Breast campaign crashes website

By Paul Harper, Hayden Donnell

Screengrab of the nzgirl site.
Screengrab of the nzgirl site.

The lure of breasts has crashed the nzgirl website and divided opinion.

In a campaign aimed at raising both money and awareness for breast cancer, nzgirl is asking Kiwi women to "get their tits out for the girls", and post photos of their breasts on the website.

For every 50 photos uploaded, nzgirl has promised to donate $1000 to breast cancer research.

Owner and founder, Jenene Freer, told Newstalk ZB 25,000 people all tried to look at the website at the same time this morning, and it crashed.

As of 1pm today, 46 photos had been posted, raising $920.

Opinion on the website's forum was divided on the campaign.

Laura B commended the campaign.

"I think this is AWESOME, It's for an amazing cause that NZ Girl are doing a great thing for, and we get to do something amazing and fun to support them," she wrote.

Kate McGahan said she felt proud to be part of the campaign.

"For those with negative comments, positive energy really does change the world, and no one does positive energy better than the NZ Girl team and their readers! Lets band together, regardless of opinions and try and help find a cure."

Some readers felt the campaign was a cynical ploy to up the site's reader hits, while other felt it was pornographic.

Ashley warned girls not to upload photos of their breasts.

"Once this creeep gets hold of your picture she can do anything with it. this is not a cause it is pornograophy!!!! [sic]"

Another user "K", said she frequently read the site but thought the campaign was "very uncool".

"Why are women always under some preassure [sic] or another to show our boobs? I bet you more men then women will be logging on to look at those photos - it's a really creepy idea."

A lawyer and "concerned mother" who contacted nzherald.co.nz said she was "absolutely appalled" by the website's campaign and said it was coming very close to falling foul of child pornography laws.

There is no age limit on who can send in photos in the campaign's terms and conditions.

Nzgirl.co.nz founder Jenene Freer said all photos were checked by staff to make sure the submitter was 16 or over.

Under-16 members are not encouraged to use the site, she said.

"Most of our members are in their mid to late 20s. We're pretty confident on where we stand on it."

Many people had called the site today to say they had ordered a mammogram or checked their breasts as a result of the campaign, she said.

Some site users also had concerns with the ability to rate "favourites", with Mimoiko deeming it "offensive".

"Someone is always bound to feel a bit like shite when they aren't "rated" or "liked" enough. All of our breasts should be equal in this, no pair (or singular) better or worse than the next."

The editor and general manager of nzgirl, Tee Twyford, defended the campaign.

"I think our long time readers will agree that both nzgirl the brand and each of our four staff members, stand for more than the exploitation of women - in fact this campaign came about as a way for us to mobilise our audience of 18-35 year old women to feel good about their breasts no matter what shape, size, function, history or medical journey. We're all about choice and it's at each reader's discretion as to what photo they choose to upload and whether they sign their name," she wrote on the site.

"On a smaller level I hope this will help our readers to see a really broad spectrum of 'real' breasts and on a larger scale I really hope we do reach the 250 upload mark that will see us donate $5000 to a breast cancer research charity of our readers choice."

The website also featured a website with "breast aware tips", encouraging women to take care of their breasts and have regular mammograms.

Ms Twyford said the "favourite" concept was not a "popularity contest".

"Regular nzgirl readers will know that the "favourite" concept is more about the overall approach we have with our site - each submission requires readers to describe their favourite aspect of their breasts and every set of boobs will pass through the homepage spot as a favourite."

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