What’s your colour?

If you’re alive and have an internet presence its unlikely that you haven’t caught a glimpse of the email doing the rounds asking you to display your bra colour as your status. This is what I received –

Some fun is going on…. just write the color of your bra in your status. Just the color, nothing else. And send this on to ONLY girls, no men …. It will be neat to see if this will spread the wings of cancer awareness. It will be fun to see how long it takes before the men will wonder why all the girls have a color in their status.

Pass it on & be sure to do your breast self-exams!

And before I could say Jack Robinson (why would one want to say that anyway?!) my gtalk list was a rainbow of colours – ‘teal’, cerulean blue’, ‘salmon pink and grey lace’.  Yes, it was cheesy. Yes, the men figured it out in ten minutes flat. Yes, a lot of fun was had thanks to it.

It took us straight back to our school days. When training bras were in vogue. When the girls who developed early had their noses up and those who didn’t, looked sheepish. But one thing was clear, you didn’t talk about your breasts in public. Or your bras. Boob bags, over the shoulder boulder holders, sling shots, flopper stoppers, call ’em what you like.

People are quick to criticise this campaign that started off as fun. But I don’t mind it at all. One – because it brought bras out of the closet and we can write ‘white lace’, ‘leopard’ or even ‘nothing in our status, boldly going where no other status has gone before. Two because it is spreading awareness.

How is this helping breast cancer awareness, asked a pal or two. Simple – I haven’t done a self examination in months. I am thirty one. I should be doing regular examinations. This campaign made me laugh and it reminded me to do one. Also, atleast two women who pinged me to ask me about my status, had never bothered to do a self examination – various reasons like – oh it won’t happen to me and ugh, I don’t want to (!).

And this is how it helped. Because I talked them into it and I hope they went home and did one. After all, how does wearing a red ribbon help spread AIDs awareness? It just reminds you to slip on a raincoat if you were planning not to. It takes a taboo health topic out of the closet. Similarly this bra thing reminds all of us women to be grateful for the healthy breasts we have encased in them. Big, small, floppy, wrinkly, stretchmarked, uneven – anything. It is so much more than the woman who has only two scars left. And I know a couple of them already.

Have you read Thanks for the Mammaries? The author, Sarah Darmody lost an aunt to breast cancer and you can see how strongly she feels about it – she even underwent a double mastectomy herself. The stories are funny, poignant and some just leave you wishing you’d got your hands on the book before. I was also glad to see that royalties go the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Which is why I bought a book instead of borrowing one.

Yes, funds are needed. Yes, more research would be good. Yes, other cancers need more awareness and funds. Yes, a link in your status would help too and no, armchair activism doesn’t help much but it’s a little more than nothing. So here’s the deal. I’ve given you a laugh and now I give you the link to the breast self exam. Promise me you’ll do this tonight before you sleep.

Once you’re through with that, be a sport and join in. Get your bras out of the closet. It won’t make you cheaper or crasser. It will just make you loosen up a little. It will give us a laugh and if you don’t want to – hey – the rest of us will make you laugh. And yes, we’ll also have the grace to blush!

Here’s mine – Peach. Tell me yours in the comment box. As the Bean is known to say – Go on, I know you can do it!

And while we’re on armchair activism – have you signed for Ruchika?

Edited to add: Here’s Khizzy’s post on it the same topic.


125 thoughts on “What’s your colour?

  1. One of my seniors from Undergrad forwarded me this email and as soon as I got to work, I changed my status to “Fatally Red”. A moment later, my husband pings me to ask if something went wrong on my drive to work and if I was alright 🙂

      • oh, one more thing. I was hesitant too, to update my FB status – it didnt seem ok. And then I came by and read your post and it made me change my mind. I sent the BSE link to friends along with the link to the book and figured that if i am getting a chance to flaunting it in public (like you said, have breasts, wear bra – what’s new? )and getting more than just a couple of laughs off it, why not? 🙂 Nice post.

  2. White! And I’m surprised at how some women did not respond…are they insulted? Shy? It seems irrelevant?

    But I get what you mean…it seems like fun, but comes with a message, so why not?! And I like how we CAN talk about our boobs and their support systems in public…hah!

  3. I was wondering what the color status meant…now I know. Actually self breast exams are no longer a recommended practice because of the lack of strong evidence demonstrating any value! It is however always good to be aware of the disease and report any breast changes to the practitioner.

  4. In fact, this new fun game has nagged me some more to for the annual check up. I can do self-examination but I don’t trust my judgement. And after thirty people should go for annual medical tests. I did not do them last year, so I want to do them this month!

