Mark and Spencer released the latest social media selfie campaign #showyourstrap in attempt to raise money for Breast Cancer. Consequently they’ve been hit back at by angry sufferers and survivors of the disease, for sexualising it, and being insensitive to the reality of the condition.
As many patients of Breast Cancer have to undergo mastectomies and thus are unable to wear any sort of bra, M&S have been scrutinised and despised for the lack of thought toward the sole apparent cause of this campaign. Most are even assuming that it is nothing more than a shameful and distasteful marketing ploy in order to promote their own underwear range which Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley designed for Autograph. With only one post-surgery bra available.
A rival campaign #showyourscar immediately came into effect and retaliated with Breast Cancer survivors and sufferers posting and hashtagging images of their battle wounds in order to show the real and raw face of the illness. This has obviously degraded and disgraced the efforts of our much-loved high street store a little to say the least.
We all know Marks and Sparks, it was our Gran’s favourite, then our Mum’s, and soon, it will be ours! Well, they’ve been working with Breast Cancer for over 14 years and have raised £20 million so far. With this new campaign, they set out to raise a further £13 million in 5 years. Additionally, is the fact that each of the models in the campaign shoot is a Breast Cancer survivor and is showing their bra strap. The principle of the campaign is thus not entirely incomprehensible. They do actually seem to give a dam.
With previous hashtag campaigns such as The Ice Bucket Challenge and the No Make-Up Selfie’s causes and charities ending up almost entirely being lost beneath the vain self promotion of the masses’ social media addictions; #showyourscar is the kind of hashtag selfie campaign whose cause cannot be unknown, mistaken or ignored.
Brilliantly brave and bold though this rival campaign is; it is actually alienating the higher proportion of the population who haven’t had breast cancer, and so can’t actually participate or donate to the cause! Effectively, they’re snapping their own strap.
The apparent sexualisation and disrespectful nature of #showyourstrap should be judged on the same basis that throwing a bucket of ice cold water on your head could be offensive to ALS sufferers, or not wearing make-up is ignorant to hardships of a cancer patients’ ordeals… These campaigns aren’t manufactured to be morally sound, they’re designed to ensnare Generation Z who have the attention span of a magpie looking for something shiny.
All publicity is good publicity, and despite the hashtags campaigns fundamental cause being lost to the majority of the participating population, it doesn’t stop the fact that each campaign so far has raised millions for their chosen charity. Granted that if everyone who had uploaded a selfie, had also actually donated like they were meant to, then there would have been a lot more money raised. But you can’t get through to them all.
Despite all of the sensitivity, idiocy and creatively stilted productions of hashtag campaigning; it’s all for charity and without which they’d be missing out on every pound raised. Let’s face it, it’s a hell of a lot easier to have your feed saturated with than some spoilt kid whose hunting for likes to get a new PlayStation game.
Fighting the same fight is supporting the same cause! #showyourstrap #showyourscar #beatbreastcancer