Bump: n. A small area raised above the level of the surrounding surface; protuberance.
A seemingly innocuous word. And yet the principal at a high school in Arizona has deemed the word “inappropriate.” Because see the word “bumps” was used in the context of breasts—you know those body parts that roughly half the world’s population have.
And let’s be honest, during the month of October the word breast—along with the color pink—is everywhere. It is after all National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Which is why the cheerleaders at this high school decided they wanted to raise funds for breast cancer research and awareness, and in doing so wear pink shirts with the slogan of “Feel for lumps, Save your bumps.”
However, the principal of the school took exception to the slogan, deeming the language inappropriate. He said the cheerleaders could wear the shirts if they modified them to remove or cover up the “Save your bumps.” Or they could just wear plain pink shirts.
Because you know wearing pink really makes a statement. Don’t get me wrong I think raising awareness for breast cancer is a great cause. And I like the color pink.
But pink is just a color.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is shockingly enough about raising awareness about the disease. A part of raising awareness is encouraging women to perform self-examinations by checking for lumps as early detection is crucial for breast cancer treatment—or for any form of cancer really.
So this shirt is broadcasting a reminder to women—to perform those self-checks that doctors recommend. These cheerleaders wanted to send a message, and an important one at that. Not just to blend into the ubiquitous sea of pink.
Yet, this school principal found the message inappropriate for a school event. (And yet have you seen some of the getups high school cheerleaders wear nowadays?) Why? Because it draws attention to a body part? Isn’t that the point of breast cancer awareness? Would he really be any more comfortable with any other synonym for breast?
I mean I’m sure they could have said, “Check for lumps to make sure the mammary glands located on your chest are healthy.” But that just doesn’t have the same simplicity or catchiness as “Feel for lumps, Save your bumps.”
Out of curiosity, I looked up other breast cancer awareness slogans—and found many to be humorous.
“Big or small save them all”
“Thanks for the mammories”
“Save second base”
“A feel a day keeps the doctor away”
“Save a life, grope your wife”
“Hakuna ma ta-tas”
“Let’s win for the twins”
As with any situation in life, humor makes it better. People are more likely to remember something clever with a humorous spin than something bland or too technical.
Granted, everybody has different tastes. Perhaps “bumps” is too crude for some. But honestly sometimes people are just too politically correct for their own good. There are much more important problems out there.
And we live in a country where there is freedom of speech—that same constitutional right that allows freedom of expression and thought (and unfortunately gives truly offensive idiots the right to protest at funerals). So if I was one of those cheerleaders, I would wear the shirt to the game just based on principle alone. Oh but wait, it is a school function where they are acting as representatives of the school. No matter. Don’t go to the game as a cheerleader. Go as a spectator. After all, other students are able to wear sports bras and paint their bodies to show school spirit—you know something far less suggestive than wearing a T-shirt asking women to save their bumps by checking for lumps.