This article first appeared on Good Vibrations Magazine.
There is a new campaign in Singapore that is getting people looking twice at the exact body part intended for discussion… that’s right, the breast.
One poster looks like a woman pointing to a pimple on her face. If you look closer, you will see that the face is actually a painting on a woman’s breast, with the ‘pimple’ being the nipple.
On another poster, you have the nipples becoming the buttons of a pair of jeans of a somewhat big-bottomed woman.
In a third, you have a frontal view of a woman with one nipple being part of her hair accessory.
According to the news report titled ‘Ad campaign images provoke’ on September 5th in the Sunday Times, the creative director Thomas Yang and his team from DDB Singapore, who are performing pro bono work for the Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF), decided on this approach because of their insight of how women in Singapore “tend to be concerned about their faces or their hair and their weight but not so much about the things to do with life and death such as breast cancer.” Hence the tagline reads “Are you obsessed with the right things?”
As a sexologist and woman, I absolutely love this campaign because
1) It employs a contemporary and increasingly popular medium celebrating the beauty of the body (i.e. body paint) to get one’s attention.
2) It uses wit to engage the viewer and provoke a reaction.
3) It doesn’t dodge the issue. The breast is in your face. You look, maybe again and again, perhaps hypnotically at the bigger image, then the nipple, and then maybe at the feminine beauty of the model’s breast.
Above and beyond that, it is indirectly and possibly subconsciously campaigning against the extreme reactions or phobia we have revolving around images that has anything to do the female nipple. Take the example of the extreme public reactions to the exposed nipple of Janet Jackson – intentionally or accidentally. Or how Bebe Au Lait nursing covers has made its way into Singapore.
Founded in September 1997, the Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) is a non-profit organization which aims to create breast cancer awareness, promote early detection, and provide support for those affected by the disease in Singapore. Their Facebook group is here. To support the cause of breast cancer awareness, check out your local Pink Ribbon charity.