1. Health
Rachel Gurevich

Iím Pregnant! Just kidding? New Facebook Meme "for Breast Cancer Awareness"

By September 3, 2011

Follow me on:

Many fertility challenged people feel stressed or depressed when pregnancy announcements are posted on Facebook. If you find yourself suddenly bombarded by status messages that say something like, "I'm 10 weeks and craving Peanut Butter Cups," you should know: your Facebook friends haven't all suddenly become pregnant.

There's a new Facebook meme going around, apparently for breast cancer awareness (or so the meme instructions say.) A couple years ago, there was the meme where everyone posted the color of their bras. Then last year, women would post things like, "I like it on the kitchen counter," referring to where they like to keep their purse.

This year, the meme is to post "I'm _____ weeks and craving _____." You can get the formula for the meme here, posted on PCMag.com.

Not that you'd want the formula. I really can't imagine any woman who either is currently dealing with infertility or has dealt with infertility participating in this new meme. Nor can I imagine any breast cancer survivor wanting to play along - especially those who have lost their fertility due to cancer or cancer treatments.

I asked my husband what he'd have thought, if I had been crazy enough to participate in this new meme, implying I was expecting and then said "just kidding." He made clear he would have been very hurt. As would all my family and friends, thinking they should be thrilled for me, when in fact, it was just a "joke."

I can see how the bra color meme sort of, kind of, related to breast cancer (not really, but bras = breasts, sort of close.) I didn't understand how the purse one related to breast cancer, but at least the status messages were funny.

But this new meme - where essentially you give the impression that you're pregnant, when you're not - isn't funny. Not at all.

Given that breast cancer survivors often become infertile, I can't imagine that the creator of this meme thought things through.

I'm hoping this meme will die out sooner than the others. I'm hoping that whoever comes up with these things comes up with something else, something less painful to those experiencing infertility, and especially less painful to cancer survivors who lost their fertility.

If you're feeling peer pressure to play along, or just want to respond in some way, may I suggest posting something along the lines of, "I'm NOT 10 weeks and NOT craving Peanut Butter Cups. I wish I was. And I'm sure there are many breast cancer survivors who lost their fertility wishing the same thing." Feel free to link to this blog, if you want others to understand why you're not playing along with the meme as written.

What are your thoughts on this new meme? Will you participate at all? Would your friends and family think it was cute or be deeply hurt? And how have you felt, seeing the posts appear on Facebook, even knowing it's a joke? Please feel free to comment below!

More about infertility and breast cancer:

Sign up for a free fertility newsletter!

September 3, 2011 at 4:35 pm
(1) Lori says:

Thank you for blogging about this. I don’t think the person that came up with this truly thought about how hurtful it is to women & men who are struggling with IF. It takes blogs such as yours to get the word out there for people to be more aware of IF and its impact on millions of people.

September 3, 2011 at 4:42 pm
(2) PattiH says:

Thanks for posting just how stupid this one is. And let’s not forget about all the women who’ve suffered pregnancy/newborn losses, as well. Even if I was pregnant, and even if I was overjoyed, I would not post it on FB!

September 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm
(3) infertility says:

Patti, Certainly not forgetting them! Anyone who has struggled with getting pregnant, staying pregnant, or experienced newborn loss will not see this meme as “cute” or funny.

September 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm
(4) Laya says:

I did play and kind of wish I hadn’t. My post was impulsive and I’ve had to do a lot of ‘splainin. I hope that anyone hurt by this can be forgiving, I’m certain that no harm was meant by anyone participating.

Lesson learned.

September 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm
(5) Kim says:

So now every time I post something, I have to think if I’m going to offend someone? If I had a great dinner, I might offend someone who is hungry. If I get a great haircut, I might offend someone who’s lost their hair (one way or another). If I am pregnant by some chance, I shouldn’t say anything in case I offend someone who is having trouble? I think this world has gotten too politically correct, and while we should all be considerate of one another, it’s Facebook for crying out loud.

September 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm
(6) Sarah says:

I think if you are not pregnant you should never post something on facebook that implies you are just because why should you have to answer mulitple questions about what a status update means. Now announcing an actual real pregnancy at an appropriate(for you) time, I am sorry if it oiffends those who have fertility issues but unless you specifically say I’m pregnant and you’re not neener neener neener I don’t see it as being insensitive. We should be able to be excited by exciting news in our lives and feel free to share it when we feel that it is appropriate.

These silly facebook statuses leave many wondering what the heck they are about and don’t do anything to bring more awareness to the cause. How about donating to the American Cancer Society or Susan G Komen instead?

