Although they come in all shapes and sizes (large, small, saggy and perky), they have one thing in common: The ability to develop cancer.

Even though there is no cure yet, the fourth annual Blogger Boobie-Thon is doing its part to make cancer a thing of the past.

From October 1-8, bloggers from across the globe can submit pictures of bare and covered breasts to raise money for breast cancer causes.

Four years ago, Robyn – of (the now defunct) Tampa Tantrum and Shutterblog.com – began a little fundraiser to bring a friend down to Florida for Thanksgiving. A few photos of cleavage were posted as enticement for donations. I participated. In fact, I was the first Pay-Per-Boob. What the hell, it wasn’t like many people were going to see the photos, right? Little did anyone realize that the cost of the plane ticket for Robyn’s friend would be greatly exceeded. The excess funds were donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Cut to the following year – everyone wanted to know if there would be a repeat of the Boobiethon. There was, and even more money was raised. This time, however, there were no plane tickets involved. This was about breast cancer. This was serious business, but we all got to participate in a very fun, light-hearted way.

The third year, last year, was the biggest and best event thus far. Over $8,000 was raised in about two weeks. The Boobiethon had received some press at that point, giving much more exposure to breast cancer awareness.

The Fourth Annual Boobiethon is currently featured in an article for Wired News, and will no doubt, receive more coverage than ever before.

Typical Rack Shot
It may seem frivolous to some people, but we’ve raised more than $17,000 dollars for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in three years.

Fact: A woman living in the United States has a 12.5 percent, lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. However, a large portion of the overall risk is due to the risks at older ages.

Bloggers, both men and women, submit cleavage photos, and/or more revealing shots, including those from breast cancer survivors as a means of bringing in donations. Some people find this offensive, but we’re not trying to excite or stimulate people in any way, only to support breast cancer research.

Fact: Breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have the disease, but about 90 percent of women who develop breast cancer do not have a family history of it.

From a comment at MetaFilter: Seeing the nursing moms and guys in there startles you out of the boobs-as-objects mindset, and draws attention to the point of the boobiethon.

Fact: Internet e-mail rumors and at least one book suggested that underwire bras obstruct lymph flow, but there is no scientific or clinic evidence for that claim. E-mail rumors also suggested that chemicals in antiperspirants could be absorbed through the skin, interfere with lymph circulation and cause toxins to accumulate in the breast that could lead to cancer. There is no evidence to support this rumor.

All of the bloggers participating do so for a variety of reasons. Some have lost friends or family to breast cancer. Some have faced personal battles. No matter the reason, we continue to gain support every year, and that support adds up to donations for research.

Fact: Breast cancer most often spreads, or metastasizes, to the lymph nodes, lungs, bones, liver and/or brain.

When I was quite young, my aunt (for whom I was named) died of breast cancer. Back in the early 70s, we didn’t have the technology available that we do today. My aunt’s battle was horrendous and memories of her fight against cancer still bring tears to my mother’s eyes. I’ve also lost several friends to the disease. Some have survived their initial battles, only to succumb after the thought they were in the clear. I have another friend who recently lost her second breast to cancer. She is so brave. She doesn’t care what it takes, she’s determined to beat it.

Fact: Breast cancer occurs primarily in women, but occassionally in men as well. Like all cells in the body, a man’s breast duct cells can undergo cancerous changes. Breast cancer in males is one of the rarest cancers a man can develop.

A San Diego anchorman, Bill Griffith, kept a journal on his experience with breast cancer.

Fact: For all ages combined, white women are more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women, but African-American women under age 50 have higher incidence rates than white women.

While our methods may not necessarily be mainstream, it’s important to remember that we’re still contributing, still hoping to find a cure. You can, too.

Boobiethon 2005!

The Boobie-thon runs until October 8, 2005.

Fact: Resources for the “Facts” include Oncolink, American Cancer Society, Ohio State’s James Cancer Hospital, and the Centers for Disease Control.

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About Joan Hunt

  • I’ll be there to support you – and lend a hand.

  • That’s what I like to hear – an uplifting offer, Temple!

  • I wonder if maybe the boobiethon effort might go a step further and produce a calendar with the profits (100%) going to the foundation to fight breast cancer.

  • Heather

    I put a boobiethon link on my lj and buzznet blogs (not that many stop by though). I hope that’s okay. 🙂

  • thank you joan, and my mother thanks you from where ever she may be (i have good reason to think she may be hovering over tibet as this is somewhere she often spoke of going)…

  • Your mother was one righteous hippie, which is cool 🙂 Free Tibet.

    Is that your rack above, Joan?

    This is an interesting idea, but are people really paying to see boobs? I’d imagine most of the money comes from women, actually.

    Men could have a similar thing for prostate cancer, but no one wants to see that part of the body. And if there’s a niche market for it, I’m scared to think of who it would be.

    That is all.

  • i frequent the spa here in stuttgart, the most relaxing and fun parts being the nude areas (the clothed area only gets a pool and a heated grotto)…naked women of any age, size, color, scar, stretch mark, birthmark, missing parts — women don’t bother me in the least…it’s always a relaxing, soothing ladies-day out…i think nudity is the great equalizer…

    the men, though, oh goodness…i thought germany was the greatest place until i was in the spa for the first time and looked over at the heat lamps to see 12 naked men sprawled out on the wood beds in all their glory…any age, any size, any race, it doesn’t matter how fit or good looking — it prompts an “oh, that’s just wrong!” every time…
    i know i’m not the only one as playgirl (and other things like that) doesn’t sell as well as its counterpart…that and the german women will tell you “nicht nackt mann bitte!”

  • Diana, Thank you for sharing your mother’s story.

  • JayBee

    Daina, the spa at the Hotel Foantana in Vaihingen? I spent about five months living there, and being around a “textile free” environment is truly different for this American. But I did learn to appreciate the overall beauty of all forms.

  • i go to the spa in the SI Centrum in möhringen and i go with the USO to the spa in baden-baden (super nice one there)…
    i didn’t know the foantana had a spa but i’m going to go check it out because i live in vaihingen…but i do know where all the bakeries are 😉

    my mother would have loved these spas and i did get her to one a couple of times but in the states they’re so expensive…i haven’t paid more than €30 ($35) for the whole day to include a nice lunch of salmon, salad, and wine…i don’t usually get a massage but those are only an additional €7…

    i’d never been to a spa until i got here…i sent my mom but that was all i could afford at the time…the doctor said it would be good for her, and she did say she preferred the spa to her pain medications…if i could’ve, i’d’ve sent her at least once a week…

  • Cheers to the brave women confronting this head on and to the folks who’ve got their back.

    I had never heard of this event. Thanks for posting it and bringing it to my attention.