On My Soapbox: Facebook Statuses {Spin Cycle}

It keeps happening. Now, Facebook friends, I know you mean well, and you have jumped on the bandwagon for a good cause.

You know what I mean; the status you posted that was just a color. The status that made me believe your sex life was spicier than mine. (On the chair in the kitchen!) The status that made me believe you are expecting a little bundle of joy and you’re craving peanut butter cups, or that you are going to move to London for 2 months.

But think about those poor chumps who actually believe you, and comment back “How exciting! When are you due?” Or, “I’m going to be in London in two weeks! Let’s meet up!” until finally, in exasperation, you have to post, “It’s really a breast cancer awareness thing.”


Moving to London is about breast cancer awareness?

A while back, when bra colors were the breast cancer awareness rage on Facebook, I posted this status instead:

Bra colors, schma colors….My last mammogram was in September, 2009…when was yours????*

I got some great responses from women who had had their mammograms and from those who had one scheduled soon. This was my favorite comment:

In October & I thank God every day for MMO’s. Since my very first one saved my life almost 30 years ago Feb. 4.
Love you, my sister in Christ,

What an inspiration Jean is! She is a member of my church, and continues to be a survivor.

What really frosts me, though, are statuses like this one. I’m not reprinting the whole thing because it just irritates me so much.

The normal boobs ( . )( . ) the silicone boobs ( + )( + ) the perfect boobs ( o )( o )…..

And the list goes on, ending with “Save the boobies!!!”

However, this list is missing some boobs. Where are the scarred boobs (/. )( . ) missing boobs  ( . ) X  fake boobs with tattooed nipples ( x )( x ) or red radiated boob ( . )( . )? Phrases like “save the boobies” or “save the ta-tas” irritate me SO MUCH. It doesn’t matter how early breast cancer is diagnosed, your boobs will never be the same. You will never be the same. Breast cancer awareness is all about saving lives, not saving boobs.

Please, the next time a message appears in your Facebook inbox, resist the urge to post your favorite candy bar in the name of breast cancer awareness.

Thanks, Gretchen, for letting me get up on my soapbox. I’m getting off now. Go see her for more people who are standing up for what they believe in!

*My latest mammogram was in November, 2011, and it was perfectly normal. 🙂



28 Replies to “On My Soapbox: Facebook Statuses {Spin Cycle}”

  1. This is so timely and HELPFUL! I just got two of those things last week! And I just never know what to do, you know? I want to be supportive and help with awareness, but how the hell is a silly Facebook status supposed to help anybody? We should all just post when we had our last mammogram, like you did. Speaking of which, it's time for me to make an appointment! THanks for the reminder!

    You are linked!!

    1. Thanks, Gretchen! People who post those statuses really are trying to do the right thing. By the way, I couldn't get your new button to work on my blog (probably because of my ineptitude on WordPress) so I just posted the picture. I'll try again next week!

  2. I've never seen those boobs statuses before, although I've seen the others. I think they're missing one, the after childbirth boobs (.)(.) I've never been a fan of those statuses because they don't represent breast cancer awareness in how it should be. YOUR status does. Thank you for that! Next time I see one of those, I'm going to channel you!

  3. Thank you for speaking your mind. I wish more people could read it! The same thing happened with something like this on Facebook that hurt the baby lost moms I work with. I wish people would step back and put themselves in the shoes of others. It doesn't really take that much effort to have compassion for everyone. ((HUGS))

  4. Ginny Marie,

    Yep…. Thanks to social media, not only do we get to listen to the NOT mal-intentioned SAY some pretty dumb stuff….. we get to watch and read all this silliness, too.
    GREAT Rant. I'm big on ranting…..


  5. Although those statuses get on my nerves too I have to say that anything, no matter how annoying, that gets anyone thinking about breast cancer and trying to find a cure can’t be ALL bad. I just want them to find a cure!

  6. I'm so with you. Like the companies who package everything in pink in October, but it's all just marketing and nothing goes into Breast Cancer research!


  7. Hi there,
    You've explained well why those "save the boobies" choruses get on my nerves. It is about cancer and living (for men and women) and pls don't objectify the parts!
    My status is I've done a self exam the other day. Hope you don't mind, but I am a big, big believer of the self exam!

  8. I love this rant, and I love that you have such a good sense of humor about all of this.

    My last mammogram? September 2011. Result? "Stable" (which is as close to "normal" as I get)

    Oh and I had to laugh when you remembered those of us with "scarred boobs." You can sign me (. )( .)

  9. Congrats on your most recent mammogram! And you will be happy to know I've never participated in any of this Facebook bandwagon type of stuff :).

  10. I so love this spin! LOVE it! You are totally right–it's about saving lives! And why confuse the issue with all the stupid FB posts? I never really understood this. But I like what you did instead: posting about your mammogram might just encourage someone out there to go ahead and get theirs scheduled. And thanks, because you reminded me that since I just turned 40, I need to get another mammogram soon (I got one when I was 35, because my aunt had breast cancer). I'd better make my appt soon!

  11. I am so with you on this. I refuse to participate in those things. I'd rather actually speak out about the causes using words that allow everyone to know what I'm talking about than some vague game that no one gets unless they're clued in. As for the moving to London, I really thought my friend was going to Amsterdam recently! She's really superstitious and posts all those things because she really believes something bad will happen if she doesn't. I let her slide on it because it's a legitimate issue with her due to her OCD. But other than that, I want to see people say "hey, don't forget to do your breast exam this month!" rather than "on the chair in the kitchen." Makes much more sense to me.

  12. Great post Ginny Marie – love the concept of the spin too. I lost bestie to breast cancer suddenly two years ago and have a friend who I'm supporting through surgeries with reflexology…so loved your take on the boobs!

    Thanks and keep spinning.

    A Mom On A Spiritual Journey!

  13. I agree 110%. And it's not about saving boobs. It's about saving lives. And I get it, it's cute and fun, until, well, you no longer have a boob. Am I less worth saving now? Well, obviously not, but still. Prostate cancer gets a commercial about saving fathers. Breast cancer gets save the boobs.

  14. and actually, I was just reminded of a little story that highlights in the misguided and often inappropriate nature of the "I love boobies" campaign. I was ordering food from a pretzel shop at the mall, and in an effort to make small talk with the guy that was taking my order I asked him what his bracelet said. It was a different color than the usual "I love boobies" bracelet, but I should have known better. He was SO embarrassed to look me in the eye and say "uh, it says… I love boobies.". I was so embarrassed and he was too. If it was really purely for breast cancer awareness, I don't think he would have had any shame in his voice but the poor kid could hardly look me in the eye he was so uncomfortable.

  15. So excited to say my doctor called last week to say "I got the results of your very boring mamagram" She is a character and I was so happy to hear those words 🙂

  16. This is a great post. Breast cancer awareness needs to be TALKED about and not left in little funny messages on facebook. Peoples lives are depending on this.

  17. Hey, I wanted to comment on your current blog post, on your home page, but I could not figure out how. Am I missing something?
    Thanks, Tricia

  18. I completely agree! I hate those Facebook statuses. They don't make any sense. There's no link, no information, no call to action, blah. And on an unrelated note as a woman who's struggled with infertility I found the fake baby posts to be insensitive to those struggling with infertility.

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