September 3, 2011 at 9:15 pm
(7) Adrienne says:

I am in agreement with the author. The global generalization of a previous post shows just how cavalier people have become. Celebrating a haircut or a nice meal does not equate to the disappointments or pain of infertility at all levels, from being unable to conceive for whatever reason, to miscarriage, single or multiple, to stillborn or choice to reduce or discontinue pregnancy. I am not participating in this particular meme,..I am sure from my comment you can surmise the reason.

September 3, 2011 at 9:23 pm
(8) Helen says:

Your article makes a valid point, one I did not consider. I would like to say that I feel compassion towards those struggling with infertility. I also think that people these days are WAY too touchy about everything. Its something fun to do, makes people think, and then they are included in the group that is in the know, it is fun not designed to hurt anyones feelings. If a person is undergoing fertility treatments I would hope they would be telling their family in person rather than on facebook. Lighten up people.

September 3, 2011 at 11:09 pm
(9) Karen says:

I congratulated an old friend today on her pregnancy implied posting and felt pretty humiliated to find it was a big joke. It’s not funny, it has nothing to do with cancer, and I’m pretty irritated that I (and other “friends”) was the butt of the joke, for NO APPARENT REASON. I’m not sure we’ll stay FB friends if that’s what she thinks of me and others. I don’t have infertility issues, but I know women who do. For them, it’s an emotional blow to hear of others’ pregnancies – one that they handle quietly and privately so as not to be a bother. I would never stoop to do that as a joke to someone I loved.

September 4, 2011 at 2:10 am
(10) April says:

Rachel, thank you for writing about this to educate people, not to put anyone down for not thinking about what they’re doing.

Kim, just wow. I’m wondering why you would compare an actual dinner, an actual haircut, and an actual pregnancy to a pointless, fake, not-funny-at-all joke that is in no way, shape, or form informative about the subject it claims to be raising awareness for. It’s not about political correctness. It’s about common decency. And it is precisely that ‘it’s just Facebook’ attitude that is the most offensive. If you really believed that, would you be so up in arms about it?

And Helen. Lighten up? Really? If your chemo made you bald would you get a little sore reading about what color everyone’s wig is, even if it was just ‘fun not designed to hurt anyone’s feelings?’

Secrets don’t raise awareness.

September 4, 2011 at 10:41 am
(11) Terri says:

Thank you for this article. I am neither infertile or a breast cancer survivor and find these status updates highly offensive. I’d love to know how these silly games do anything to promote breast cancer awareness. In my opinion they are all juvenile and offensive.

September 4, 2011 at 11:01 am
(12) Marsha says:

I’m 57 years old & never had any children. I struggled with infertility like everybody else who wanted children & couldn’t have them. My GG-grandmother died from breast cancer. I was not offended or upset about this game at all. Mother’s Day still upsets me but this didn’t. Anybody who read my post about it & really thought I was announcing a pregnancy needs to take a sharp look at reality. First of all, none of these women ever actually said they were pregnant. It was designed to make people wonder & ask questions. When the questions are answered it raises awareness. Is it the best way to raise awareness? Maybe not. But is it one way? Yes, it is. What’s wrong with taking advantage of EVERY opportunity to raise awareness? If the game causes even one woman to remember to call their gynecologist for an exam or to do their own breast exam isn’t it worth it? As far as triggering painful emotions about my own infertility – I find it much more difficult to deal with the weekly updates that women send about their real pregnancies. I had two nieces pregnant at the same time & both of them were sending these updates – as well as constantly updating photos of their expanding abdomen, sharing their excitement as they prepared for the baby, etc., etc. THAT was painful to deal with. But I bit the bullet & kept my mouth shut & read the updates & learned a lot about the progression of a fetus from conception to birth because, in spite of my pain, I really am happy for them. Now I will have to endure the constant posts about the babies’ growth & my nieces’ recovery and my sister’s happiness about her two new grandsons. I don’t ever get to be a grandmother. That sucks! Those are things that really hurt – not this silly game.

September 4, 2011 at 11:27 am
(13) the king says:

Truly, it’s a game. It’s already associated with breast cancer awareness because you guys keep talking of how it’s ‘not funny’. It’s not meant to hurt anyone, and anyone who takes it personally because they can’t get pregnant might not want to get pregnant as something as stupid as this is going to get your panties all in a bunch. How about adopting? There are plenty of parentless children out there already who need loving homes. You don’t cry your eyes out and go and troll on the internet when you see babies in movies, or babies in advertisements, or when one of your friends gets pregnant do you? Life isn’t fair, so stop crying about the stupid little things and go do something productive for society.

