This month, a very unusual window display has taken over the corner of Grand Ave and Wabash in the Windy City, home to Havas Chicago, an ad agency with a creative approach to women's health. Painted latex "boob" balloons have filled the agency' Plexiglass-encased lobby as a part of a new initiative during Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The aptly titled #CheckYoSelf campaign is a public, fully-inflated, interactive installation that its creators hope will educate both men and women about the value of breast self-examinations—and more importantly, how to properly perform them.
Informational diagrams cover the agency walls with detailed instructions on how to detect lumps, as well as signs to look out for while trying to detect breast cancer. (Read: Breast Cancer Awareness: Inspirational Stories From 8 Cancer Survivors)
And even better: For every use of the #CheckYoSelf hashtag on social media, Havas Chicago will donate money to breast cancer research organization FAB-U-WISH, a partnership with breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic's nonprofit: The Pink Agenda.
"This installation was designed to get a reaction," the agency's creative director Ecole Weinstein told Revelist. "We wanted to do something bold and fun — using our creativity to convey a powerful message. If we can remind just one more woman or man to check themselves once a month, we've been successful."
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, women should examine their breasts once every month to help familiarize themselves with their breasts, and alert healthcare professionals if there are any changes. If that's not encouragement enough, Pink Up The Pace states that nearly 70 percent of women find breast cancer through self-exams, and if detected early enough, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. (Read: Catching Breast Cancer: How to Perform a Self-Check)
While this initiative comes right in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month, it's important to remember the importance of self-examinations all year long. Knowing that breast cancer simply exists isn't enough. Make sure you're educating yourself about the illness and what you can do to prevent it. The best kind of awareness is your own—so take care of yourself!
Visit the Breast Cancer Society for more information, and pass along to a friend and help them stay informed, as well.