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I've got a lovely pair (NSFW)
December 2, 2010 10:31 AM   Subscribe

A popular New Zealand young woman's magazine's causes contoversy. [NSFW] The online magazine asked its (mainly young, female) readers to submit anonymous pictures of their breasts so that they could be viewed and rated by others.

In return NZGirl would donate a sum of money to breast cancer research. The whole campaign has generated a lot of controversy as New Zealand's online community have pointed out that asking young women to post their pictures is unsafe and a gratuitous use of others' suffering. The magazine's editor defended the campaign, saying that it prompted awareness and encouraged many women to have their breasts checked. With allegations that the pictures have ended up on at least one porn site (NSFW obviously) and with pictures found elsewhere on the net the whole episode has generated huge publicity for NZGirl magazine.
posted by chairish (98 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
As dumb as this stunt it, how is it unsafe? I'm assuming the magazine was smart enough to strip EXIF gps data off the images, and breast-recognition technology is still in an infantile state.
posted by benzenedream at 10:37 AM on December 2, 2010 [24 favorites]


PSA: First link goes directly to BOOBS
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:37 AM on December 2, 2010


s/stunt it/stunt is/
posted by benzenedream at 10:38 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Looks like their plan.... went tits up.





YEEEEAHHH
posted by wcfields at 10:38 AM on December 2, 2010 [45 favorites]


Perhaps next they could sponsor a topless club event for breast cancer. How about explicit shots of genitalia for ovarian cancer?

Someone should break it to these people that inviting young readers to be exploited is not sanitized by sending some money to a campaign to fight lethal diseases.
posted by bearwife at 10:38 AM on December 2, 2010 [12 favorites]


benzenedream: "and breast-recognition technology is still in an infantile state."

heh
posted by brundlefly at 10:39 AM on December 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


My problem with this is largely the rating -- I am bisexual and so I wanted to see naked pictures of what I considered to be hot women, but when I was about twelve or thirteen I also really wanted to see naked pictures of other "regular" women so that I could get a sense of whether or not I was normal or if I was a freak in some way. Having women send in pictures of themselves so that others can see that people come in all shapes and sizes and whatnot and that there's nothing wrong with them seems like a valuable project to me, but adding a rating means that a) people are only going to send in pictures if they think they have nice breasts and b) it implies that some of them are in some way better than others. Seeing pictures of other women and realizing that there wasn't anything wrong with me would have helped me a lot when I was younger, but adding a rating system makes it creepy, uncomfortable and potential harmful.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:40 AM on December 2, 2010 [57 favorites]


the whole episode has generated huge publicity for NZGirl magazine

Mission Accomplished

At least when the Huffington Post puts up "Long Island Students Brawl Viciously Outside School (VIDEO)", they don't promise to pledge advertising revenue from the page views to school violence prevention programs.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:41 AM on December 2, 2010


Couldn't this be considered child pornography if the picture is of someone under 18? (possibly relevant NZ law, IANAL or New Zealander)
posted by desjardins at 10:46 AM on December 2, 2010


I'm very pro-boob, but they could have done without the rating thing.
posted by orme at 10:47 AM on December 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Moar boobz pleez.
posted by En0rm0 at 10:48 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


iii58008
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:55 AM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Gosh, I am a fan of boobs.
posted by kbanas at 10:57 AM on December 2, 2010


Agree that the rating system is the real crime here, assuming the girls are of age. If they are, it's their decision, after all. I have little (heh) doubt a similar project for young men aiding testicular cancer would result in many, many photos of penises. Probably a lot of which didn't belong to the person sending them, but that's another issue.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:57 AM on December 2, 2010


<obligatory>Breast of the Web</obligatory>

And for my MeFi BoyZone contribution: those things are real, and spectacular!
posted by hincandenza at 10:58 AM on December 2, 2010


Rate My Rack, down-under version.
posted by spacewrench at 11:01 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have little (heh) doubt a similar project for young men aiding testicular cancer would result in many, many photos of penises.