September 4, 2011 at 11:33 am
(14) Story says:

Wow Kim! it’s not about being overly sensitive or politely correct. You seem to be ignorant of the struggles of people who have cancer and become infertile and people who suffer from infertility. “It’s face book” comment you made is exactly the attitude that is wrong with people. Pregnancy announcements have no place in cancer awareness. People are not being too sensitive how about people like you are ignorant.

September 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm
(15) Marti says:

Rachel: Thank you for posting I have been trying to search for the words because those that have battled infertility like myself find little humor in it and after researching more about breast cancer and the causes/side effects of infertility it may cause I don’t think any breast cancer survivor would participate.

September 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm
(16) Lisa Heaney says:

I am absolutely furious with this latest viral campaign on facebook and received the notification today.
Last night I spend the evening consoling a friend who has been told its going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible for her to have children.
Who is this apparent “genius” at Breast Cancer who thought that it would be a fab idea to for women around the world to be indicating they are pregnant. Its an absolute disgrace that this genius did not think this through properly.
To make matters worse, this same friend’s mum actually had breast cancer and had a breast cancer scare herself. Discussing your bra colour and the “i like it on the.. campaign” was well thought out. This one is just an absolute disgrace!

September 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm
(17) Heather says:

King: To your completely insensitive post “You donít cry your eyes out and go and troll on the internet when you see babies in movies, or babies in advertisements, or when one of your friends gets pregnant do you?” The answer is YES!!!!!! Real pregancy announcements are extremely painful!! And if you haven’t been trying to conceive for over 7 years, while everyone around you has multiple children, you have no idea how that feels. And the just adopt comment was just as bad. Again, you have no idea.

September 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm
(18) Jeanne says:

Thank you for this article. Many of my friends talked online re: this meme yesterday. Regardless of their personal situations (struggling w/infertility or not, past/present cancer patients or not), the 1 common thread they all shared was NOT liking this “game”. The reason Iím using quotes is that I personally don’t think pretending to be pregnant is a game/something to joke about. How people posting memes on fake pregnancies (& not posting info about the topic of breast cancer) is supposed to promote breast cancer awareness is beyond me. Laya (above) acknowledged that she hadn’t meant to hurt anyone when she posted it. Kudos to her for acknowledging that she inadvertently hurt people by posting it & that she views it as a “lesson learned”.

Reading some of the harsh comments here, it saddens me that people can be so insensitive to others’ feelings. Itís nothing to do w/being “too politically correct”. I think people have to be pretty desensitized to others’ feelings to post comments here *defending* the meme. To not find it offensive is one thing. (Not everyone finds it offensive). To chastise others who DO find it offensive is quite another. The way I see it, no one has any business telling anyone else how to feel. I will admit that I do, however, have difficulty understanding when someone stands up and defends something that many people find hurtful/offensive.

Rachel, I hope you donít mind that I broke this comment up into two parts. I got pretty fired up yesterday when Facebook friends of mine starting posting/talking about this and thereís more Iíd like to say. (End of part 1)Ö

September 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm
(19) Jeanne says:

Rachel, here’s part 2. (Again, sorry for the length. I heard from many upset friends yesterday).

When did so many people become more interested in “just having fun” playing “games” that they just don’t care who they are hurting? What about those who have become infertile following treatment for breast cancer? How does this meme make them feel? How is it supposed to do ANYTHING useful for breast cancer patients? By the way, for those who think I’m being “too sensitive” or who think I’m too concerned with “political correctness” or who think I should just “lighten up”… Iím not infertile & I donít have breast cancer. I am highly offended by this FB meme. I’m not the meme police & I’m not suggesting that anyone should conduct themselves differently because I (or any other one person) take exception to this “game”. At the same time, I would urge anyone who looks at this as “no big deal” to take a step back & look at the collective response to this. If you take 5 min. out of your day to read the many reactions people are posting (including posts like this one), you may realize that this isn’t a small handful of people who are upset or hurt or offended by this. It is a widespread reaction by a large number of people. Some are hurt because of firsthand experiences they’ve had (infertility and/or pregnancy loss, breast cancer). Others have friends/loved ones in those categories. Still others are offended that such a “game” is being portrayed as somehow useful re: a form of cancer that can be deadly. That’s no joke and nothing to joke about.

These types of “games” hurt the very people they claim to help. What sense there is in that, I really don’t know.

