When’s the last time you thought about your butt health? Though the state of your rear end’s health is probably not always at the forefront of your mind, it is something to be aware of – especially for gay and bi men and those living with HIV, who can be at more risk for developing certain colorectal issues.
In case you didn’t already know, March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is a cancer that “starts in the colon or the rectum. These cancers can also be called colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start.” Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together and called colorectal cancer because they have much in common.
An estimated 900,000 people worldwide died from colorectal cancer last year, with 53,000 in the U.S. alone. This is a number the nonprofit Cheeky Charity is working hard to change by promoting things like regular screenings and early detection and treatment. “Our butts have been taboo for too long!” exclaims its website.
With its #MarchYourButts campaign, Cheeky Charity is hoping its unorthodox approach will generate more awareness around colorectal cancers. The fun and flirty campaign is encouraging folks to bare their bums (or keep it clothed if you like) for the cause, and then share their booty pics on social media with the hashtag #marchyourbutt.
While many of the photos showing up from the campaign are certainly sexy, it’s not quite as scandalous as it sounds since you’re supposed to cover your booty up with the org’s cute heart-shaped booty logo. (But if you’re not the shy type, why not make that logo as small as possible?) Cheeky Charity also has an easy-to-use photo editor on their site to place the logo in your pic, so no need for any Photoshop skills.
So far some notable influencers and celebs have jumped aboard the booty train to lend their support, including travel blogger Jeff Perla (@TheTravelinBum), who has partnered with the org to help raise awareness, as well as Drag Race alum Jackie Cox.
Perla, who’s built a brand around documenting beautiful bums in beautiful locales (check out his Instagram to see what I mean), says the experience of baring it all can be liberating.
“I think everyone has been self-conscious about their body at some point in their life,” he says. “It’s natural to feel nervous about showing off your body to the public. I think people will feel a sense of relief seeing the positivity that comes with showing it off!”
“My butt started a whole new career path for me,” adds Perla with a laugh, “so I have grown to have a deep appreciation for my butt…. Showing off my butt still gives me a rush though.”
NYC-based drag artist (and Rupaul’s Drag Race season 12 favorite) Jackie Cox says the campaign “is hugely important to me personally. Colorectal cancer rates have been increasing, especially in younger people and in those who engage in anal sex. As someone who is both sex positive and health conscious, what better reason to raise awareness, encourage early screenings and detection, and support my community?”
Of the booty pic itself, Cox says, “I hope people enjoy seeing it! I love being cheeky anyway, so why not do it for a great cause?” (Click here to see both the censored and uncensored version of Jackie's photo by Matt Monath.)
As an experienced booty photographer, Perla also offers some advice for getting the perfect posterior pic.
“After taking butt photos for the past 5 years I’ve noticed that a mid-to-lower angle will give your butt the volume you’re looking for,” he says. “As for lighting, make sure the light is shining on you and you are not back-lit.”
For more about the campaign (including the booty photo editor and prewritten text for your social media posts) as well as useful info, links, and other resources about colorectal cancer, visit CheekyCharity.org.