So what is the colour of your bra?

A rather strange virus (no no, not Boman Irani in a bad wig and a worse lisp) is going around on Facebook today and for the most part of yesterday where all the women all across the world put the colour of their bras up as their status messages, ostensibly to further breast cancer awareness. Not to be left behind like all good wannabes, the men are also putting up the colours of their undergarments, though we arent getting much variety in the colours on offer in their status messages, I must say. Obviously the girlfriends and the wives play safe when they buy their men their underwear.

I for one, and a dear friend sitting in a wonderful scenic cold country, didn’t get the point. How can putting the colour of your bra up on a public platform do anything to increase awareness about breast cancer. To me, honestly, it seemed like some clever chap’s great idea to get his five minutes of voyeuristic joy imagining women of different sizes and shapes in different coloured bras. For a moment I got suckered into putting my colour up, (what, what, what, you expected something fancy? Sorry, I wear horse harnesses with as much aesthetics as the said item of equine livery), then decided against it. For one, it felt like TMI on a public forum. For another I didnt have anything exciting to contribute by the way of colour. I’m a functional practical person, and therefore said article of clothing is also functional and practical and far from aesthetic.

If anything would spread awareness about breast cancer, I would definitely take it up. Heck, every woman needs to do a breast self examination every month after she turns 30. Repeat, a self examination every month and regular scanning and mammograms. It is a scary business, breast cancer.  I think we women tend to take ourselves and our health for granted. Hands up all ye who have had annual health check ups regularly. Yup. I thought so. Not to worry, I fall on the hallowed list too, of those who have no clue what her blood pressure or her cholesterol levels are, and whether she is pre diabetic. Given that I have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more, one would think I would be more careful. Given that the mother discovered she had high diabetes one fine day when she went for a casual check up because she was ‘feeling tired” and landed up in the ICU, you would think I would be more careful. But no. I have no lessons I learn. I continue to be as careless about my health as most of us are. I am an ostrich. I pop headache pills rather than go get my migraines checked out by professionals. I suffer with hotwater bags and cyclopam rather than get a sonography done every period. I’m sure I sound familiar. I’m sure most of us women are the same.

Between the home, the husband and the children, our number comes last on the list. Its only when we are at the point of collapse, that we might condescend to visit the doctors. A least I do. I dont know about you. I cant remember the last time I had a complete medical check up, and I keep ignoring the odd aches and pains until they flare up bad enough for me to be laid out on the bed with the entire family dancing in attendance.

What this entire exercise on facebook did for me is simple, it made me decide to take an appointment for a complete health check up. I’m running on 38, it is definitely high time I had an annual screening regularly. I have a child to look after. I need to be responsible about my health for him. If not for me. But I still dont think I’m putting up the colour of my innerwear up for public scrutiny. And I’d really like to know how many of you who put your colours up went home and did a self examination or booked yourself for a mammogram. If you did, yes, then the concept worked, and hats off to the brain who thought it up.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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18 Responses to So what is the colour of your bra?

  1. anna says:

    so true kiran, so true. we just put off the doctors and the tests. im glad to know im not alone in this.



  2. Parul says:

    I hear you on the bra colour campaign, Kiran. I was too tired to rant but I did tweet about it here

    When people don’t even know what the hell the status messages mean, how can it help spread any kind of awareness? Beats me. Anyway, it looked like a game that the girls were enjoying (and the boys probably more so) so I guess it did serve a purpose, albeit slightly different than intended.

    Ditto. And I dont buy the argument that everyone is doing it, so whats the harm. It is, in my opinion, TMI on a public platform.


  3. dipali says:

    Ah- but it did get you thinking! That’s the point, I guess:)
    I had a mammogram done a year ago, and have been too swamped with stuff to get my regular check up done.

    It did get you thinking. And the men thinking. And I could do without the latter.


  4. Veena says:

    Totally with you here…the message that came with it ended with “…once men get it – they will think about you in your bra….” And that helps raise breast cancer awareness somehow?? And what about the women who actually have had a mastectomy…what do they post? A pink ribbon post would have been in better taste.

    Completely agree…


  5. bedazzled says:

    lol!.. some voyeuristic guy is having fun at the cost of women who put up colours as status messages !! .. true,we women tend to ignore our health and lugging myself to the hospital for a full examination has never been a priority … for the sake of the offspring,i guess i will !

    Thats good news. I think we all owe it to our kids. Not to ourselves. 🙂


  6. Pingback: Where the mind is without fear… » What’s with this bra colour business?

  7. Nu says:

    What you say is right…but there is one point I want to make..the guys who want that 5 mins of fun can imagine any female even if there are no status messages put across…

    logically putting color as status message there is no awareness being spread but when you are pinged by your friend or a random person to put the color message..the reason is given with that…BREAST CANCER AWARENESS…may be this is kind of reminder to the ladies that they need to get themselves checked up regular…

    I mean it’s fine that someone doesn’t want to put the status message but the reminder has been given..that’s the point !

    Nu, I agree that it is a reminder, but I really wonder how many women went out there and booked mammograms. And yes, I certainly dont want random aqaintances on FB thinking about me in my underwear… *shudders delicately*


  8. DewdropDream says:

    I agree with Veena there. I couldn’t fathom changing my status to reflect what colour I was wearing that day. I have people on my list with whom I have an easy-going relationship that is not too intimate. I really did not want to get into this TMI thingy and unwittingly (no hang on, I knew what I’d be doing) encourage a change in the way they perceive me or the way they address me. Sometimes one does have to take responsibility for the reactions of others and this is one of those times.

    I think the pink ribbon campaign has done far more for breast cancer awareness. As campaigns go it’s been a lot more focused than a vague status message campaign stating the colour of a bra even if it’s across the world.

    Somewhere it even seems a little ridiculous. What’s next? Stating the colour of your underwear to encourage people to start thinking about cervical cancer and spreading awareness so they book appointments for smears? Not working I’m afraid.

    ‘Scuse the long comment.

    I guess at the end of the day it is what one would be comfortable with. Disclosing the colour of one’s innerwear on a public platform is not what some of us consider appropriate. I agree completely, a variation on the pink ribbon campaign on facebook would have been far more tasteful and worked better.


  9. Chakshu Shah says:

    Hi Kiran…I am a regular reader of your blog…I love your writing and come here daily to get a daily dose of humour and wit. 🙂 This post made me delurk today. I too dont understand the point…How does putting in the bra color on FB help spread breast-cancer awareness? Mindless and kinky I had say…
    Next we would see, putting up the pantie color on FB to help spread cervical cancer awareness!!!


  10. myamusingmind says:

    So it did what it was meant for took an appointment and may be many others did the same


  11. chandni says:

    I need to have a complete health examination asap. Been putting it off forver 😦

    and often get the feeling that there is something wrong within me, may be too big a coward to find out.

    I am going to get myself checked up next week.


  12. B o o. says:

    I dont mind the bra color. May be its a fun way of doing it, but it could ve been done with a link. whats the point when so many women themselves were unaware of why it was being done! Anyway, like MM wrote in her post – if it did make some women think, then good. 🙂

    Would be nicer me thinks to have a pink ribbon posted up.


  13. Dottie says:

    I fell in to peer pressure 😦 But yes, I did go home and do a self-examination… so for me atleast, the purpose was served!

    Thats good.


  14. BEV says:

    you’re so right about the need to take care of one’s health and I think women are masters at ignoring it


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