Calendar Girls

Lucy messaged me the other day, full of her characteristic enthusiasm. She had an idea, and the NCCC had shot it down, so she is now going it alone.

Lucy wants us to play pin-up girls for cervical cancer.

The idea of a calendar filled with young women who have had their lady bits mutilated or chopped out entirely both fascinates and repels me. Would we play seductresses, strapped into scraps of lingerie and pouting for the camera, luring the eye in with the promise of play just to slap it back with the unsexy sting of cancer? Would we widen our eyes and stare mournfully into the lens, blonde, All-American promise ripped to shreds by the greater force of HPV? Would we win awareness with a show of fighting spirit, decked out in boxing gloves and karate robes, to show that our bodies can allow the invaders in, but we can beat them back?

Moreover, who would want to hang such a grim daily specter on her pantry door?

Lucy seems bent on a cutesy option, but I think this effort will take more than baseball caps and cancer ribbons. I want to make this happen for her, this project that now gives her a focus at the end of each grueling day.

For the first time, I am asking for outside help. What can make this a success?

2 Comments

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  1. I have to admit Ashley you are a great writer. I think I have become a fan.
    Your latest posting makes me think of Daffodil Days, put on annually by the Canadian Cancer Society. They sell small, yellow plastic lapel flowers to raise money for cancer awareness.
    I haven’t bought one for the same reason; “who would want to hang such a grim daily specter” describes it exactly
    But these yellow plastic flowers have reminded me that cancer is real, and it hurts people every day. So they have served their purpose in raising awareness. I may not buy one, but I think I will drop a few dollars into the donation box to show what support I can.
    I look forward to more thought provoking writing.

  2. I think this is a fucking fantastic idea. To me, one message is that the sooner we all toss out our stereotypes about who is getting cervical cancer the better, because it is all women, of all ages. Another is the tension between sex, gender, and this particular cancer – and whether certain “lady bits” define our sexuality, or our femininity. If you can manage to deliver a sex-positive message about HPV prevention, being hot, and kicking cancer’s ass, you will have scored a huge (perhaps unprecedented?) win.

    Also, you are missed in Beijing ❤

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