September 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm
(20) The Queen says:

King: you are a moron. ‘Nuff said.

And to anyone who doesn’t understand why this is sensitive or why it might hurt a friend’s feelings- I feel sad for you. I hope you never experience a loss of life, hopes and dreams like some of us have.

And as far as it being effective because we are talking about how thoughtless it is– good. We all want to raise awareness for breast cancer, and perhaps we will raise awareness for infertility and pregnancy loss in the same breath. This struggle needs to be more public anyway.

September 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm
(21) Anthony says:

I think (5) Kim is missing the point. if you are really, truly, pregnant, then by all means, shout it from the highest mountain if you want to. but implying that you are pregnant when you are not, is misleading and juvenile in the context described in the author’s article. No one’s suggesting that who you might offend should be the deciding factor in your every Facebook post; it’s about misrepresenting yourself to people whom you must care at least a little about (or else you wouldn’t be connecting to them by social media in the first place) only to later have to explain to them that it was a lie (not a ‘joke’; a LIE. Let’s call it what it is.) Because they may have been genuinely overjoyed for you upon learning that you were ‘pregnant,’ and your admission of the truth will yank the rug out from under that joy. There’s no reason to do that to people you claim to care about. THAT is the point of the article.

September 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm
(22) The Queen says:

Oh by the way. For those of you who still might not get why this is insensitive… here’s a riddle for you….

9 weeks, 7 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 5.5 weeks

September 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm
(23) JRose says:

As someone who has dealt with infertility and is currently battling breast cancer I find the whole FB ‘game’ highly offensive on both levels.

And the really sad part is the fool who started this whole ‘game’ failed to take into account that the chemotherapy that many breast cancer patients undergo renders them infertile….so way to kick them when they’re down!!

September 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm
(24) forest says:

wow….i just came across this after looking at a friend’s status updates that said “I’m x weeks and craving x” and the next update said “so i’m not pregnant, sorry about the breast cancer update” it confused me so much I thought there must be something more to it and came across this.

I find this a really really dumb game/project/meme/concept/whatever. Not only could it be insensitive to infertile women, but it’s just confusing to friends. preganancy is a pretty big deal…after all the congratulations, to basically say “just kidding!” really, the whole thing just seems really stupid and i’m kind of offended as a friend. because my first thought was deep sadness at “oh no! she’s no longer pregnant, my poor friend has lost her baby” Of course, I’m sure she did this in a good hearted way to support breast cancer and didn’t realize maybe how the whole thing would come across…but really? are there not better ways to raise awareness ??

September 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm
(25) Sam says:

When will there be such tremendous support for testicular and prostate cancer that it garners a Facebook meme?

September 5, 2011 at 12:46 am
(26) Tutu says:

I guess it’s like every other offensive thing on the internet and on Facebook itself – if you don’t like it why not just not play? I don’t understand why people get so worked up about this stuff. You should put your energy into something more worthwhile than getting all riled up about a stupid Facebook meme. I mean, alot of breast cancer stuff is pretty light hearted, like ‘Save the Tatas’ so it’s not like this is the first time a less serious approach has been taken to the breast cancer awareness campaign. My grandmother is a survivor and I really don’t think she would care all that much about a stupid meme.

September 5, 2011 at 2:56 am
(27) michelle says:

Here’s an unexpected side effect of this post. I am in a committed same-sex relationship. My girlfriend’s ex has been giddy since my gf did this stupid game because she assumed I “couldn’t keep her either”. And I have to see her daily at work. Keep in mind I spent ten heart-wrenching years failing to conceive prior to this. Double whammy on the not-funny scale.

September 5, 2011 at 9:22 am
(28) JustEric says:

I’d also like to point out how incredibly stupid it is to try to raise AWARENESS about something by carrying out a SECRET plan. The fact that so many women willingly play along with this idiocy is simply astounding. NONE of these memes are understandable.

You don’t call 911 and start telling riddles to get the dispatcher to get him to GUESS what the emergency is and where you’re located. You state it as plainly as you can under the circumstances.

Want to raise awareness? Start talking about the issue.

Want to play childish games? Go back to kindergarten.

September 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm
(29) Marci says:

I read an article about reaction to the bra meme. When even those people you’re “helping” find what you’re doing offensive, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

September 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm
(30) Kirsty says:

This is disgusting!!! If anyone I know joins in I shall be responding harshly!! I hope I don’t have to as my situation is not public!!

