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Decent exposure 

Lezlie Lowe gives a full examination.

Tits and ass sell everything from jeans to tennis balls. But this ad campaign is different. And it’s not because they forgot the ass.

The web site you’ll want to visit—immediately—is The charity is Rethink Breast Cancer. The deal is this: you go to any Roots store, buy one of the snazzy target logo fundraising t-shirts (or tank tops or hats) and wear your apparel on “Fashion Targets Friday,” which this year falls on May 26.


So go to, and you’ll understand why this year’s version of a tired five-year-old t-shirt campaign is more than a tired five-year-old t-shirt campaign.

The website features a young woman. She’s pretty and smiling and, after a little welcome, you click and she reveals her show-stopping breasts. No gimmicks. There they are. And they’re knockouts—sloped from chest to nipple like little ski jumps and cupped at the bottom like flattened water balloons.

But the best part comes next: the woman gropes and prods her boobs, indelicately poking and squishing them as a means of illustrating the ways of accommodating every woman’s responsibility to do breast self-exams. “There are no rules,” she says smiling (and not seductively, either; just like she’s having fun). “There’s no wrong way to check out your breasts.”

Goddamn! this is a sexy public service announcement. I’ve reloaded the thing about 15 times over the last two days. I can’t get enough of those boobs.

But the clip’s eroticism is in any sense but traditional. In fact, this model’s self-groping goes a measure towards de-sexualizing breasts. Her banal prodding normalizes the sight of her tits, the same way nonchalant public breastfeeders make their mark by simply doing what they need to do: whipping out a breast to feed a hungry kid.

We need more of this and thank god for it. I can’t wait for the shackles of my bra to be cast off, to get these flapping lumps out into the open. It took a century between the time when a peek at a woman’s ankle meant scandal and short shorts didn’t get a passing glance. I hope I’ll be able to sit on the porch with my ancient tits feeling the early evening breeze as I wave at the neighbours.

But let’s back up six decades to the sexiness of the woman flattening and digging at her own set. She’s sexy because her breasts are real; sexy because she’s not arch-backed on a bed squeezing them together like she’s fluffing pillows (which is what you expect when you type in a URL like She’s sexy too because this nameless everywoman-goddess got me wringing and prodding my own breasts in the shower this morning.

And nothing else reminds me to do that. Not those breast self-exam guides that hung in the shower at my old gym, not the sticky note I posted on my bulletin board, not those cute pink ribbon- inspired Cook for the Cure KitchenAid stand mixers, not the fact that breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women and I live daily in fear of being one of the more than 22,000 who’ll be diagnosed with it this year in Canada alone.

It’s genius. Breasts are so routinely and predictably sexualized, this ad’s de-sexualization is shocking. And shockingly sexual. The result? A PSA that actually works.

Now can someone please find a man to bend over on the internet for the good cause of reminding men to have their annual digital rectal prostate exams? Let me know when that one’s online, would ya?

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