October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and with that realization comes an awareness day that has garnered continued discussion over the last few years — No Bra Day. The day was apparently created in 2011, and its audience has continued to grow to the point where it is sweeping social media. However, there has been some debate as to whether or not No Bra Day has the intended effect of raising awareness about breast cancer, or if it is just an excuse for women not to wear what is deemed by some to be a fairly restrictive piece of underwear.
According to the National Cancer Institute, five-year survival rates for breast cancer now hover at around 89.4 percent, based on statistics gathered from 2005 to 2011. Statistics from 2010 to 2012 show that the average woman has a 12.3 percent chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime. Survival rates continue to climb, and occurrence rates are starting to drop — why institute a practice like No Bra Day?
Some have claimed that No Bra Day merely feeds a somewhat salacious society’s desires for human flesh, particularly since men, who can get breast cancer as well, do not require a bra for their daily lives. While there are many individual shots of ladies in the process of celebrating No Bra Day, there are also some naysayers who are making their voices heard on social media.
Whoever came up with this #NoBraDay is a pervert. How is showing your nipples creating awareness??
— Arsenal❤ (@mss_fertymer) October 13, 2015
#NoBraDay because lets turn breast cancer awareness into something pervy.
— Caroline Bamber (@CazOnTheWeb) October 13, 2015
Some might argue that showing support for No Bra Day on social media means that images of braless chests must be featured throughout everyone’s Twitter and Facebook profiles, among others. However, there are still those who are also posting awareness information about No Bra Day.
— Balls to Cancer (@Ballstocancer) October 13, 2014
It should be noted that, according to the National Cancer Institute, while men can be as diagnosed with breast cancer as women, men tend to be diagnosed at a later stage, thereby making their chances of being cured quite a bit lower. That said, while there are many braless selfies making the rounds on social media, Fox News reports that there is currently no research that links being braless with a lower chance of breast cancer.
In addition, No Bra Day might be seen as a fairly logical way to raise awareness about breast cancer. After all, No Bra Day is about breasts and breast cancer, whether the person having the condition is male or female. What better way to raise awareness than to encourage women to avoid wearing a bra on No Bra Day? Of course, that similar train of thought does not work as effectively to raise awareness for cancers like prostate cancer due to societal constraints.
Of course, there are alternatives for those who either must wear a bra or for those who simply do not, such as men. To support No Bra Day, this unique group can wear the color purple to help raise awareness about breast cancer and its effects. Pink is also the universal color for breast cancer support and awareness, and there are several clothing lines which have long endorsed the breast cancer fight. These clothing lines also ensure that a certain amount of funding goes towards several breast cancer charities.
Whether you think No Bra Day is about indulging a thirst for the female form in a socially conscious way or about raising awareness for a form of cancer that continues to affect thousands of women and men throughout the world, it does not really matter. No Bra Day has, intentionally or not, created some controversy, but more importantly, it has continued a much-needed conversation about cancer prevention and hope for a cure.
[Feature image courtesy of www.lunabe.com]