Last month 90.3 AMP Radio in Calgary launched their "The Breast Summer Ever" contest -- and although not the first to hold a contest in which breast augmentation was the prize, the contest immediately caused controversy in the Canadian media and online.
Complaints weren't entirely unfounded, considering the message that it potentially sends about the "perfect" body image, and the objectification of womens' bodies. But not everyone took an immediately negative stance:
Marketing professional Laura Horne, 29, said the contest is a stroke of publicity genius for the station.
... The station could harness that attention for a good purpose, such as giving the procedure to a breast-cancer patient seeking reconstructive surgery, she suggested.
"Clearly it is a marketing stunt," Horne said. "The negative backlash is a little bit unfair. It could be used in the end for something good."
Which ultimately may be the case. Finalists were announced on Thursday, and among them is musician Avery Mitchell, who is also transsexual.
Something that often gets forgotten when looking at transsexual-related medical procedures of any type is how they are - yes - technically cosmetic, but at the same time combine to facilitate participation in society and life in ways that cissexual people never experience. In the better-known case of Genital Reconstruction Surgery (GRS), this often (though not always) can include the ability to change legal documentation to reflect one's sex appropriately - life-changing in ways that no other "cosmetic" surgery could hope to achieve. But even breast augmentation can be a clear and major step toward becoming the person we know we're supposed to be. It's a step toward Square One, in a way... but without it, sometimes just getting to the point where we can live our lives seems almost unattainable.
Avery is one of ten finalists in the contest, where supporters can vote once every 24 hours, and describes her hopes by saying that the surgery would help complete her as a person. She will find out on July 20th if listeners support her quest.
(Crossposted at DentedBlueMercedes)