Motorboating for breast cancer awareness - mockery or genius?

Motorboating for breast cancer awareness - mockery or genius?

Over the years, there have been many brilliant campaigns aimed at raising awareness about breast cancer. ‘Motorboating’, some would say, is a not so brilliant campaign. The motorboating video has gone viral...but is it really contributing to a good cause? Or is it just downright degrading to women with breast cancer, survivors of cancer, breast cancer campaigners and just women in general?


Motorboating for breast cancer

While there is no doubt that breast cancer is not a laughing matter, some of the more controversial campaigns done over the years (like motorboating for breast cancer)  have certainly got everyone’s attention.

There just seems to be no way around breasts being over-sexualised.


Motorboating – Disturbing but effective?

The three men of Simple Pick Up played on the basic human instinct of curiosity. Humans are curious by nature and despite finding something a little strange and/or disturbing, we always want to know more.

Isn’t it precisely this feeling of intrigue and amusement that gets people talking?

They’re calling it charity!

In their video they film themselves going around motorboating for breast cancer awereness. The explanation behind their rather questionable behavior was that for every woman they ‘motorboat’ they would donate $20 to breast cancer awareness and research.

They managed to raise over $2,000 from motorboating and show proof of the donation being made.

For those of you who have not heard of the term, ‘motorboating’ is when you push a woman’s breasts together before vigorously rubbing your face into her cleavage.

That’s right. A man places his face directly between the pushed-together cleavage of a woman whilst furiously shaking his head. All this is accompanied by yelling that is meant to replicate the sound of a motorboat. Don’t worry, we don’t quite get it either.

Click to watch the motorboating video for yourself!

If you didn’t make it till the end of the video…



We know, that was probably more than a little off-putting. Videos like this parading as charity for cancer have garnered an influx of attention from breast cancer foundations, survivors, those fighting the disease, and onlookers alike.

Is motorboating for breast cancer awareness the right way to campaign for a cause? They raised money towards the cause and they’ve certainly created a stir.

Having said this, their video neither urges women to go for regular tests nor does it explain much about the actual disease.

We asked Anita Daubaras, Childbirth Educator & Breastfeeding Counselor, what she thought about this method as a means to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Daubaras feels that, “The term and the act of ‘motorboating’ is offensive, degrading and make fun of a woman’s body. One of the messages in breast cancer awareness campaigns is getting women to become comfortable with their bodies and their sexuality. ‘Motorboating’ does nothing to that end.”


The video certainly got people talking, clicking and sharing, but it didn’t do anything for the spread of awareness on the disease and what is being done for victims and survivors.

Sadly, videos like ‘motorboating for breast cancer’ take away from all the hard work being done in aid of breast cancer.

Although, initially, many may see it as a harmless video – a closer look reveals that ‘campaigns’, like this one, do nothing more than get people talking.

We need campaigns to do more than just that – they should educate, alert and urge people (women and men – yes men can get breast cancer too) to get scanned regularly.


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Written by

Sonia Pasupathy

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