Many women love a good excuse to shed their bras, but after October 13 was dubbed "no bra day,” the ladies of the internet are pissed.
Of course you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and women have been sharing their personal stories related to breast cancer in a number of ways for years. As a social campaign, “No Bra Day”—which may have been started as early as 2011 by a plastic surgeon in Canada—encourages women to go braless and share their photos (with the hashtag #nobraday) to support the cause of breast cancer awareness. Over 82,000 women have complied by posting pics on Twitter and Instagram:
So why are women so angry, then? Because #NoBraDay, they argue, is more about sexualizing breasts than raising cancer awareness. And if you look through the hashtag feed, it's clear that many of those 82,000 photos are more about sexy poses than breast cancer.
This year, 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed — 63,410 of which will be fatal, according to the American Cancer Society. Those frustrated with #NoBraDay are arguing that what women need is not sexy, quasi-topless photos touting #nobraday with little explanation; they need real information explaining how to perform self-exams, what unexpected symptoms to be on the lookout for, and what they should do if they find a lump in their breast.
And not for nothing, #NoBraDay plays up the myth that wearing a bra contributes to an antiquated myth that wearing bras could lead to breast cancer. A 2014 study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention solidly debunked that idea, finding that that bra-wearing habits, such as underwire or average hours worn, were not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
As great and important as it is to support breast cancer, taking your bra off doesn't do a whole lot to help the cause (although it probably will result in some creepy DMs). Instead, spread information instead of selfies. Share survivor stories. Support organizations like the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which are making strides in preventative research. Schedule your own mammogram, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Because breast cancer awareness is about so much more that posting a picture.
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health.