    And btw, it’s blue today.

  5. Or make it more fun by asking your husbands or boyfriends to give you the exam!!! khi khi khi

    Sorry, if my cheap jokes offend anyone… but mein aisi hi hoon! 😛

  6. Plain boring white 😀 And I did the BSE too..though as they say it will take time to know whats normal for you..I am not too confident abt it right now.

    Somewhere it was suggested that a drawing of how you feel in different parts helps to remember, and know any abnormalities.

    Fun stuff though..caziest I read was black with purple and cream 😀

  7. I know! This was so much fun. 😀
    A particularly uptight aquaintance had her status message as ‘black lace and fuschia flowers, with crimson bits’. Now, who would have thunk it? 😛

    And so mystified were my guy friends that one of them even called me up in the middle of the night to ask why all of his female friends were playing holi on facebook. 😀

    Mine was a basic black though. But I do think it is the nicest. 😀

  8. It’s early in the morning here, so I have no qualms writing ‘nothing’! 😉
    Beautiful post and yes, your post made me change my feelings of ‘what’s the whole point about this. It is not going to create any awareness’.
    Bold and to the point. Loved reading your opinions.

  9. okay so you made me change my mind. Don’t think I can do it on FB though esp now that the men know. I need a 100 more such posts to loosen up in real life. keep ’em coming.

    • 😀 very sporting of you. but tell me this – how does it matter if they know the colour? most men know we have breasts right (I cant imagine a man who doesnt!) – they know we need breast support aka bras. and most of them know they come in various colours. so where is the prob? 🙂 anyway – i think this is bravery on your part – and kudos to that!

  10. I just checked FB too. Some one is saying ‘I think the girls need to post pictures to support their claims’ 🙂

  11. white
    The exercise on fb was quite revealing for me, actually. I mostly wear white while all my friends had beautiful colours!! Have to go shopping tomorrow!!
    I lost my grandmother to breast cancer…I am happy that something like this happened for now at least we will think about the disease and how to save ourselves and our loved ones from it!

  12. Ok MM as saccharine sweet you are..what’s the bet that who started this mail flow is most likely a pissed off GF in response to her guy’s ( or girls’s ) remark ,
    ” Wait you were a Brassiere?”

    well I can tell you one thing..the male part of the species reading the status messages aren’t exactly going , “Oh poor thing..hope she does a check up and doesn’t have breast cancer” 🙂

    • saccharine sweet? moi? am torn between wanting you smack you for that nasty crack and pointing you to my trolls who wouldnt agree!

      And maybe it WAS a pissed of gf – (good point) and maybe the men ARE having thoughts they shouldnt (do they need a reason?!) – but its been fun, we had a good laugh, a bunch of us remembered to do our self exams and maybe someone actually benefitted. What say, you wicked boy? 🙂

      • No no all for good ..after all no babies were harmed in the making ( though , in all fairness , no guarantee that babies weren’t created in the process..so we shall reserve that judgment until you know.. )

        What do you men shouldn’t have thoughts they are having? hello ?:p it’s just evolutionary.

        *Embarrassed Confession #42*
        I anyway didn’t get what the sudden efflusion of colors in the status message of the women folk in my list meant…savvy that I mean I kept my mouth shut and it took an ex to explain it…
        And that’s not the embarrassing part. Her status was “No color” and I still didn’t get it. Now that is not going into my autobiography.

        • oh come. what is an autobiography without a few confessions?! and hello – men NEED to have those thoughts. go have them. so long as you dont hit women on the head with clubs and drag them to your caves.

          • Yup we are easily titillated anyway…

            Our weakness…your strength and that sort of thing 🙂

            You know the more I think about the tale of the cave man hitting his womenfolk with clubs and dragging them by the hair to the caves, the more I think it is possibly apocryphal. Also there is a very very funny cartoon which hypothesizes what was likely the reality..literal then and metaphorical now. And the link is NSFW so am not posting it in this “family friendly” blog :p

  13. oops..


    Though in an all encompassing,liberal world..why leave the transvestites out ? So “were” does make sense in a metaphorical way.

    Ok I need some caffeine.

  14. i wondered about all my girl pal’s fb status and didn’t know what it meant until I read your post. Mine in Pink!

  15. nice way to get the point home…… 🙂
    white….(and black is all I have, since those seem to be the colors in nursing bras !)
    By the way, thanx for the post, and I think I will relate this to my mom and aunts, and get them to do the self-exams too.

