Breast Cancer Awareness Video Sidesteps Censorship Rules In An Ingenious Way

An Argentine breast cancer organization is showing women how to check their breasts for lumps in a bizarre but informative online video that has amassed more than 8 million views in just four days.

Social networks such as Facebook and Instagram have strictly enforced guidelines that prohibit users from posting photos or videos of female nipples, so the Buenos Aires-based nonprofit Movimiento Ayuda Cáncer de Mama (MACMA), or Breast Cancer Help Movement, found a simple way to encourage self-examination without breaking the rules: by using “man boobs.”

“Women’s boobs, particularly their nipples, are censored in certain social networks, even when showing breast self-examinations to detect early breast cancer,” the video’s narrator says as a topless woman whose breasts are hidden behind social media logos appears onscreen. “But we found boobs that aren’t censored: Henry’s.”

On cue, a shirtless “Henry” steps in front of the woman, who wraps her arms around his body and demonstrates how to conduct a self-examination to find cancerous lumps.

MACMA’s new campaign, #TetasxTetas in Spanish, or #ManBoobs4Boobs in English, promotes the early detection of breast cancer, the most common kind of cancer for women around the world. Approximately 1 in 8 American women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Men can also develop breast cancer, but the odds are about 100 times less likely

If diagnosed at an early stage, breast cancer patients may have more treatment options and be more likely to recover.

MACMA’s video and campaign have received an overwhelmingly positive response on social media, with users praising the “brilliant” and “creative” strategy to promote women’s health while avoiding censorship.

Gender-specific nudity policies have given rise to the #FreeTheNipple movement, which promotes gender equality and protests the oversexualization of women’s bodies. 

Facebook says it removes “some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring.” Facebook loosened its restrictions on breastfeeding photos in 2014.

Similarly, Instagram bans “some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed.”

Facebook and Instagram did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.

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