10 Years of Breast Cancer Prevention: Feel Your Boobies Celebrates Badassery

Feel Your Boobies Founder Leigh Hurst

Have you become immune to breast cancer prevention messages? Then get ready to fall in lurv with the Feel Your Boobies Foundation.

It’s October, and you know what that means: Breast cancer prevention messages and pink everything everywhere. (Like, everywhere.) And while the message itself is uber-important, it sometimes gets lost in the shuffle, dontchathink? Breast cancer prevention is serious business and needs to be treated as such, but not just in October. And not just through ribbons and pink products. We don’t want to become so aware that our awareness becomes apathy.

In other words, we need to start copping a feel, ladies.

That’s where the Feel Your Boobies campaign comes in: “It takes a friendly, maybe even provocative, approach to promoting proactive breast health,” says founder Leigh Hurst, who launched the foundation after being diagnosed with breast cancer at 33. It was then she realized that she never really paid much attention to breast cancer messages. For fun, she had t-shirts made for her friends that said “feel your boobies,” and setup a one-page website to sell them. Suddenly, she was receiving orders from across the country, and the Feel Your Boobies Foundation was born.

“We target women under 40, primarily, and based on my own experience I know that many of these women don’t even think about breast cancer,” says Hurst. “Our campaign is really trying to find ways to put our message in places where younger women wouldn’t expect to see it.” Examples include an aerial banner that flies up and down the beach in the summer, a Boobies Bus that hands out free car magnets to those who spot the car, and a flash mob in NYC – you know, no biggie.

And I have to say, it works! I too have become immune to all the cutesy breast cancer prevention messages that are out there, and ever since I learned about the Feel Your Boobies crusade, I’ve felt myself up more in the past month than ever before (kidding, sort of). The FYB message is to-the-point and proactive. When you hear the slogan, you can’t help but do it (seriously, give it a go).

The message doesn’t just tell you to be aware of breast cancer – it tells you how to annihilate it in its tracks. It’s a simple message that’s been saving oodles of lives every year. Not only is the Feel Your Boobies Foundation celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, but Hurst is also celebrating 10 years cancer free (you go girl). And you know what that means: There are plenty of shenanigans in the works.

“Our campaign wouldn’t be here without our followers,” says Hurst. “They do the sharing, they spread our message. And because they do, our campaign has saved lives. So this year’s campaign focus is about giving our followers the credit they deserve.”

The Give Urself a Hand campaign will be launching at the end of September as their way of saying thanks. There will be a sweepstakes where people can upload their “feel your boobies” pics to the group’s Facebook page, and the person’s snapshot with the highest votes will win a trip to NYC with a friend. There’s also going to be a Fiat giveaway. More deets on both are available on the website.

National Feel Your Boobies Week is October 10-17, and here are three tips on how to do so that could not only save your life, but a friend’s as well:

How to Feel Your Boobies

  • Use pads of fingers
  • Press firmly
  • Examine collarbone and underarm area

What to Look For

  • Lumps or thickening
  • Puckering or inflammation
  • Nipple discharge

When to Feel Your Boobies

  • In the shower
  • While getting dressed
  • Whenever you want

For more information on breast cancer prevention, check out the Feel Your Boobies website. It’s pretty fabulous.

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Image: Leigh Hurst

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).