Last summer’s viral ALS Ice Bucket challenge has given way to this year’s contender for “worst way to make anyone aware of anything while showing off your body,” the aptly named “Hold a Coke With Your Boobs Challenge.” For breast cancer. Or something. Listen, let’s not pretend it’s anything but a trumped-up reason to show off boobs.

Like the “put your cock in a sock for ball cancer” campaign before it and the myriad other attention-seeking memes you may remember from your Facebook—remember the one where everyone was all “I do it on the floor,” and people thought it was about sex, but it was really about where one likes to put their purse followed by a lengthy explanation about cancer?—the coke/boob challenge allows people to show off their best assets while pretending that they give a shit. Even the official Facebook page of the Coke Boobs challenge (via First We Feast) is all about brave girls showing off their breasts—and also trying to choose which one is the best?—with only some passing mentions of breast cancer.

In fact, the only time I saw anything really relating to breast cancer awareness was on a Russian woman’s Instagram (thank god I can read it, or I’d never know) which spelled out that the challenge was all about making sure that the world knows that breast cancer exists.

Rude opinion: We know. We know that breast cancer exists. The entire world knows it exists and is a problem. There are commercials about it. There are documentaries. There are promotional campaigns in all the stores. There’s a walk and a race and a marathon and a dance-off. We are already aware of breast cancer and taking off your shirt isn’t going to make us any more aware of it.

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I am not, in any way shape or form, against people taking off their shirts or pants and posting pictures of it (not gonna lie, I enjoyed that whole sock challenge for what it was), but why hide behind an idiotic campaign in order to do so? I understand that it’s the height of narcissism to post half-naked selfies for their own sake (although, again, it’s your Instagram. Do you!), but it’s also pretty disingenuous to claim you’re doing it for a valiant reason.

According to First We Feast, the Coke bottle challenge isn’t even associated with any breast cancer foundation or research group:

But hold up: The Breast Cancer Foundation reached out to Esquire to clarify that “the organization does not support this campaign [and] does not have any additional information about it on its website.” Moreover, the hashtag and YouTube campaign (which has driven millions of views) can be traced back to Elite Talent Referral, an adult entertainment talent scouting agency.

So that’s that. But little things like facts aren’t going to stop a viral campaign, especially when likes, shares and retweets of one’s topless photos are involved.

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Here’s a novel idea: Instead of posting pictures with coke caps on your nips (good look, though: I like it!), why not volunteer at an organization devoted to easing the lives of those with breast cancer? Why not just give money to a foundation? Why not donate some of your stuff to a thrift store that puts the proceeds towards breast cancer research?

All of these are better options. And you don’t need an excuse to post your tit pictures. Do that, too. Just don’t pretend it’s going to make anyone aware of anything except your bangin’ body.


Contact the author at mark.shrayber@jezebel.com.

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