It’s breast cancer awareness month, and survivors and supportive companies alike are bringing awareness and raising money for the disease in many different, creative ways. However, an Australian lingerie company, Honey Birdette, has been receiving quite a lot of flak for their chosen method of supporting the cause.
Honey Birdette shared a photo to Instagram of a model in a hot pink lingerie set with a matching pair of thigh-high tights. “Hot, hot pink. The WHITNEY pink collection is here and EVERY CENT of the matching heavenly thigh-highs is going to the McGrath Foundation to support Breast Cancer Care!” a caption accompanying the post read. The company set a goal of raising $30,000 in support of breast cancer care — a noble cause, but not everyone was pleased with the scantily-clad model the company featured in the ad. Some criticizers even called the image, and others meant to advertise the same products, “pornified portrayals of women.”Read More
The company did manage to raise $30,000 to donate to charity, but the breast cancer charity they had partnered with, the McGrath Foundation, asked that all ads with their company name branded on them be removed.
Honey Birdette Managing Director Eloise Monaghan found this move over-the-top, and said claims that the campaign was “sexualizing” breast cancer were not only ridiculous, but offensive to modern women.
“She is a model that is empowered by the product that she is wearing,” Monaghan said of the model featured in the controversial ad. “We sell [the product] in-store. In order to sell it (like any other retailer), we need to show it.”
Many breast cancer survivors we’ve interviewed mimic the ideas that Monaghan is pushing forward. And many feel empowered by wearing, and showing off sexy lingerie — especially since facing cancer can often do a number of on a woman’s self esteem.
Bianca Muniz, who has survived both breast cancer and ovarian cancer and is only 24 years old, was recently featured in a new lingerie campaign created by singer Rihanna that is raising awareness and money for women with breast cancer. After Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty collection, a lingerie line created for body types of all shapes and sizes, was a massive success — the singer decided to release a collection of hot pink lingerie garments as a breast cancer awareness campaign.
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I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am. As a 2 time cancer survivor, I’ve struggled to love my body post treatment. (To be honest I’ve always struggled to love my body again after the first diagnosis at age 11.) Thank you for making me feel strong, sexy and giving me an opportunity to celebrate my body and all it’s done for me and all it’s going to continue to do for me ???????? This not only means the world to me as a survivor, but also a musician. I look up to you so much @badgalriri , you’re changing the world in more than one way ???????? Thank you @jennnrosales and @savagexfenty team for making this a reality. Thank you for creating a brand that truly celebrates and accepts everyone. Thank you for always giving back. Thank you for always pushing boundaries. And thank you for letting me be a part of it ???????? #repost @badgalriri : This October, @savagexfenty and I are highlighting 4 of the strongest, most badass and inspiring women we like to call our #SAVAGEXTHRIVERS in support of breast cancer awareness month! With every pink style purchased, you’ll help the @claralionelfdn fund critical research for this lesser known group of young women living with aggressive forms of breast cancer. Read their stories and shop the collection NOW at savagex.com/sxfthrivers to join the fight! ???????????? ????
When sharing some snapshots of herself and other models featured in the campaign, Bianca — who is an extremely talented singer herself and has spoken to SurvivorNet about both the physical and emotional challenges of going through cancer as a young woman — said posing for the photos and participating in the campaign made her feel strong and sexy.
“I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am. As a 2 time cancer survivor, I’ve struggled to love my body post treatment. (To be honest I’ve always struggled to love my body again after the first diagnosis at age 11.) Thank you for making me feel strong, sexy and giving me an opportunity to celebrate my body and all it’s done for me and all it’s going to continue to do for me,” Bianca wrote in the caption for the post.