When a federal judge sided with the Pennsylvania students who wore "I ♥ Boobies!" bracelets to school, that was "score one for free speech," writes Peggy Orenstein in the Los Angeles Times. But the score for breast cancer? Zero. These "sexy" breast cancer awareness campaigns may "bring a fresh, irreverent approach to the youth market, but beyond that, their agenda is, at best, mushy." At worst, they are actually spreading misinformation.
The breast self-exam—which these groups are aiming to promote—is actually no longer recommended by experts. For "women who have or have had cancer," like Orenstein, "hearts break at the thought of millions of dollars wasted" on such misleading campaigns. And there's plenty the young kids sporting the bracelets could do to show they care about breast cancer, from volunteering to holding fundraisers to promoting research. Sure, that would take time and effort, "but it would be more meaningful to women with cancer and, I imagine, to teenagers themselves. Because, among other things, the idea that you are taking action merely by wearing a titillating bracelet is not a great life lesson." (Click to read another anti-bracelet column.)