Might as well slap a testicular cancer awareness badge on chatroulette and be done with it.
posted by Scoo at 11:03 AM on December 2, 2010 [39 favorites]


You know, it would have been a nice idea if it hadn't been about breast cancer and more about acceptance of whatever you have or don't have. Instead it's "We're raising money to fight this disease! Survivors of the disease - don't bother, no one wants to see that!" Gross.
posted by amethysts at 11:05 AM on December 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm reasonably sure most of us in the western world, including these young readers, are already well "aware" of their breasts, and the dangers that they might face. I'm not entirely sure we need any more awareness of the situation at hand.
posted by clvrmnky at 11:06 AM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would have hoped that the rating system would have been squewed by people that like "regular" breasts. I don't know, call me a dreamer I guess.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:08 AM on December 2, 2010


Such bullshit. We should only care about/can only raise awareness of a disease that kills millions of people because OMG BOOBIES ARE AWESOME!!? Gross.
posted by rtha at 11:08 AM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not entirely sure we need any more awareness of the situation at hand.

I could use much more um..awareness actually...
posted by Skygazer at 11:10 AM on December 2, 2010


(.)(.)
posted by fatbaq at 11:11 AM on December 2, 2010


You know, if you have (fully developed) breasts, you aren't a "child" as used in the phrase "child pornography." Not legally of age, sure.

The ratings are bunk and a bad idea. 99.99% of the world's women are going to have breasts that are perfectly fine with those lucky enough to have the opportunity to gander at them.
posted by maxwelton at 11:16 AM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Actually, my main complaint is that the mag descended into PINK FLOWERS AND OMG!!! AND HEARTS <3 <3 :) MAY AS WELL SHOW PONIES!!!!1111ONE design because that is apparently what women want to see.
posted by clvrmnky at 11:24 AM on December 2, 2010


Am I the only person who thinks that rating system isn't based on the boobs alone, but on the thoughts and feelings towards their breasts expressed by the women as well? Or am I over reading it, cos it looks like there's lots of breasts in the 100's that could easily be in the top 10 and vice versa, but then again I'm a guy, so you know...even this:

(.)(.)

is pretty happening, and that's cos the idea of boobs and the ideal of boobs is a strong visual elixir of sorts.

(There is a serious point here and that is, that women are way more harsh with themselves and each other than most men are capable of being. looks wise..)
posted by Skygazer at 11:24 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't only, like, 27 people live on New Zealand? This is pretty much every boob in New Zealand.
posted by dgaicun at 11:26 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is anyone still unaware of breast cancer? There are other cancers you know. Are you aware of AT/RT?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:27 AM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not entirely sure we need any more awareness of the situation at hand.
And yet 90% of the women I know (including my mother!) posted their bra color on Facebook a few months back in order to promote awareness.

Is anyone still unaware of breast cancer?
From a marketing perspective, the benefits of things like this shouldn't be that hard to understand: Everyone knows breast cancer exists, but forcing people to think about breast cancer this moment obviously makes them infinitely more likely to donate to breast cancer research this moment.

Asking "Why bother with awareness?" is like asking why Coke would bother with product placement. After all, aren't we all aware that Coke exists and is available for us to purchase?

(Also, AT/RT is much, much less common, and will almost certainly not kill my spouse, mother, or sister. Unlike, say, breast cancer.)
posted by coolguymichael at 11:40 AM on December 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm reasonably sure most of us in the western world, including these young readers, are already well "aware" of their breasts, and the dangers that they might face. I'm not entirely sure we need any more awareness of the situation at hand.

Public awareness saves lives. Better detection methods, better treatments and earlier detection as a result of these and other campaigns are all contributing factors to why there has been a decrease in breast (and some other) cancer mortality rates in the US, UK and Europe over the last four decades.

It doesn't matter if the campaigns are mindlessly idiotic, about bra color, saving yogurt caps or showing teenage boobs on the internet. They raise awareness, and arguably help women, young and old, notice the warning signs that lead them to get tested earlier. So that when they do have cancer, it's more often found early enough to be treatable.

Public awareness is also one of the reasons why breast cancer gets so much funding over other other, more deadly cancers.
posted by zarq at 11:50 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I quite liked this reader's comment from some NZ media blog (2nd link) about the controversy.

