“I had breast cancer. I was diagnosed five years ago, and in the midst of going to chemotherapy, one of my doctors brought me back from one of the many walks that are sponsored a little pink bear—one of those pink bears with a pink ribbon on it—and I thought, ‘What does this have to do with me?’” Hrichison related. “Breast cancer is about breasts: They’re a sexy thing, they’re a sex object. There’s no use avoiding it; it’s like, let’s embrace it for what it is.
“There’s so much sadness about this disease,” she continued. “I wanted to do something that would (A) lighten it up a bit and (B) get in touch with people who seem to like breasts the most, which are, frankly, men.”
Hrichison researched the effectiveness of aiming fund-raisers and other events toward men in a way that simultaneously would attract and inform an audience to which most cancer organizations traditionally do not market. B.A.B.E. previously has participated in an AVN- and HotMovies-sponsored Poker Tournament this past summer and will maintain a booth during January’s AEE show.
Sunday’s burlesque show simply is another move in B.A.B.E.’s aim to educate and entertain, and with adult celebrities like Wane and Lane, getting the word out has been no problem, Hrichison said. Wane, who is the national spokeswoman for B.A.B.E., almost immediately signed on after meeting Hrichison and has been aggressively campaigning for the charity on the radio, at conventions, and during the pre-Grammys backstage celebration, she added.
“Here was B.A.B.E., and I wanted to have this sort of ‘Babe-a-rella’ to go with it—you know, this big, strong woman—kind of like our superhero,” Hrichison said. “I want her to be [like a ] cartoon, kind of—and that was the first night I met Taylor. I thought, ‘She looks like Taylor.’”
After seeing a rendition of Wane by the artist Olivia, Hrichison said she found her spokeswoman, and Wane jumped on board, “pimping” B.A.B.E.’s website design (the logo is a design by Wane’s caricature artist) and making appearances at various events.
Lane, who participated in the Poker Tournament, also will be appearing with Wane at Sunday’s event to promote awareness.
The show will feature an old-fashioned burlesque performance set to modern hard-rock tunes, with a live band backing five dancers. Tickets and information about the event are available here. Hrichison said she is excited to have such a young audience paying attention to the message about breast cancer and likes the idea of re-energizing the cause with something sexy.
“Statistics are showing that breast cancer used to be your ‘mom’s’ disease, but it’s no longer an anomaly if you’re under 30,” Hrichison said. “How do you get the message out to young women? You let the young guys know. The adult world and just sexy, fun things seemed like the perfect way to reach the guys. If you had breast cancer, would you want a pink blender? I mean, I want a thong, dammit—one that says ‘babe’ on it.”