Pecs for prostate

24 Feb 2010 Voices

When a topless man is promoting prostate cancer awareness, Michael Naidu smells a whiff of double standards.

Getcher pecs out for the lads!

The other day I noticed a website headline shouting “Why has this man got his top off?” beside a picture of a man with his well-toned chest out. Why indeed! According to the article that followed, "Mark Foster is supporting Prostate Cancer Awareness Month by posing in his underwear for a poster campaign".

Initially I was confused, why would showing a fit bloke with his pecs out make men think about the risks of prostate cancer? It made me think about my ever-expanding waistline and the need to do more cycling.

I Googled for more information and found a range of websites, from the worlds of fashion, celebrity and gay news that took the time to copy and paste the Prostate Cancer Awareness press release, word for word, onto their pages. And it is there that I found out that Mark wasn’t posing in his own underpants, but in the new Marks and Spencer Autograph range of pants, of which 10 per cent of all sales will go to the charity.

Ahh, I see now, this is about flogging blokes' pants and raising money.

Is this a bad thing? Not sure, although I get the feeling that more women will have been moved to buy pants for their partners than men and that few men will have been moved to seek information about prostate cancer after seeing the poster.

But it does pose two questions for me:

1) Who would be a good person to put on a poster about prostate cancer awareness? I took note when I saw the Bob Monkhouse message-from-the-grave posters a couple of years ago.

2) Would a breast cancer charity show a woman with so little clothing on to raise awareness or funds? Probably not, and I don’t think that research, treatment and support for sufferers of breast cancer has been so successful because the charities persuaded men to buy their partners frilly knickers.

So I am left with a feeling that effective awareness-raising is being sidelined to raise funds and sell pants. Oh, and the remit of the charity? To raise awareness of the risk of prostate cancer...

More on

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Read our policy here.