"...I say full credit to the NZGirl team for putting their money where their mouth is and coming up with a fantastic way of keeping this incredibly important issue in the public arena.

And yes, before you call me on it, one of the directors of NZGirl is my ex-wife."

posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:58 AM on December 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


My immediate, not well thought out thoughts on this issue:

1) Are Nos. 7 and 10 real?

2) I wish I had bigger boobs.

3) I think it's a better campaign than buying the breast cancer research supporting version of some cancer causing product. I got tricked into buying a skin cream with spf that had a "supported by [cancer research organization]" logo on it and I found out it actually had a known carcinogenic ingredient on it. Apparently a company can buy the logo and put it on the product.

4) I wonder what the downsides of a boob job are.
posted by anniecat at 12:01 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


From a marketing perspective, the benefits of things like this shouldn't be that hard to understand: Everyone knows breast cancer exists, but forcing people to think about breast cancer this moment obviously makes them infinitely more likely to donate to breast cancer research this moment.

That too.

Just for the hell of it, I'd like to note something here that I said in a thread last year:

Almost none of the monies donated to the Susan G. Koman foundation go to basic research. On the other hand, the Gateway Charity donates 99% of the monies they fund-raise to research groups. Whether the research being funded is specific to a particular type of cancer also depends on the organization.

Health.com has a nice breakdown: Where the Money Goes: A Breast Cancer Donation Guide
posted by zarq at 12:02 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


So... it's www.ratemyrack.com? For children?

...

This isn't in the news at all, here. That I've seen, anyway. I suspect that will not last because there's nothing the local papers like more than a new excuse to put nudie girls on the cover.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:02 PM on December 2, 2010


Lots of these pictures are pictures that are posted over and over on 4chan. I wonder how many are legit contributions.
posted by hellphish at 12:02 PM on December 2, 2010


This idea has been around for ages -- Blogger Boobie-thon is in its ninth year. What is new is just how many of these are full-on topless pix -- Boobie-thon's submissions are mostly not nude -- and the ratings. For me, the rating system is a bit over the top. What does that have to do with breast cancer awareness?
posted by me3dia at 12:05 PM on December 2, 2010


I think #1 is sitting on a toilet. I may be mistaken.
posted by anniecat at 12:06 PM on December 2, 2010


The site is verrrrry slow to load... I can't see why...
posted by Webbster at 12:07 PM on December 2, 2010


I feel like people are basically using breast cancer as a gimmic to sell things and talk about breasts. I mean, who isn't aware of breast cancer at this point? Doesn't lung cancer actually kill more women? But you can't sell that with titties...
posted by delmoi at 12:11 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Think about pink, a relevant one-page article from the New York Times (November 2010) about how "awareness" really works out for breast cancer and how the gap between boobies (marketing) and breast cancer research. Thought I'd throw that out there since it covers a lot of the rhetorical questions and other flame-bait in the comments in this thread.
posted by whatzit at 12:12 PM on December 2, 2010


GOB: They're laughing with me Michael! They're laughing with me!
MICHAEL: At you, GOB. At you.

I'm not really understanding what these allegedly obvious marketing/awareness benefits are. The bra color / where you hang it thing went totally over most people's heads (hint: when trying to raise awareness, keeping the subject of awareness a secret is usually a bad idea). And really, boobs? Does the phrase "I'm up here" mean nothing to anyone?

If building websites for 14 years has taught me anything, it's that there's nearly no limit to what people can fail to see on a web page if you give them something else that will attract their attention.

I can buy that the people behind this thought it was a good idea. But it's just not true that all publicity is good publicity. Publicity of a certain type takes your brand (ouch, yes, I said the 'B' word) in a certain direction, whether that's desperation, titillation [hurfdurf he said 'tit'] or both. And if in the process of getting your publicity you've contributed to an environment of objectification -- well, does the "good" of your publicity (for breast cancer research? for breast cancer? for the magazine?) outweigh the harm done by promoting the rating of girls based on the appeal of their tits?

