Target: Julia Fikse, Founder of Save the Ta-tas Foundation
Goal: End use of insulting and sexist content in Breast cancer awareness campaigns
The color pink has now become synonymous with breast cancer awareness in American culture, as much as it is synonymous with little girls’ toys and princess dresses. But there is a more insidious side to this corporate branding of breast cancer awareness, and that is the blatant and flagrant use of women’s bodies as commodities. This objectification skews support of breast cancer research as if all we were preserving were objects of the male heterosexual gaze, and not the lives and welfare of the women suffering from the disease.
After the Komen Foundation withdrew support from Planned Parenthood, the only nearby medical facility for women in some parts of America, it lost a lot of credibility with supporters of breast cancer awareness. Unfortunately, the organization was only continuing a trend of supporting breast cancer awareness for financial gain at the deficit of women actually enduring the disease.
This catalyst for this trend is the Save the Ta-tas Foundation (a business of which only five percent of the profits actually go to cancer research), which uses sexualized images of women in order to sell T-shirts promoting the having and ogling of breasts. With phrases like “Caught you looking at my ta-tas!” or “I [heart] my big tatas” emblazoned on their t-shirts, what Save the Ta-tas neglects to understand is that not only do many women with breast cancer actually lose their breasts in the terrible process, but the average sufferer of breast cancer middle-aged. A campaign that utilizes images of young, healthy women with supple, and more to the point, present breasts is not exactly sensitive to the needs of the demographic it’s supposed to be supporting. Furthermore, using sexualized humor to make light of the rather harrowing experience of actually losing one’s breast to a deadly disease is really just twisting the knife.
Please sign this petition to urge Save the Ta-tas to change its business model and stop using derogatory images of women and insulting phrases to promote the sale of its t-shirts. The preservation of a woman’s individual body parts does not supersede the preservation of her life and health.
Dear Julia Fikse,
Many women who endure the terrible disease of breast cancer are forced to have mastectomies in order to save their lives. Your irreverent business, Save the Ta-tas, is an insult to these women. You’ve used the sexualization and commodification of women’s bodies to make a profit, and relegated saving the lives and health of women suffering from breast cancer to saving objects of the heterosexual male gaze.
Women’s breasts are not simply vessels for the pleasure of men or to feed and care for children, and their struggles are not for your personal entertainment. Your slogans and business model diminish womanhood to the body parts most interesting to men. Women’s rights to health and happiness are being stripped away every day, and your products are a reminder of just why that is.
Please change your business model, and reconsider your product line. Until you do, you are adding to a culture of misogyny and over-sexualization at a woman’s weakest and most vulnerable moment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: screenshot via savethetatas.com