#ShowYourStrap social media campaign criticised for being insensitive

In response to #ShowYourStrap, numerous breast cancer survivors have responded with their own hashtag – #ShowYourScar – where they have shared a photo of their mastectomy scars.

| 6th Oct 15

Marks and Spencer’s new #ShowYourStrap campaign to raise money for charity Breast Cancer Now has been criticised for being insensitive, as many survivors no longer wear bras following mastectomies.

In response to the social media campaign, numerous breast cancer survivors have responded with their own hashtag – #ShowYourScar –  where they have shared a photo of their mastectomy scars.



What is the #ShowYourStrap campaign?

The #ShowYourStrap campaign, which coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness month, encourages people to post a selfie showing their strap on social media with the hashtag. You can then text SUPPORT to 70003 to donate £3 and 100 per cent of the donation will go to the charity.

The M&S website has published the following information about the campaign:

Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the UK – 82 per cent of women want to know if they’re at risk, but genetic testing costs a lot and is only offered to women with a strong family history.

“M&S has partnered with Breast Cancer Now to raise £13million so that all women can find out their risk. It’s hoped this initiative will prevent 9,000 cases a year by 2025.

“Join in the #ShowYourStrap campaign by posting your own shot on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or donating to Breast Cancer Now.”


Showing support in different ways 

According to The Telegraph, a Marks and Spencer spokesperson said of the original campaign:

Our new campaign with Breast Cancer Now features women affected by the disease and encourages others to show their support.

#ShowYourStrap is about raising money, awareness and ultimately showing solidarity. It is part of our commitment to raising £13 million over the next five years to fund vital research into breast cancer prevention.”

Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now, also commented:

The new Rosie for Autograph range for Breast Cancer Now aims to raise vital awareness of breast cancer, as well as funds for critical research. The post-surgery bra included complements M&S’s existing, fuller post-surgery range, which was the first on the high-street in 2005, and which supporters of Breast Cancer Now continue to help develop.

Women and men affected by breast cancer will naturally want to show their support for the cause in a way that works for them. However they choose to express themselves – whether by buying a product which carries a charity donation, showing their strap, showing their scar, running a marathon or making a donation – we appreciate them enormously.”