As far as the whole 'awareness' concept in general goes -- I'm kind of not buying that anymore, either. What are you getting when you buy someone's instantiary awareness? Not much, I'm thinking. Much better is to get them to do something. I'm not even talking about investing their own personal-risk a la Gladwell, but rather getting them to invest something more than some time spent looking at boobs or rating other girls on theirs. I know it's hard to think of things, but it can be done. Even just getting people to put a badge on their facebook profiles, getting them to commit to re-tweeting something every day, or (heaven forbid) talk to someone today about breast cancer screening or research. (Talk amongst yourselves to brainstorm additional options. Please.)

But 'awareness' as such -- I'm not convinced that really even means anything anymore.
posted by lodurr at 12:16 PM on December 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Anniecat...You should be aware that many of us who LOVE boobs love the smaller ones because they are small just as much as we love the big ones because they are big.
posted by txmon at 12:17 PM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Who isn't aware that there are starving children, or war, or any other number of diseases? "Raising awareness" means putting it in the forefront of peoples' goldfish-like memories long enough, at that moment, to get them to donate to their charity of choice; not that it makes them aware for the very first time that such a thing as breast cancer exists.

I'm not sure what I think about the campaign. Nothing wrong with liking your body and wanting to show it off, I suppose, but the skeeze angle is really, really off-putting.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:20 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is anyone still unaware of breast cancer? There are other cancers you know. Are you aware of AT/RT?

I've said this before, only about RCC. The cancer that is closest to you is the one you think of. Me, it is RCC since I'm a survivor. I am aware of AT/RT because of raising money for St. Baldrick's Foundation. You see the letters AT/RT on many submitted pictures of the kids.
posted by SuzySmith at 12:22 PM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


My major concern is that the magazine is aimed at younger women. The same girls that we do the whole cybersafety "don't post compromising pix of yourself on the internets" talk to continuously. It just feels icky.
posted by chairish at 12:30 PM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


4) I wonder what the downsides of a boob job are.

Primarily: Scarring and encapsulation (which means that scar tissue makes the breast overly firm or hard to the touch.) Loss of sensitivity to the breasts and nipples. Possible pain issues. Aesthetic issues (breasts that are unnatural looking or become lopsided.)

Secondarily: Leakage and rupture. (less deadly / carcinogenic now with improvements to silicone implant fillers and cases. Still a major concern.) Interference with mammograms and cancer detection. Possible loss of function to milk glands, depending on the type of surgery performed to insert them. Additional surgeries will be required: implants do not last a lifetime. Revision surgery is common in breast implant patients. However, that category does include what would under normal circumstances be considered a routine procedure for an implant patient.

It's major surgery, so there is also the possibility of infection and other complications.

More at wikipedia.
posted by zarq at 12:31 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, if you have (fully developed) breasts, you aren't a "child" as used in the phrase "child pornography." Not legally of age, sure.

Nowadays, there are plenty of 11-year-olds with boobs - though not fully developed, but still a substantial rack. I'd say 11 still qualifies you as a child.
posted by Neekee at 12:34 PM on December 2, 2010 [4 favorites]



(Also, AT/RT is much, much less common, and will almost certainly not kill my spouse, mother, or sister. Unlike, say, breast cancer.)


Maybe, or it might kill your niece like it did mine. The less common cancers need awareness too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:35 PM on December 2, 2010


When I got my BFA and was looking at different masters programs, including one in NZ, my uncle grabbed my shoulders and shook me, saying, "Move to New Zealand! Marry a New Zealand girl!"

They have boobs.
posted by cmoj at 12:45 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This should have been something more along the lines of Normal Breasts Gallery, where there's no rating crap. It's just actual, imperfect breasts (big, small, lopsided, etc.) on actual people, along with a brief description from the submitter (bonus: the descriptions usually mention how the person used to not like their breasts but now feels much better now that they can see that their breasts are fine the way they are)
posted by stefanie at 12:46 PM on December 2, 2010 [10 favorites]


What if we substitute the words money for research to help stop having women get mastectomies and sometimes die anyway for awareness? Does that make anyone feel better?

How about if we substitute the words "Get a breast screening now, and every year, if you're over 40 and don't put it off, it may save your life" for awareness does that make anyone happier?