  16. Black it is. I don’t know I was a bit shy to change the FB status when i first got the message, but loosened up as I saw more coming. I have lost my Aunt to Breast Cancer, I do ‘walk for cure’. I am considered a potential victim of the C word, so I have started to get mammograms this year.

    So this color thing really touched something deep within the Bra..I meant my heart.

  17. Hi MM,
    It did have me wonder too – the colors on FB status I mean… Well, now I know….
    So mine – White, not boring – lacy tat is… ;

  18. Yes, signed for Ruckika:)

    Hmmm….pale pink with red polka dots and pink lace trimmings! I thought of lying and saying white or black, but decided to be honest instead 🙂

  19. Mine is so boring that I was ashamed to put it up in my status. But I guess I say it here (thanks to my anon identity on wordpress). White cotton . No lace, no nettings 😦 This campaign made me feel how out dated I am :(. My new new year resolution – buy myself some sexy underwear

  20. Thank you for putting it so rightly….posting this on facebook to answer all those male enquiries regarding why this campaign was so encouraged by women. This oughtta shut them up!

    oh…and to bare it all (well not really) the choice today is satin in baby pink!!

  21. Leopard print with some pink lace 😉

    Another question – i remember you mentioned you were struggling with acne a few months ago, unfortunately i have been fighting acne for the the last few weeks and am not sure what the cause is. What did you use to 1) stop the breakout and 2) to get rid of the nasty marks?


    • See, turns out mine was because of the PCOS. The moment I got the doc to change my homoeo medicine, they’ve gone down. Also unexpected shocker, was dandruff which is what was causing mine. I changed to Nizoral shampoo and am much better now. The scars will stay a while i think because i scar easily. i dont dare put anything on them right now because i dont want to mess with the recovery. i think a multani mitti pack should help scars – no?

      • hey1 just a little contrib there!
        i have huge acne problems cos of PCOD meds too! i backed out of allopathy cos the little boils and marks were terrible- a huge problem for smone like me who has been blessed with clear skin all along. the marks were loud and huge. homeopathy still does giev me acne probs and the only solution that works [works wonders actually!] is rubbing aloe vera and potato on my skin. try it!

        also, my fave- brown with very pretty patterns in olive 🙂

          • yepp! cut the leaf and put the gooey sticky bits on ur skin and also ur hair… when u wash ur hair u will see the remarkable diff! and just one small bit of potato also does wonders! 🙂

            • Thanks both!!!

              Any clue where one can get aloe vera leaves? I am based in California. I will definitely try the potato tip.

              I did get myself check and the gynea ruled out PCOD, so i guess my acne is due to bad eating habits and stress!

            • you’ll get pure aloe vera gel in bottles there. and i think the plant too. bad eating rarely gets acne – try something else. your pillowcases? they should be pure cotton. sometimes you’re allergic to that. oil in your hair? dandruff? stress – yes…

  22. The unexpected side effect is this has me reaching for the nicer bras in my lingerie drawer.

    Today is white satin 🙂

    One up from my beige the day I was surprised with this request 🙂

    Awesome post btw!

  23. Gah, MM, as I said before, I’d rather not have my bra colour up on public display. I hope it kicked some of us to go home and check ourselves. I hope some of us booked appointments for mammograms. But no, I’m not putting my colour up.

    • 🙂 And as I said before, Kiran. It doesn’t matter. Nobody really wants to know the colour of your bra. It’s just a fun exercise for those who want to participate. And yes, a reminder too – that we’re luck enough to still have the need to wear a bra while others have only two scars left.

      It doesn’t make a jot of a difference to me if some man somewhere knows that I own a peach bra! Nor to any of the others who participated I guess. In a world where most women wear fitted enough clothes for a man to guess what size you might be wearing, (without the good old fashioned pallu or dupatta to conceal ) the colour is the least of one’s concerns 🙂

      I appreciate that there are people too old fashioned to do it and I also love that older women joined us and took it in the spirit it was meant 🙂

  24. i got pretty pissed off at an acquaintances fb status and actually resorted to posting about it on my blog. and yes, i linked you too.


    oh… lime green.

  25. i’m puzzled at the shame factor by some ladies. Keep in mind that a 100 yrs ago our grandmothers didn’t even wear bras (speaking for only the southies here)everything was hip hip hurray there until the British came along and made everyone cover up.

    and as Joey made famous in friends – i’m going ‘commando’ today – homage to my ancestors!

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