September 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm
(31) Lynne Lacock says:

Thanks for the blog. Was completely confused by the Facebook status of a friend and has taken a while to work out what was going on. I can’t see what this has to do with breast cancer awareness and I am with those who find the ‘game’ insensitive. I hope that somehow there is a pay-off and that it does raise awareness!

September 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm
(32) Putri says:

You are so right! I have a close friend who just had a miscarriage and I cannot imagine if she were to log on to FB and all friend’s status changed to “I am xx weeks and craving xx”. I would have been disastrous for her and her tears floodgates would open again..

Sorry, this meme is not for me..

September 6, 2011 at 12:48 am
(33) Lisa says:

Get off Facebook people and do something productive!

September 6, 2011 at 4:58 am
(34) Jaine says:

Kim really? wow….I’m staggered that you don’t get it. I can’t be arsed to explain to those who don’t get things like this how offensive and hurtful they are. Explaining to someone why something is blatantly offensive, its not worth my time.

September 6, 2011 at 9:22 am
(35) Kari Lynn says:

While almost anything that is posted on FB could offend *someone* that wasn’t why I chose not to participate in the “game”. I chose not to participate because it was silly. Obviously it does imply that you’re pregnant by posting something about being a certain # of weeks and “craving” a food. I don’t want my family & friends to think I am pregnant and be let down when I’m “just kidding” or furthermore when I do get pregnant (hopefully) then they are not going to believe me once announcing that news either. Ever heard of the boy who cried wolf? Things like this are not “raising breast cancer awareness” at all. It just makes people think you’re a prankster. Plus, let’s be real… everyone is “aware” of breast cancer. If you want to raise money toward the cause, participate in a walk or actual event. It will do a lot more good for the cause than posting false or leading statements on FB. But if you just like messing with people, that is of course entirely up to you, but don’t do it and then say “I did it for breast cancer awareness!”

September 6, 2011 at 10:04 am
(36) Heather says:

I don’t see the big deal….it’s a game. If you don’t want to participate then don’t and ignore all the ones that do. Simple.

September 6, 2011 at 10:25 am
(37) Jennifer says:

I am so glad that other people are seeing how useless and stupid this entire facebook thing is. I does absolutely nothing to raise awareness for a very serious disease. And is an insult to the cause itself.

September 6, 2011 at 11:40 am
(38) Sarah says:

I’m so glad you wrote this Rachel as this latest campaign has got me really wound up. I’m all for breast cancer awareness but it needs to be done sensitively. I’ve had 3 previous miscarriages followed by unexplained infertility. We’ve just spent a lot of money on a first attempt with IVF but sadly it failed last week. I always find pregnancy announcements hard as it’s a painful reminder of what we can’t have but emotions are particularly raw at the moment. My friend is coming to stay with us tonight and I havent seen her for a long time. 2 days ago she posted her ‘I’m 12 weeks and I’m craving meatballs’ status and i literally went to pieces. I didn’t know how I was going to cope with trying to share her excitement while she was staying with us as my husband and i are still grieving. I ended up crying myself to sleep only to wake up and find out it’s a joke. Not funny! I belong to an online support group for women struggling to conceive and told them how stupid I felt when I found out but it turns out that some of them had also had similar reactions to these posts. I hope that somehow the people who started this latest campaign come to realise the hurt that they are causing and take a different tack. I definitely won’t be joining in.

September 6, 2011 at 11:40 am
(39) Sarah says:

I’m so glad you wrote this Rachel as this latest campaign has got me really wound up. I’m all for breast cancer awareness but it needs to be done sensitively. I’ve had 3 previous miscarriages followed by unexplained infertility. We’ve just spent a lot of money on a first attempt with IVF but sadly it failed last week. I always find pregnancy announcements hard as it’s a painful reminder of what we can’t have but emotions are particularly raw at the moment. My friend is coming to stay with us tonight and I havent seen her for a long time. 2 days ago she posted her ‘I’m 12 weeks and I’m craving meatballs’ status and i literally went to pieces. I didn’t know how I was going to cope with trying to share her excitement while she was staying with us as my husband and i are still grieving. I ended up crying myself to sleep only to wake up and find out it’s a joke. Not funny! I belong to an online support group for women struggling to conceive and told them how stupid I felt when I found out but it turns out that some of them had also had similar reactions to these posts. I hope that somehow the people who started this latest campaign come to realise the hurt that they are causing and take a different tack. I definitely won’t be joining in.

September 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm
(40) Andrea says:

Thank you for such an honest, open, raw and real post. I’m sorry you’ve been slammed with some insensitive responses. :( And I am sad that so many people have jumped on this “game” and the bandwagon.