Because, I know some people who would still be around with that type of awareness and/or still whole.
posted by Skygazer at 12:54 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's just that when I think of breast cancer awareness I think of things like NFL players in pink shoes. There are better shows to choose if all you are doing is a PSA for women to get breast screenings. If it is about donating money, it's fair to point out there are other areas of research that need help just as much. The NFL does a lot of work with St.Judes on childhood cancer, but it would be cool to see special shoes for that too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:02 PM on December 2, 2010


I love things like the "Normal Breasts Gallery" -- I wish something like that had existed (and that the internet had been publically available) when I was a young teenager and freaking out because mine just didn't look like the breasts I saw in movies (I used to watch European films at that age). Turns out that they were normal, but I spent years thinking I was a freak because they didn't appear all at once, perfectly formed. (I'm not sure it's a good idea to have under-18s submit pictures - it's probably best to limit the pictures to 18 and up, and let the under-18s look so that they can learn from older women).

But rating? that's just turning what could have been an exercise in women learning from other women (ala "Normal Breasts") into another excuse to make people feel bad about their bodies.
posted by jb at 1:09 PM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Note: the breasts being featured in "I've got a lovely pair" do NOT look a lot like the breasts in "Normal Breasts". They are being selected for only certain shapes, first by those who choose to submit, and then by the rating system.

This is anti-good breast health -- mental and physical. It will probably make young girls less likely to have their breasts checked for fear that their physician will judge them for not looking like porn breasts.
posted by jb at 1:12 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wish something like that had existed (and that the internet had been publically available) when I was a young teenager and freaking out because mine just didn't look like the breasts I saw in movies (I used to watch European films at that age).

Well, Our Bodies Ourselves came out in 1973 as did many similar books of its era.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:22 PM on December 2, 2010


Despite being at work and thus being unable to, in good conscience, check out nzgirl boobage of dubious origin, this post introduced me to TinEye, which is pretty cool.
posted by Sparx at 1:29 PM on December 2, 2010


You should be aware that many of us who LOVE boobs love the smaller ones because they are small just as much as we love the big ones because they are big.

But the bigger boobs would be for me to feel self-satisfied about when I look at them, but I'd have to be taller to get the effect I wanted. My partner seems to be appreciative of the available goods already, but I like the bigger ones that don't look fake. And then, sometimes I don't like them. I hear they feel weird and make weird sounds when touched, and so many fake ones are so oddly shaped. I'm sure I couldn't afford a really, really good pair. Otherwise, I'm small and petite and high waisted, so sizing and proportionality would be tough to determine. I would look weird with a C cup unless they were permanently perky, and I don't know if they would feel as good as real ones (and if they didn't, what would be the point?). And I'm not at all good with pain and recovery.
posted by anniecat at 1:33 PM on December 2, 2010


Nothing wrong with liking your body and wanting to show it off, I suppose, but the skeeze angle is really, really off-putting.

Girls Gone Wild! (The breast cancer awareness edition)
posted by anniecat at 1:36 PM on December 2, 2010


Up next: testicular cancer benefits - send us your balls!

Next Month: Colon cancer - Moon everyone you don't know.

Still better than going though airport security.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 1:36 PM on December 2, 2010


I like this one the best.
posted by sciurus at 1:40 PM on December 2, 2010


BOOBS ON THE INTERNET WELL I NEVER
posted by Mister_A at 1:42 PM on December 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


And I'm not at all good with pain and recovery.

This is where my wife keeps landing when she thinks about having hers reduced. But I suspect the ongoing back and neck pain is going to win out in the end.
posted by lodurr at 1:45 PM on December 2, 2010


Public awareness is also one of the reasons why breast cancer gets so much funding over other other, more deadly cancers.

Are you saying this is a good thing? Perhaps I'm about to step into a world of hurt, but wouldn't it be better if some of the money went to other, more deadly cancers instead? Or, like, heart disease and such? There is only so much money to go around.

I suppose it depends on whether the massive, ubiquitous public awareness of breast cancer means that breast cancer research gets more money than it otherwise would while research for other diseases gets the same amount of money or whether it gets that money instead of other diseases. I'm not at all sanguine that it is the former.
posted by Justinian at 1:48 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This set is interesting and so is the comment.
posted by CCBC at 1:52 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Justinian: "Perhaps I'm about to step into a world of hurt, but wouldn't it be better if some of the money went to other, more deadly cancers instead? Or, like, heart disease and such? There is only so much money to go around."

