Long story short, the ladette website nzgirl has launched a 'campaign' purporting to 'raise awareness' for breast cancer, paying $1000 dollars per 50 photos of readers' breasts uploaded to their site.
Over the years we've had astroturfing, greenwashing, pinkwashing - and now we have boobwashing. The site claims it's all in a good cause. The site fails to say exactly which breast cancer charity they will be paying the money to. They also trumpet the fact, via Twitter and elsewhere, they have 'removed' advertising around the publication page. Yeah right. Big deal. It is still a cynical and distorted means to drive traffic to the site - the only 'awareness' raising being done here is for nzgirl, its website and the long-term ad rate it will be able to charge on the strength of distorted visitor numbers.
I've lost several nearest-and-dearest to breast cancer and currently count among my closest friends two survivors and one mid-fight. I asked them - and those around them - what they thought of this slapstick and juvenile enterprise, thinking maybe it was just me, maybe I'd got a bit set in my ways. Their unanimous verdict was the same as mine - it is unethical, undignified and unacceptable.
nzgirl has accused detractors and critics of being 'PC' - well yes, I am - Perfectly Cynical in my view of the means, motives and outcomes for this pathetically purile publicity promotion.
To me, it is sadly proof that the young and the bright among us can still manage to stoop to the nasty, tawdry 20th (even 19th) century Phineas T Barnum stunt school of cheap publicity.
nzgirl has succeeded in creating a circus today with the media as ringmaster and the unwitting - and probably well-meaning - supporters the dancing bares.
In many ways, it's a sad indictment of our society. Long after the circus has left town, the oglers (probably the same ones who line the streets for the Boobs on Bikes debacle every year) will still be pushing up the visitor numbers at NZ Girl, which has effectively bought itself a peepshow for a few grand. New Zealand girls and women deserve better than this, as do all those who have and continue to battle this disease.
PS: I've come back to this post this evening, having read two other blog posts on the same subject. First from Lance Wiggs and second, via @CateOwen's tweet, some great observations from Boganette. Both well worth a read.