Marci, great link. Susan, whymommy, is amazing. Her words carry so much weight for me, now if only people would read her before they took such actions!

September 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm
(41) a Mom says:

Thanks for the blog.I agree infertility is devastating and here’s another twist, what about teens who have had an unexpected pregnancy, what a gut wrenching thing for a mom of that teen to see as her status. Wondering if it happened again. There’s more positive ways to support breast cancer.s

September 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm
(42) David says:

Well, said, Rachel – this kind of in joke does very little to raise awareness and the “girls only” pink image reinforces the misnomer that Breast Cancer only affects women, when men get it, too…

September 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm
(43) Missy says:

Count me as someone who is infertile. And just to clarify, I am really infertile. I’m not someone who has to try very hard. I’m not someone who can spend lots of money to fix it (Though I’ve been there and bought the T shirt on that one.) I’m not someone with a hard-fought lonely only. I’m absolutely hopeless. Out of the eighteen babies I conceived, I currently have… a foster child. And I’m about to lose another one of those too.

Now that I’ve established my credentials:

I do not find this meme offensive or heartbreaking at all. I know that I can’t have babies. Other people can. I am a big girl about it. I don’t fall into a screaming, sobbing, useless mess because other people don’t have my biology. I actually am little hurt when people expect me to deal with this in any other way than an adult.

That said, I still find it useless, stupid and ineffective – same as the other memes that preceded it. There are lots of breast cancer (and other cancer) victims out there who could use a real hug instead.

September 7, 2011 at 8:46 am
(44) Eloise says:

Im infertile (battled for years to fall pregnant, lost my baby and finally adopted 2 children) and I played! It was not to hurt anyone or be insensitive! None of my friends or family took it wrong or got hurt!

September 7, 2011 at 9:51 am
(45) Shu says:

No offense to anyone, but i think this game is not funny. Joking about being pregnant is really not funny. I saw how my friends’ FB postings were greeted with congratulatory messages by so many friends and relatives who express joy and thankfulness to God for the “newcomer” but sadly, it is not true. One or two did not reveal that it’s not true but a few others did.

We could be more straightforward in raising awareness of breast cancer. Real life stories can touch people’s hearts far greatly than a game that results in lies being spread.

September 7, 2011 at 11:46 am
(46) Viper38 says:

I have to say I agree with the posters about the insensitivity of this silly game. I am a man who went thru infertility issues with my wife. We were finally able to concieve our second child (wife is 15 weeks now) thru IVF. I know how sensitive my wife is to these issues and like many others have said, it is a different mile to walk when you in the other pair of shoes. However, being that this is America, people are free to post what they want. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a society where common sense prevails. People are free to post and the rest of us have to try to filter what we see on social sites such as Facebook. Having said that, I don’t really see how this does anything for Breast Cancer awareness as I didn’t know what it was until I had to search on the net. To me that is an awareness program. For those who call the posters on here too sensitive and need to lighten up, perhaps one day you will find yourselves in that situation with a WHOLE new perspective. I hope that isn’t the case. Breast cancer and infertility is no topic to joke about. Sensitivity or not, it just isn’t something to expect out of anyone above the level of immaturity. Continue awareness but do it in a way that raises the level of awareness, not the level of confusion over why something may be posted that has NOTHING to do with what is supposedly trying to be raised.

September 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm
(47) A Grant says:

For many breast cancer “survivors,” the problem with ALL of these games is that it reduces our lives to a fun little joke on Facebook. My friends are dying and others are posting games about breast cancer.

And then when someone posts a game, and we say something about it, it generally starts a fight and ends with a bunch of people who don’t have cancer telling the “survivor” to get over it. As if we can just walk away from cancer. You see, those playing the games can walk away, but we cannot. It is something we live with.

Many of us have blogged about it. What we need is ACTION. Not your shoe size. So instead of posting something on Facebook because it’s easy, do something a little more difficult and actually DO something about cancer. See your doctor for a physical, get your mammogram, donate a few dollars to an actual charity that is helping people with cancer, cook a meal for someone in chemo, etc. That is real awareness.

September 8, 2011 at 1:14 am


September 8, 2011 at 2:15 am
(49) starayngel47 says:

the first time i saw someone post their status for this “game”, i about had heart failure because she was not planning on getting pregnant for a while— then i got the email/fwd. take me for example, i suffered from infertility issues and they were talking treatments/meds. by some miracle, we got pregnant on our own. i was waiting until “the time was right” to make my announcement, when i started seeing all of these statuses that are posted for attention. NO, this was not used to raise awareness. when ppl asked what was going on, the girls just “LOL”ed. they never once said anything about breast cancer!! i did not see ONE single person say what it was for. men can also get breast cancer, so why keep this a secret from them?!?! it is so ridiculous. i refuse to play along. there is nothing wrong with sharing your REAL news if you are comfortable with it, in my opinion. posting a LIE is not funny…at all.