I think I see where you're coming from, but I still don't think there's a limit on the number of different cancers you can care about or donate money towards the prevention of.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:54 PM on December 2, 2010


And yet 90% of the women I know…posted their bra color on Facebook a few months back in order to promote awareness.

It was the least they could do.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:54 PM on December 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


well, technically, the least they could do was nothing.

but yes, that's the general idea.
posted by lodurr at 1:57 PM on December 2, 2010


And yet 90% of the women I know…posted their bra color on Facebook a few months back in order to promote awareness.

I think there was another one, like where you like to put your purse when you come home and you were supposed to write, "I like it [where you put it]" so some women wrote, "I like it on the bed" or "I like it on a chair" or "I like it on the floor."

I think that must have been promoting purse placement awareness?
posted by anniecat at 2:06 PM on December 2, 2010


A more interesting choice would be if they decided to raise awareness of the causes of breast cancer, namely all the poison being dumped into the environment. "NZGirl: Our Sponsors Are Murdering You!"
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 2:07 PM on December 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think I see where you're coming from, but I still don't think there's a limit on the number of different cancers you can care about or donate money towards the prevention of.

Perhaps not private citizens, but the US government (whose funding helps drive research initiatives) is definitely another story. Funds earmarked for breast cancer research are nearly double that of say, ovarian cancer research even though ovarian cancer is far more deadly to women. Five year survival rate percentages for stage 1 and 2 prostate cancer are in the 90's. Breast cancer has a worse survival rate for those stages.

Wanna guess how much funding prostate cancer gets from the Federal government annually and per decade?
posted by zarq at 2:09 PM on December 2, 2010


"I'm not sure what I think about the campaign. Nothing wrong with liking your body and wanting to show it off, I suppose, but the skeeze angle is really, really off-putting" -Marisa Stole the Precious Thing

I can't be articulate* because there are breasts. Actually because I haven't slept since Wednesday.

I feel like the more we embrace/encourage/enjoy this sort of thing - celebration of breasts of all size, age, conventional prettiness, &c., the less prominence/frequency/danger something something skeeze factor.

I like breasts a lot, for lots of reasons, some of which are sexual. The same probably goes for bodies of all age, sex, race, size, appearance. In particular, on this website, I really like the photos of post-surgery breasts.

Plus: am I being honest? I really like real breasts and the idea that some of those breasts might be on teenagers excites me a little bit, so maybe I just want society to become more open about sex and nudity and in fact not conflate the two so I can see more sex and nudity.

Something about simple economics. Western society markets breasts nipples as sexual and then makes them scarce.

This is ostensibly about health and rating system offends because there's no such thing as normal and kids think they should look like magazines. Not so much on ratemywhatever.com because ratemywhatever.com is honest?
Finish with a trite aphorism that ties it all together when I have both hands available.

Also temper earnestness with sarcasm for fear that earnestly held opinions are either common sense or vilifiable. Perhaps self aware footnote about lack of insight into prevailing rhetorical winds.

When I see someone with erect nipples I generally make a comment along the lines of "You look happy to see me". This might disqualify me from any sort of enlightened debate on the subject of breasts.

*Or coherent, apparently.
posted by doublehappy at 2:17 PM on December 2, 2010


I was trying to track down something I heard recently w.r.t. breast self-exams, and finally found this from NPR Talk of the Nation:
Dr. BRAWLEY: Yeah. The task force spoke about monthly breast self-exam. Monthly breast self-exam was something that was advocated until about 15 years ago by all organizations, and that involves a woman spending about a half hour, one day a month, doing an extensive examination of her breasts. There are several prospective randomized trials that shows that that increases anxiety, increases the number of biopsies, but does not decrease risk of death.

