For the first time in the UK, a woman’s nipple will appear on daytime television from Monday as part of a CoppaFeel! Campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Designed to remind women of the importance of checking their breasts by hand, the campaign sees everyday objects – think doughnuts, breast-shaped jellies, a kitten – being touched, as well as both women and men performing self-examinations.
“CoppaFeel! exists to help everyone stand the best possible chance of surviving breast cancer, because if found early it is very treatable and survival rates are significantly higher,” said Natalie Kelly, CEO of CoppaFeel!. “In demonstrating the power of our hands and celebrating our touch as the best tool for checking, we hope to encourage more young people across the UK to adopt a healthy boob-checking habit, which could one day save their life.”
The campaign film, directed by Ivana Bobic, will run on daytime television and in cinemas, and comes off the back of research which indicates precisely how important the message is. Research by CoppaFeel! suggests that 80 per cent of young women don’t check their breasts regularly, with six out of 10 women saying that they lack confidence that they know how to. It is thought that one in every eight UK women will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime.
And whilst breast cancer awareness is the key message of the campaign, there’s also a definite win for women in terms of a female nipple being deemed “appropriate” for daytime television. Instagram has previously come under fire for banning nipples on Instagram, the global Free The Nipple movement was created to give women autonomy over their own bodies and even the Dublin Well Woman Centre was blocked on Facebook last year for posting cartoon imagery of women performing self-examinations on their breasts. Actual nipple exposure is brief in CoppaFeel!’s advert, yes, but it’s there. If daytime television’s first female nipple is in aid of empowering women and educating them about their bodies, then it’s a step forward that deserves celebrating.