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How you show a breast self-exam on social networks that ban female nipples

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube

Women are constantly told to perform breast self exams, but do all of us feel completely confident that we’re doing them right? (That’s a “no” here.) Considering that one in eight women will suffer from breast cancer at some point in her life, these exams are pretty important—and so is knowing how to do them correctly.

So, why aren’t we seeing how-to PSAs everywhere? At least one of the reasons is: nipples. Photos or videos of women’s nipples (kind of a key part of a breast self-exam!) are banned by most social networks, including Facebook and Instagram. But a new campaign gets around this in an ingenious way: Check out #manboobs4boobs.

Instead of showing a woman demonstrating the breast exam process, a woman stands behind a man, performing the exam on his chest as though it was her own. It’s social media-approved, so women are likely to see it appear in their feeds—no Google search or pamphlet required.

“Breasts aren’t very welcome. They’re censored,” Joaquin Cubria and Ignacio Ferioli, the Buenos Aires-based ad execs who came up with the campaign, told Adweek. “Even when teaching how to perform a [breast self-exam] 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.”

The concept is cheeky and worth a laugh, but it’s also creative, helpful, and potentially life-saving.

So, #freethenipple and do something productive for your health? We’re into it.

And here’s how to practice breast self-awareneness, beyond your monthly self-exam.