What most organizations now advocate - and I think the task force would agree with this - is that women being aware of their bodies, and if they happen to find a mass, getting it checked out is the important thing. We have a lot of people who find things and just live with it, don't get it checked out, and those things turn out to be breast cancers. Sometimes, several years, people will watch these masses grow in their breasts, and they're actually frequently diagnosed as breast cancer.
... which in turn leads me to think of this goofy "PSA" done by a bunch of Hollywood actresses from a few months back (which, alas, I can't find on FunnyOrDie just now) promoting just exactly what's no longer recommended: Monthly, detailed breast exams, complete with accompanying angst & drama[dy].

So you have to wonder about the quality of this "awareness" that's being engendered, if part of it involves picturesquely-cleavaged celebrities in lingerie producing mis-informative PSAs.
posted by lodurr at 2:17 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


...awareness of the causes of breast cancer, namely all the poison being dumped into the environment.

PETA tried to do something like this as I recall this year, releasing PRs about studies linking consumption of animal product to breast cancer.
posted by lodurr at 2:20 PM on December 2, 2010


Also, "I've got a nice pair" doesn't seem like the right title.
posted by doublehappy at 2:20 PM on December 2, 2010


In New Zealand the free breast screening program is for women aged 45 to 69.

Hopefully the teenage audience of NZGirl have long memories. Yay "awareness"!
posted by sarahw at 3:19 PM on December 2, 2010


Might as well slap a testicular cancer awareness badge on chatroulette and be done with it.

You mean Goatse wasn't to raise awareness of prostate cancer?
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 3:54 PM on December 2, 2010


doublehappy: "Something about simple economics. Western society markets breasts nipples as sexual and then makes them scarce."

This I can definitely agree with, and it's a point that's been raised many times before, i.e., the taboo-ness of select parts of the human body only being taboo because they're so doggedly hidden from view. One hot summer in Italy is about all it takes to break that sort of conditioning.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:05 PM on December 2, 2010


Couldn't this be considered child pornography if the picture is of someone under 18? (possibly relevant NZ law, IANAL or New Zealander)

No, for that it'd have to be a picture of a lamb.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:12 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wanna guess how much funding prostate cancer gets from the Federal government annually and per decade?

Not really a fair comparison, Zarq, prostate cancer - though widespread - has a very low mortality. Most men die with a prostate cancer, but not from prostate cancer, but rather from other, age-related illness. So far as cancers go is is slow-growing and *relatively* benign.

There has been much debate about this in Australia recently.

I do, however, agree with your broader point about research funding - in medicine as elsewhere - being funded more by the whims of cultural zeitgeist than a steady cost-benefit analysis. It doesn't make for good policy, especially in areas like breast cancer, where research has basically been stalled for the last decade or more.
posted by smoke at 4:16 PM on December 2, 2010


Needs mo chocolate.
posted by Eideteker at 4:38 PM on December 2, 2010


Sort By Size doesn't work as expected.
posted by sidereal at 5:21 PM on December 2, 2010


the idea that some of those breasts might be on teenagers excites me a little bit

Just to be clear---Why? Do teenage girls equal (or can be more easily imagined as) young and innocent (possibly untouched or less sexually experienced) girls can be easily influenced or groomed into doing what you want sexually or otherwise? I would have thought it would be the actual quality of the skin, but we don't know their ages, and you're specifically excited at the idea that they are breasts on actual teenagers. And I may be reading into it, but if you were shown breasts that looked identical, are you saying you'd be more excited if you were told they were teenagers than if you were told they were of, say a woman in her late twenties?

Just curious.
posted by anniecat at 5:28 PM on December 2, 2010


previously
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:31 PM on December 2, 2010


I suppose making a statement about how there shouldn't be a rating system is the cool getter for this post.

If you actually look through the gallery it looks like the rating has worked out fairly nicely and there are plenty of "normal" looking breasts. There is also cancer survivor breasts. Strawberry nipples. Small and Big. Innie and Outtie.

What they are really saying is any breasts are their favorites. Any favorite selection after that is because of a nice story the poster included, them being exceptionally nice to the person that favorite'd them, or whatever.
posted by zephyr_words at 6:20 PM on December 2, 2010


Nice photo set.
posted by sfts2 at 6:48 PM on December 2, 2010


Couldn't this be considered child pornography if the picture is of someone under 18? (possibly relevant NZ law, IANAL or New Zealander)

No, for that it'd have to be a picture of a lamb.


