No doubt, there are many on social media who have woken this morning to the images of men who are naked, save for a sock on their parts. Your social media platform of choice has not suddenly become lewd and lascivious; there is a social media campaign afoot to raise awareness about testicular cancer.
The movement started in the United Kingdom and while it is not known who exactly started the awareness campaign, awareness about testicular cancer has gone up significantly over the last 48 hours. Philly Morris, founder of Manchester-based charity Checkemlads, says he has no clue as to who started the campaign, but he is glad they did, as the charity has gained several hundreds in donations since the spontaneous campaign began two days ago.
Essentially, men wanting to get involved in the campaign strip down to their birthday suits and take a naked selfie, ensuring that their private parts are covered with a sock of their choosing. The campaign appears to have sparked some creativity as well, as men have chosen long hockey socks, socks with cartoon characters, and socks in very vivid colors, among others, and it continues to spread. Each shot on social media has featured either the #sockonacock or #checkemlads hashtags, and the involved men thus far have continued to donate to testicular cancer awareness.
While some may exclaim, “Sock on a what?!”, the social media campaign has exploded in a flurry of selfies of men wanting to promote testicular cancer awareness. The Sock on a Cock Facebook page has gotten over 24,000 likes, and while it is a closed group, it is a virtual certainty that the numbers of likes continue to grow.
Testicular cancer survivor Ryan Farrington, just 26, ensured he had his selfie done, complete with bright pink sock. He says Checkemlads was a lifesaver for him, as Philly Morris even came to offer his support in hospital. Farrington says he posted his selfie before he was even aware anyone else was doing it, and he even nominated some of his buddies to do the same.
This is perhaps one of the most unique challenges out for men today. While the no makeup selfie for women has gotten a lot of press of late, the social media campaign for testicular cancer awareness may take people in North America by surprise. Certainly, disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong is likely one of the most prominent faces of testicular cancer, having had it years ago, but it is a condition that remains one of the easiest to cure. It has a relative 5-year survival rate of 99 percent, and even if the cancer has spread beyond the lymph nodes to organs, the 5-year survival rate remains at around 74 percent. If it has spread just to the lymph nodes, 5-year rates sit at around 96 percent.
It is definitely a cancer many men do not want to discuss, as men are notoriously…well…private about their parts. It leaves many men with many questions, such as their ability to father children later on. However, like other cancers, testicular cancer is one that needs discussion. The Sock on a Cock campaign may be just the way to do it. It is silly, fun and a way to get people talking about it. A social media campaign designed to raise awareness – even one where people may ask, “Sock on a what?” – cannot ask for more than that.
By Christina St-Jean