September 8, 2011 at 10:19 am
(50) Rebecca says:

Thank you for the thoughtful article! I was confused and then hurt when family and friends implied that they were pregnant when they were not. For a serious issue as breast cancer this a such a thoughtless campaign.

September 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm
(51) Jennifer says:

I learned this the hard way. I’ve been getting calls and e-mails all week congratulating me. It is so annoying.

September 8, 2011 at 9:18 pm
(52) erika says:

Completely agree! People sometimes copy things without stopping to think whether they should. They’re just hurrying along on the www, quick to jump on any bandwagon, clearly not taking the possible consequences or others’ feelings into account. And the fact that this is all done in the name of breast cancer awareness is a JOKE, especially since we’re purposely withholding that very fact from half of the fb population.


September 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm
(53) xfitgirl says:

So glad to read your post about this. Came home today and 3 people had posted this on their facebook page. As someone who has suffered 3 miscarriages with the last one in June this is an awful idea. It’s really upsetting to see people post I am ___ weeks etc. Not very sensitive at all. Thank you for your post.

September 10, 2011 at 2:48 am
(54) Jacqueline says:

I was totally fooled and thought my nephew’s ex was pregnant just shortly after breaking up with him. It was a sad feeling as it brought up a lot of emotions – how did she move on so quickly and got pregnant with someone else’s child so soon. This is definitely one meme I will NOT play along with. In fact, it is so insensitive – imagine the hurt that a lot of people will go through.

September 10, 2011 at 6:43 am
(55) Naomi says:

Are you serious? You are offended about this? Far out. There are bigger fish to fry in my opinion.. being offended about that never even crossed my mind.. and I can’t have kids at the moment cos if I do my body might go into a meltdown and hubby won’t even go there. I’ve lost a baby and that didn’t offend me.. why? Because a bit of common sense and wisdom tells me that this is for FUN.. and to get people looking twice and thinking about breast cancer. Do I not ever make a joke about the rain ever again because people have died in the Queensland floods… just in case it offends those people? This lady needs to take a chill pill and stop playing the victim. There is a time and place for everything.. and to be down on someone else or a group of people because of your own pity party is self indulgent and depressing. (.. and yes, I’ve been there too with post natal depression.. so I feel I can make a justified comment using the ‘d’ word) Sure.. if I was struggling with fertility, I’d not play the game out of respect for close friends and family.. and honestly, if someone did….the email goes around to ALL the women on your list if you take part so why would you need to explain or justify yourself? To be down on others in such a judgmental article is a waste of time. Honestly, ladies… it’s ok to take some joy in life and move on from wallowing in the depths of despair, disappointment and heartache. Maybe you could spend this energy looking into fostering a baby or small child, or even praying to the God who loves you and can heal ANYTHING to take whatever is causing this infertility to end. Just some thoughts.

September 11, 2011 at 11:19 pm
(56) Jason says:
September 13, 2011 at 9:18 am
(57) hhn says:

Interesting comments. Certainly understandable reaction to this meme.
But everyone of us has a thing in life called choice. Some have read this blog and chosen not to comment. Some of you have chosen to post a response.
With every “site” on the net, we have a choice. Look at it or not. Respond with a post or not. Ignore it or not. Share our view or not.
I chose to “tease” a friend knowing she could not be expecting. The post was taken in good fun for those that responded to her. There were some really funny comments. None that showed hurt or were hurtful. Those were the choices from the responders.
Thanks for choosing to post your views on this blog. Gives a different insight into the lives of others/strangers.

September 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm
(58) ohevshalomel says:

I participated in this. It wasn’t the most well-thought-out breast cancer awareness chain, so I didn’t do it on my infertility group, but some people *are* overly sensitive. I can understand why some infertile people did choose to opt out of it. On the other hand, the one person who did get angry with me was someone who was too young to really have children anyway, and I’ve experienced actual miscarriages. Also, having a healthy female fertility is correlated with breast cancer due to the hormones involved, so many women who have breast cancer have had children already.

That little chain was kind of fun. It didn’t bother me nearly as much as some people complaining about their pregnancies on FB bother me.

