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I’ve Decided to Stop Wearing Underwear Which Should Obviously Make You Think about Cancer

It barely warrants comment at this point.  All week long, I have been seeing idiotic Facebook status updates again (yes, I’m looking at you, friends), which obviously means that it’s time for cryptic, pointless “breast cancer awareness.”  All of that is in quotes because these memes do nothing to actually promote awareness.  What we end up doing is discussing the meme, not discussing breast cancer.

And if you thought the fake pregnancy one was offensive, there are a plethora of obnoxious options this year:

Oh dear, dear, dear. You should not have liked or commented!

Now you have to pick one of the 14 below & post a status. This is the 2014 breast cancer awareness game. Don’t be a spoil sport, choose your poison & change your status.

1) Damn diarrhea

2) Just used my boobs to get out of a speeding ticket.

3) Anyone have a tampon. I’m out.

4) How do you get rid of foot fungus.

5) Why is nobody around when I am horny?

6) No toilet paper, goodbye socks.

7) Someone offered me a job as a prostitute but I’m hesitant.

8) I think I’m in love with someone what should I do?

9) I’ve decided to stop wearing underwear.

10) I still love my ex.

11) I really don’t know how to tell anyone and I’m sick of hiding it I’m gay.

12) Guess it was 2 good 2 be true I’m pregnant.

13) Just won $7000 on a scratchy.

14) I’ve just found out I’ve been cheated on for the past 5 months.


I like the “haha” at the end — it obviously points to the seriousness of cancer.

Here’s the thing.  Cancer isn’t a game.  It isn’t something cute.  It isn’t something that needs non-specific awareness.  What IS needed is education and fundraising and support.  And if the meme offers none of those things, you should take a pass or use your status to educate, fundraise, or support.

Please use your status box wisely:

  • Post a link to Toddler Planet’s post about the lesser known inflammatory breast cancer (Toddler Planet died several years ago from IBC).
  • Post a link to WebMD’s page on breast cancer.
  • Post a link to the Mayo Clinic’s page on breast cancer.

Yes, I am a spoil sport.  And no, you don’t need to leave a comment telling me to lighten up.  Saying that, especially when you know nothing about my life, just makes you a jerk.  Please don’t be an Internet jerk.  Just click away.


1 a { 03.28.14 at 3:19 pm }

Well, that list is decidedly unfunny. I don’t mind the “make-up free for cancer awareness” photos, but they are still mostly unhelpful.

2 loribeth { 03.28.14 at 3:53 pm }

There must be more than one of these going around… I got one last week with a list of love life statuses equated to various fruits (yes, fruit) & asking me to post the one-word fruit as my status update… in the name of cancer awareness — & keeping the guys guessing, of course!! Needless to say, I ignored it. :p

The whole barefaced selfie thing supposedly started as a cancer awareness thing as well, but I didnt’ realize that until I had seen at least half a dozen, none of which mentioned the cancer connection.

Enough, already!! :p

3 Buttermilk { 03.28.14 at 3:55 pm }

That explains a few things I’ve seen this week…
Totally dumb.

4 Julia { 03.28.14 at 4:13 pm }

I freaking hate those statuses. And I hate the make up free selfies… that are supposedly for cancer .

5 Christine { 03.28.14 at 4:18 pm }

I hate those ones… but I have to stand up for the barefaced selfies – the idea was not just to take a picture but to also give a small donation. They made it simple to donate a small amount with a text message, and as a result the cancer societies in the UK and Ireland took in a huge amount of extra donations. That’s not pointless, that’s pretty good. I didn’t like the chain-letter aspect of it, but I donated all the same.

6 Claire { 03.28.14 at 4:54 pm }

I admit it. I hate those memes. I hate breast cancer “awareness” stunts. I get angry about the pink ribbon and stores and companies profiting from this publicity stunt that makes ppl feel good for doing nothing. I tell ppl to donate to breast cancer research and not “awareness”. And yet I stupidly participated in it too. The person who “got” me is kind of intimidating and she has big boobs so I really thought she had used them to get out of a traffic ticket. I did it out of total peer pressure. My status post was sthg that EVERYONE had to comment on because it was a coming out as gay confession ( everyone already knows I amgay).
I hopes no one would notice it. Then when the first few did I sheepishly sent out the meme, but as it gained momentum and more ppl commented or likes it I just didn’t have the heart to do it. So I didn’t. Basically I didn’t want to be a spoil sport. And I should not have cared. That’s my confession for today. I’m going to go post one if those other sites on my FB page and contemplate my feeble caving into peer pressure and hope I don’t submit next time.

7 Hope { 03.28.14 at 5:45 pm }

I had to do a lot of reading to catch up and understand that title … and I’m still not sure I understand. Because this whole thing makes NO sense.

8 Morgan { 03.28.14 at 6:31 pm }

Thank you for this! I am completely baffled at the approach to ‘support’ breast cancer. It’s just another way to talk about yourself and post a ‘selfie’ and get compliments about how great you look with or without makeup. Not sure how any of these ideas relate to breast cancer. THANK you for the great tips on using your status wisely, and sharing links for knowledge and perhaps a link to a clinic doing free exams in honor of breast cancer. That is well worth the time and usage of your news feed 🙂

9 Kimberly { 03.28.14 at 7:03 pm }

I actually did the makeup free one before I knew it was for breast cancer awareness. I thought they added the breast cancer thing to it after the fact because it was so popular and that originally the point was to show the younger generation that being makeup free is ok and the definition of true beauty. I also did it anyway because I’m working on a program for my Brownies about building self confidence and courage into young women and what better way to promote that than confidently rocking a no makeup picture on social media. I sorta feel silly for taking part now, if it was all breast cancer awareness because they are so many other positive ways to promote awareness for all cancers, especially if the people taking part know the real reason for taking part.

