Women’s Center hosts event in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The event drew a crowd of female students seeking to support breast cancer awareness and become informed on Aerie’s mission.

Entitled “Shape of You,” the event promoted breast cancer prevention.

Bright Pink, defined on their website as “a mission to save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively at a young age,” paired with Aerie to support proactive breast cancer treatment.

Aerie ambassadors sported white t-shirts with breasts drawn on them and grey tees that read “Take care of your girls,” created in collaboration with Bright Pink.

“100 percent of the proceeds for online sales go towards Bright Pink,” Lexi Valanzola, a UConn Aerie student ambassador said.

Meg O’Neil, a UConn Aerie ambassador, stressed the importance of breast cancer prevention early in life.

“The event is to promote taking care of your girls before an issue arises. Instead of going to the doctor when you get diagnosed, go every year,” O’Neil said.

Aerie supplied 50 white t-shirts of varying shades and shapes for students to trace their own breasts on in fabric marker.

“It’s all about embracing your own individual body,” O’Neil said. “For breast cancer survivors, often times they have had something done and it is about embracing their new bodies, which ties in well with the brand message.”

Some men even made an appearance, cutting the sleeves off the shirts and drawing a chest on the front rather than breasts.

Breast cancer prevention and awareness is a particularly prevalent issue for young women.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and it is the second leading cause of death in women.

One woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

The event drew a crowd of female students seeking to support breast cancer awareness and become informed on Aerie’s mission.

“People are excited,” O’Neil said as she sped around the room, hurrying to prepare the tables for the rush of young women. 

The four Aerie ambassadors at UConn work to spread Aerie’s mission of self-love and acceptance of one’s natural body.

“Shape of You” allowed women to feel as though they were doing something in the name of breast cancer prevention, on a college student’s budget.

“It made me feel good about myself and my body,” Tessa Pawlik, a fifth-semester communications major said.

“It is for breast cancer awareness, so it felt like I was putting something towards it,” Pawlik said.

Mia Salgado, a third-semester psychology major, said she found the event to be “a great way to casually initiate conversation about breasts and breast cancer.”

While Aerie was offering free totes, water bottles, stickers and hair ties, the materialistic offers paled in comparison to the education regarding breast cancer and the empowering shirts that were created.


Abby Brone is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at abigail.brone@uconn.edu.