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Jan. 11 2010 - 12:53 pm | 560 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Who started the Facebook bra color campaign? Guy claims it’s him.

The bra-color meme that swept Facebook last week whipped many of us up into passionate debate. If there are three things people feel strongly about, it’s breast cancer, what constitutes activism, and the word “retard.” (I’m sorry. Okay? I’m sorry.)

But what has never been clear is where exactly the whole campaign came from, and who’s responsible for starting it. No one’s stepped forward.

Until now.

Charles Thomas Burch III claims he’s the source. Burch is a 23-year-old in Charlotte, N.C., whose aunt Charlene died of the disease. He started a Facebook foundation in her honor that he describes this way:

The Charles Burch Breast Cancer Foundation™
Is Dedicated To The Memory Of My Aunt Charlene Burch
Who Passed Away A Couple Year’s Ago From Breast Cancer
& Now My Real Sister Pertania Burch Is A Breast Cancer Survivor
& We Will Still Continue To Fight The Fight To End
Breast Cancer For The Million’s Of Women & Men
All Across The World Who Still Have Breast Cancer

He left a comment on my post with a link to the Youtube video below. When I contacted him, he wrote,

go to my facebook page right now do you see all those ladies with the breast cancer picture they was the ones who started posting to all their friend’s i have a huge fan base behind me

I watched the video. It begins with rap set to tinkling music. Then he adds in a seven-minute monologue:

I know you’re wondering why with the bra stuff. Cuz if you got time to post your bra color on Facebook you got time to check your breasts.

He adds,

I know you’re wondering why bras. Because bras support, you know, breast cancer.

The bra link still makes no sense to me. And Burch’s foundation isn’t much more than a Facebook page. Yet. Burch seems like a well-intentioned and earnest young man.

And he’s achieved something highly trained marketers spend gobs of client money trying unsuccessfully to do: get millions of people talking about his cause.

What he failed to do (or chose not to do) was link to his cause. As Burch pointed out in his message to me, it already has supporters — just over 1,000. Click to the page to join, or to make a donation.

UPDATE: Burch makes a new claim: he’s discovered the cure to breast cancer.


2 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 2 Total Comments
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    I just want to say thank you for the apology.

    I was one of the women who posted my bra color on Facebook and when I saw the link to your article was interested in what you had to say. I thought your opinion rather strong, but it was, just that, your opinion.

    It’s when when I saw the “r” word (no need to repeat it), I felt very angry. Yours is the second blog in a weeks time in which I had come across the use of that word and I was stunned. You’re a highly intelligent woman, so there’s no need to explain why it is so offensive (the other blogger, evidently not so much).

    I spent most of that day reading through your previous posts, trying to get to know who you are and I like you, very much. And though I didn’t do it, I felt the desire to want to defend you against some of the extremely mean and hurtful comments being left.

    Your apology is very much appreciated – brought tears to my eyes. And as I said, I like a lot of what you’ve written and will continue to read your posts. Who knew!?

  2. collapse expand

    This guy has a good idea and a true heart to advance the cause. The problem is that the message I read in your post from his FB page,
    “Cuz if you got time to post your bra color to Facebook, you got time to check your breasts” would make a great tag line for a PSA. However, few posting to FB heard that message or got the point-or even bothered to visit his page. Social media is like that. Fast. Immediate. Reactive. And my problem with these social media awareness “activities” is that they are just that – fun things to do with little or no work.

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    Read Wasabi Mama for your daily dose of sinus-clearing rant on parenting, work, media and entertainment. If you like a fresh nasal passage, please click below my photo to "follow me." For more on me, please visit www.lisacullen.com.

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