September 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm
(59) Charlie says:

Thanks for explaining it, anyway. First one of those comments I saw, I thought my cousin was pregnant. Then I saw similar comments from people who… probably aren’t going to be pregnant any time soon, and assumed they were talking about being on Weight Watchers.

I fail to understand how hiding the nature of the message builds awareness of anything.

September 19, 2011 at 9:06 am
(60) Alex Quinn says:

It is great to bring awareness to breast cancer regardless of the way it is brought to people’s attention. Whether it is from participating in a walk, updating your facebook status, or by wearing a breast cancer ribbon . Any effort made to help bring awareness and help find a cure for this disease is a help in many ways.

October 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm
(61) Jess says:

Weird…I havn’t seen that at all. What I was seeing was shoe size and a smiley face.

October 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm
(62) JESSICA says:

ok so first off i have to say i agree with kim. I don’t want to have to worry about offending anyone, i struggled with various miscarriages, i was in my 20′s for crying out loud, and i now have 2 beautiful children and am going on my third, after all the struggles, a dear friend of mine who had breast cancer and lost her fertility to it also played but she has 4 wonderful adopted children, although i had struggles i was never upset when a friend or family member told me they were pregnant, i never wanted them to feel shame for hurt my feelings, i was overjoyed for them, when u make someone feel bad because you are struggling that makes you heartless, you should feel the joy for them even if you are struggling, it is painful losing a baby, i know i lost several, but you have to move forward find other options, quit making people feel bad for your losses, when you think it’s not right for people to let me know they are pregnant just remember what you are doing to them when they want to share their joy with you but for fear and shame they don’t. The world has become to politically incorrect, and it needs to change soon people won’t even bother sharing their emotions because it may offend someone.

October 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm
(63) JESSICA says:

Marsha, i couldn’t have said it better.

November 25, 2011 at 2:42 am
(64) jamie says:

This creates awareness because people will wonder why they are posting about being pregnant, ask or search it themselves through a search engine, or receive the forwarded email and find that it pertains to breast cancer. It will pique interest and people will find out what its all about. 2 + 2 = 4.

February 10, 2012 at 9:11 am
(65) Annabell says:

I will NEVER participate in these games! The games do absolutely nothing for breast cancer, either awareness or actual patients. If someone would actually like to help, then be a volunteer driver, push the cookie cart at the nearest cancer center, or find some other volunteer position that is helpful. Not these idiotic games! Breast cancer is NOT a game!

February 16, 2012 at 5:26 am
(66) hello says:

3 cheese

February 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm
(67) Dee says:

I fell for this and I congratulated my friend, I was extremely embarrassed afterwards when I found out I had been duped. I felt really bad. Especially because I only saw the first half where she announced her “pregnancy,” had I clicked the “more” button I would have been able to stop myself from looking like a fool. I am not a fan of this trend, that’s for sure.

August 30, 2012 at 3:45 am
(68) ugg says:

Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, let alone the

September 15, 2012 at 3:22 am
(69) Joanna says:

^^ Is that sarcasm Ugg? Can’t really tell. Didnt know this was a blog, thought it was simply an ARTICLE : /

As for the article, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I was very offended when I was first invited to join the game on facebook. One thing I would like to add/explain, the writer said she didn’t understand the ones from previous years about where you keep your purse and the bra one. Its meant to sound dirty and attract attention. Eg The secret question was “where do you keep you purse” but the answers posted were comments like “I LIKE IT ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER”. You know what everyone thinks when they see that and they all start talking about it. The point was to get so many ppl talking about it that it makes it on the news. Which it did. How does that help cancer? It doesn’t really. But it got a lot of attention, made the news and maybe that brought some attention to cancer awareness.

But this years didn’t keep ppl guessing at odd comments like “i like it on the kitchen counter”, this years simply implied pregnancy. Something not to be taken lightly. I’m going to cut and paste what i shared on facebook about this. My comment follows:

I’m kinda disappointed by this years. The other years kept the guys guessing and asking “what the hell?” This year doesn’t make them guess. It clearly says “I’m pregnant.” just without saying those words. I’m 16 weeks and craving pickles really only means one thing. And after having a miscarriage and going thru that emotional turnmoil I’m not about to pretend I’m pregnant even if it is for a good cause. Too bad the creator didn’t think it thru too well. Pregnancy isnt something to be taken lightly and joke about. What about all the girls who lost a baby or had to have an abortion etc. They aren’t going to be amused by this. As for “keeping them guessing” like i said, there’s nothing to guess, you’re basically pretending to be pregnant. What a disappointment.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.