Aren't ewe the funny one...
posted by MikeMc at 8:07 PM on December 2, 2010


One hot summer in Italy is about all it takes to break that sort of conditioning.

Or fifteen minutes at a naturist park. (You spend the first five worrying about the fact that everyone can see you naked, the next five checking people out, and the five minutes after that staring at the oldest ugliest naked person you can find to make your erection go away. Your mileage (inchage?) may vary). After fifteen minutes there's a glut of nakedness on the market and it becomes almost worthless in a sexual context. Context is everything.

There was a great advertisement on New Zealand tv a few summers ago that (very loosely) illustrates the absurdity of our attitude toward exposed skin ("togs" = clothes for swimming).
posted by doublehappy at 8:10 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aren't ewe the funny one...

C'mon, it wasn't that baaad.

thank you, thank you. i'm here every tuesday. try the mutton. it may be dressed as lamb, but it's still tender & juicy inside.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:04 PM on December 2, 2010


Testicular cancer operates in a bit of weird zone as far as cancers in need of awareness are concerned. The therapies developed are incredibly effective at curing most types of testicular cancer IF they are caught early enough. Yet, there's not a lot of awareness for self-exams among men. This is a cancer for which the most effective method of mortality reduction might actually be to take a page from the breast cancer awareness playbook and simply get men to check themselves.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:32 PM on December 2, 2010


A few points (I've posted a few comments on this in one of linked blogs)...
- The site is targeted an an older audience(25 - 45), rather than teenagers.
- There are a number of picutres of cancer survivours on there
- There isn't ratings as such, just "likes". There's no ranking or sorting based on likes.

Also, I heard the site's founder on the radio say that they'd already heard from one young lady who, as a result of seeing the site, had found a lump in her breast.

I think their "be proud of your breasts" angle is great - the association with breast cancer is questionable really. I think they had genuine intentions in that aspect, but should probably have stuck with just the love your boobs plan.

I also think the site should make it a little clearer what the consequences of uploading might be - warn users that images uploaded to the web never go away, and that they should avoid identifying shots if they're not totally comfortable with that being online forever.

And they don't (last I checked) state any minimum age for participation, which they should.

Otherwise I've heard some incredible hyperbole including real anger toward the site's creators that I think are completely unreasonable. Listen to this discussion on Radion NZ National for example - The Panel on Afternoons with Jim Mora
posted by sycophant at 12:29 AM on December 3, 2010


How do you check your balls for testicular cancer ?
posted by Pendragon at 1:48 AM on December 3, 2010


How do you check your balls for testicular cancer ?

You thoroughly roll them around with your fingers, feeling for any lumps on the surface of them. It takes like, 5 minutes. 20 if you start to enjoy yourself.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:56 AM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


There are a lot of breast cancer survivor shots:

http://www.nzgirl.co.nz/ive-got-a-nice-pair/our-favourite-breasts-61-5/
http://www.nzgirl.co.nz/ive-got-a-nice-pair/our-favourite-breasts-111/
http://www.nzgirl.co.nz/ive-got-a-nice-pair/our-favourite-breasts-17-13/
http://www.nzgirl.co.nz/ive-got-a-nice-pair/our-favourite-breasts-6/
posted by Jilder at 3:42 AM on December 3, 2010


Get out, get out, get out! I'm checking myself for lumps! Geez, doesn't anyone knock anymore?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:14 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Breast cancer is to cancer as charismatic megafauna are to endangered species.
posted by vapidave at 7:56 AM on December 3, 2010


CDC infographic: QuickStats: Death Rates* for Five Leading Types of Cancer† --- United States, 1999--2007

* Age-adjusted rates per 100,000 U.S. standard population.
posted by vapidave at 8:12 AM on December 3, 2010


Breast cancer is to cancer as charismatic megafauna are to endangered species.

If only fur seal pups and baby pandas had great knockers.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:07 AM on December 3, 2010


Why are seal pups always being hit on in the club scene, then?
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:12 PM on December 3, 2010


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