There’s a reason you won’t spot many — or any — photos of women’s breasts in your Facebook and Instagram feeds. That’s because social media platforms often ban images of female nipples.
But that’s not only an issue for artists and breastfeeding advocates, it’s also a problem for health organizations who want to share images and videos of how to properly perform a breast self-exam (BSE), which Breastcancer.org recommends doing once a month along with regular physical exams by your physician and mammograms. According to BreastCancer.org, about 20 percent of breast cancers are found during a physical examination rather than by mammography.
The #FreeTheNipple movement, which includes celebrity supporters such as Lena Dunham and Miley Cyrus, has been fighting for topless equality, including protesting the ban of female nipples on social media. In the meantime, the Buenos Aires-based ad agency David found a clever way to get around the nipple ban by producing an instructional video for Movimiento Ayuda Cáncer de Mama on how to do a breast self-exam — using a guy with man boobs. It even has a hashtag, #ManBoobs4Boobs.
Not only does the PSA teach women the symptoms to look out for when examining their own breasts, such as swelling, redness, or lumps, it also highlights the fact that social media allows men’s nipples to be seen while censoring the same body part in women, which is sexist.
“Breasts aren’t very welcome,” David executive creative directors Joaquin Cubria and Ignacio Ferioli told Adweek. “They’re censored,” they added, “even when teaching how to perform a BSE for the early detection of breast cancer. That’s where ‘manboobs4boobs’ comes in. A health-related campaign that requires men to partake in order to succeed.”