Save Second Base

One of a number of irreverent and suggestive breast cancer awareness campaigns.

Writing for Newsweek, Kate Dailey commented on a trend for provocative advertising campaigns aimed at raising awareness of breast cancer, such as “Save Second Base,” and “Save the Ta Tas.”

According to Dailey, while many consider such campaigns a light-hearted means of promoting a cause, they are not universally popular. “Save the Boobs” – a viral video which features a bikini-clad MTV Canada DJ, Aliya-Jasmine Sovan, strutting around at a pool party – has proved particularly polarizing. [Click here to see; not explicit, but possibly Not Safe For Work, depending on where you work.]
Discussing Save the Boobs, Kairol Rosenthal, who wrote “Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30’s,” said:
“Guys are going to remember the boobs, but are they going to remember what the cause is? … This video doesn’t have to do with the realities of cancer, especially the cancer of a young woman. It’s a slap on the face to women who are young and have mastectomies, who can’t strut around in a string bikini or get a date because they’re bald.”
Noting the danger that such campaigns could be “all sex and no substance,” Dailey argued:
Still, the somewhat snarky approach to cancer awareness is a predominant trend among young survivors and activists, and the attitude extends beyond breast cancer. The blog I’ve Still Got Both My Nuts discussed testicular cancer, while “save the hooch” is a popular phrase among cervical-cancer activists. For many young cancer patients, the idea is that the rules of traditional cancer communities — communities that exclude young cancer survivors — don’t apply.
“Edgy, provocative, counterculture ads really show the cognitive dissonance of the youth culture, which is really rebelling against the fact that we have no voice in cancer,” says Matthew Zachary, the founder and CEO of I’m Too Young for This, an outreach organization for people with cancer. “There’s no research for young adults, no epidemiology for young adults, and none of the billions of dollars for cancer research goes to young-adult cancer.” Being funny, rebellious, and over the top is a way for young cancer advocates to stake out their territory.


Dictionary of unconsidered lexicographical trifles. 2014.

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