10 Brid { 03.28.14 at 8:04 pm }

Not on FB so I can’t speak to the memes, aside from the fact they do seem ridiculous, but I agree with Clare about the pink ribbons. They seem to have taken on a life all their own, which is self-defeating. Much to my chagrin, my skis, for example, have the pink ribbon stamped right into them. I have no idea if any money went to Komen, or whomever it’s supposed to go to. Further, the only reason I bought those ones was because they were on an end-of-season sale… certainly not because of the ribbon (in fact, I very nearly passed on them because of it). You can get things with the ribbon on them at the dollar store, for crying out loud…. Get a mammogram, if you can… they don’t hurt (at least mine didn’t)… even so!

11 chickenpig { 03.28.14 at 8:38 pm }

I am fed up to my tits with the awareness. We have bodies, people, and things can happen to every part. Please be aware that the following can happen to you: your heart can develop heart disease, every part imaginable can become cancerous, including your breasts, even if you are a man! Your brain, your mouth, your esophagus, your glands, your lymph nodes, your organs, your skin, your blood, and your asshole. You can have mental illness, fibromyalgia, addiction, or autism. Please be aware and go to a god damn doctor on occasion! Thank you for having basic human health awareness. And while we’re at it, your sex organs may also be deficient in creating small life forms, be aware of that too.

12 Megan { 03.28.14 at 10:16 pm }

Gah, why do people do this kind of thing? I guess I understand most people don’t have any idea how to process the idea of breast cancer and the only thing they can think of is to make themselves feel better about “raising awareness” while not actually thinking of the disease itself. And doing something that’s zero work, apparently fun, and attention-getting is pretty attractive too. Too bad it’s the absolute wrong result.

13 Michelle { 03.28.14 at 10:20 pm }

I lectured someone over FB about #2 & 12. As a breast cancer survivor who’s undergone a double mastectomy and infertility I find this all very offense but those two options make me insane.

14 Lisa { 03.29.14 at 1:38 am }

Thank you for writing this! I find this so maddening. It is just upsetting on too many levels. And all the while women and men die of this disease. There have been so many this year already and I can hardly bear it. My friend’s father recently died of metastatic breast cancer . . . it does happen to men too. And none of these stupid posts will ever fix or help or prevent any of that. Sigh. Thank you for writing your post.

15 Sian { 03.29.14 at 1:43 pm }

Cancer Research UK received over £2million in donations in a short period of time for the no make up selfies. There was a # to go with the picture stating it was for cancer. At first I was sceptical but when people started posting a picture of the text donation with the selfie it seemed much more worth while. Plus I saw a load of posts on how to check yourself which was great. I even went upstairs and stood in front of the bathroom mirror and did a self exam. It has been a long time since I last did one. I wonder how many other women did the same thing?

16 JustHeather { 03.29.14 at 2:43 pm }

I’ve only seen the no make-up selfies this year (uhm, I hardly ever wear make-up, so this wasn’t anything “crazy” for me). I haven’t seen this one you talk about. Bleh!
I have a(n online) friend who is experiences 11, 12, & 14 all right now. I’m sure she’d love this meme…

17 Cheri { 03.29.14 at 4:51 pm }

Ditto the previous commenters…thank you for this! I’ve been avoiding Facebook all week for just this reason. It’s like we have to turn everything, even cancer, into a silly game in order to justify spending our time on it.

18 Cherish { 03.29.14 at 8:05 pm }

Yep. Between hating fake preggo announcements and hating that my sister just started chemo for stage 4 breast cancer that has already spread to her liver, it is driving me batty.

19 Pundelina { 03.29.14 at 9:18 pm }

I got done over by one of those and refused to play along. I thought one of her kids had hacked her facebook and posted it so I sent her a kindly text. No reply until a few days later when she messaged that crapola. I briefly considered posting the foot fungus one because tLG has a problem with that so it was kind of real, but then I decided it was stupid and did nothing for cancer.

Much like that stupid nomakeupselfie pics. 99% of my pics are nomakeup cause I don’t wear it. So that wouldn’t have been anything brave at all. I know they raised a lot of cash, but the peeps in my feed doing it weren’t pinging the fundraiser so I didn’t even realise that was the point! I’m not sure that any of them who posted their pics donated to the cause so then what was it for??? Narcissism. Grrrr. Rant over.

20 Battynurse { 03.30.14 at 12:02 pm }

I got one yesterday. I had responded to the one about out of TP, good bye socks and got the demand to join in. I sent back a polite yet firm no that I would not be playing along as it did nothing to raise breast cancer awareness. I never got a response to that. Oh well.

21 Pepper { 03.30.14 at 5:15 pm }

YES! I think of how annoyed my actual real-life friends who have endured breast cancer and survived feel about this – surprise! They don’t like it. Because how does turning something into a joke ever raise “awareness”? It just makes it into a joke, which this is most assuredly not. Ugh.

Aside – a former co-worker got completely bitten by this when posting one of the embarrassing statuses above only to have a screenshot taken by a former student and tweeted out to the world – including many of her current high school students, co-workers, and administrators. And was she righteously indignant! (I must roll my eyes – seriously? Don’t post this kind of crap ON THE INTERNET.)

22 Kelly { 03.30.14 at 5:19 pm }

Thank you for writing that post! I couldn’t agree more.

23 It Is What It Is { 04.03.14 at 6:18 pm }

I will admit to still getting sucked in. I can’t believe I actually have friends (albeit FB friends) who partake in these utter wastes of time. Every time one pops up, I think of Lisa Bonchek Adams, living with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer that will kill her. She is younger than me with three children. There is nothing funny about that. As in NO THING!

Here is her post about Facebook games:

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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