In order to be treated successfully, breast cancer must be discovered as early as possible. A clinical breast exam sounds great; experts recommend that a lady should go through such a procedure regularly, which may vary depending on the age. But there is something else women can do from the comfort of their homes, at least once a month: a breast self-exam. When combined, these two can increase the odds of early detection.

In some parts of the world, women face inhibitions when it comes to touching their breasts. For example, 75% of Indian women are very shy when it comes to self-examination. To help these ladies overcome this issue, Lux developed “The Soap with a Lump,” a bar of soap with a visible lump that does not dissolve as the soap does. It is basically a reminder of how important a self-exam is in detecting breast cancer.

To underline how important self-exams are, a group of creative people launched the “Don’t Touch the Arts” initiative, inviting ladies to “Touch [Their] Breasts” instead. The campaign unfolds on Instagram and draws inspiration from museums’ kind request to please not touch their exhibited arts.

Thus, the artists decided to use some famous artworks to bring into the forefront a “theme” that should be touched: breasts! “That’s how the ‘Don’t Touch the Arts’ was born. A personal project dedicated to spreading the importance of breast self-examination,” says Victor Sotero, one of the artists behind this campaign, who worked alongside Danielle Keiko and Júlia Malavazzi to bring it to life.

The project includes paintings portraying ladies who appear to be examining their breasts, cleverly underlining the importance of this procedure. The Instagram posts are accompanied by the following caption: “The self-exam is the first step to identify breast cancer. But there is a lack of information about it. And, because of that, a lot of people aren’t doing their self-exam. So, we decided to use masterpieces from around the world to teach more than art history.”

Some of the art pieces included are “Portrait of a Woman Revealing Her Breasts,” “The Penitent Magdalene,” “Presumed Portrait of Gabrielle d’Estrées and Her Sister, the Duchess of Villars,” or “Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci,” all reinterpreted so as to show the importance of this simple — but which needs to be regular — health check-up.

In addition to the illustrations, which offer interesting facts about breast cancer, the team behind the project has created stories, in which they explain how a lady can do the self-exam procedure, step by step. The tutorials end with that message that if the women feel that something is wrong, they should call their doctor.

The campaign coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an event through which major breast cancer charities want to raise awareness about this condition and funds for research.

The sooner the disease is detected, the better. So, girls, during this month (and not only), let’s “grab life by the boobs,” as the breast-touching procedure could save our lives!


Project: Don’t Touch the Arts

Victor Sotero, Danielle Keiko, Júlia Malavazzi