The Canadian charity Rethink Breast Cancer wants to remind women to do self-exams of their breasts. The volunteer-driven organization is doing so with a sexy video…of men. According to an actor who plays a doctor in the ad/video, “studies show that women are more likely to watch a video featuring a hot guy.” Camera pans to a shirtless “hot guy” who demonstrates a self-exam on his muscled self. Fellow shirtless hot guys look on, also ready–it would seem, to examine themselves. There’s even a “Your Man Reminder App” free on iTunes, so you can get a personalized message from one of the hot guys to remind you to stay on top of your breast health.
Yes, the ads are supposed to be campy. But the positive reaction from “feminist” bloggers like Kaye Toal of Upworthy might be misleading. Praising the work Toal (a former intern at National Organization for Women) writes: “This is what happens when advertising is done for women, by women.” Yet the director was John Grammatico and the two creative directors from John St. advertising agency were Angus Tucker and Stephen Jurisic. (Women contributed, but they were hardly the majority.) Just a click away on Upworthy, Ms. Toal gets busy opposing the controversial new book cover for Anne of Green Gables, which features a hot young female holding up her blond hair while leaning against a bale of hay with a come hither gaze. Toal calls it “Winner of the most depressingly dumb book cover of 2013!” Bit of a double standard, isn’t it?