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Das Kapital Takes on Tiger Tiger’s ‘Boob Job’ Campaign, Launches Charity Foundation

Kyle Brinkmann (Das Kapital) has responded to Tiger Tiger Nightclub’s second annual ‘Boob Job…

Kyle Brinkmann (Das Kapital) has responded to Tiger Tiger Nightclub’s second annual ‘Boob Job Giveaway Competition’ by setting up a charity foundation for breast cancer survivors. The event was held last year and attracted some negative attention, but since Brinkman got wind of it, the issue has exploded, with hundreds of people speaking out against it.

The competition, marketed as a way of “Celebrating National Cleavage Day In Style”, has a R30 000 breast augmentation of the winner’s choice as its prize. On Tuesday, Tiger Tiger posted the following on their Facebook page: “National Cleavage Day is a day for women to realise that their cleavage is something unique and that they should be proud of it! FOR THE GIRLS WHO ARE NOT PROUD OF YOUR CLEAVAGE – WE ARE GIVING AWAY A BOOB JOB WORTH R30 000!!! With your new BOOBS it will give you a chance to be beautiful and appreciate the glances at your NEW cleavage from all the men!”

Also included in the Tiger Tiger Cape Town event description is this little nugget: “This Year Tiger Tiger is opening entries up to GENTS as well who can nominate a lady of his choice if his name is drawn. SO get your husbands, boyfriends, fathers etc GET ENTERING!!!”

Brinkmann, whose step-mother had a mastectomy after battling breast cancer, took exception to the nature of this competition. “Last year, this event had a lot of negative feedback online, as you can imagine, but what pushed me over the edge was not only the fact that the franchise did it all again, but this time with the sponsorship of alcohol brand Strawberry Lips – a drink aimed exclusively at a female market,” he said. 

Brinkmann enjoys no especially strong history or link with feminist activism campaigns, but this campaign has obviously riled up something quite strong in him. “The fact that a nightclub and alcohol brand expect a party to run off the idea that women should have ‘better breasts’, whilst allowing for boyfriends, husbands and fathers to enter their significant others and children to somehow improve them is disgusting.”

To directly combat this campaign, he has set up The Kyle Brinkmann South African National Cleavage Day Breast Cancers Survivors Project, in partnership with The Pink Drive.

Tiger Tiger, a venue long-renowned for perpetuating regressive social politics, are most at fault here for what this competition says about women’s body issues. The entire concept of National Cleavage Day, as it is celebrated by most, is in itself problematic – a day where men take it upon themselves to impose their scopophilia on the female population. It’s not a day about having breasts, it’s a day about looking at them. If it was a day set aside for women to appreciate their own bodies, where they could feel beautiful in their own skin, that would be great. But it isn’t – it’s a day for men to shoot pervy glances at midriffs and feel exempted. It’s an opportunity for them to feel they can place their gaze wherever they see fit. Tiger Tiger’s ‘Boob Job Giveaway’, explicitly telling women they need to look a certain way, that they need to be looked at by men, is only further proof of this.

To this end, Brinkmann’s campaign should be applauded and joined. The young, self-conscious girl entering Tiger Tiger’s competition on her own behalf should not be vilified here. But Tiger Tiger should not be allowed to exploit backwards gender politics like this. They should be called out, they should be held accountable, and if they insist on giving away the boob job, then yes, they should give it to a breast cancer survivor or a transgendered woman in need. Because they probably won’t, Brinkmann’s foundation represents the flip side of the coin, the chance for us as a society to claim this ‘holiday’ for more than just the worst ideas of exploitative club promotors.

Thus far, the charity has raised over R20 000 pledged pre-launch, as well as R2 500 and use of the venue for a fundraising event from Fiction night club. “All the proceeds of donations and any events we do will go directly towards the costs of reconstructive surgery for those breast cancer survivors without the means – no administrative fees shall be taken.”

He finally adds: “I truly hope both the Tiger Tiger franchise and Strawberry Lips understand where I am coming from, and would really appreciate if they could join in helping people truly in need.”

You can donate money at The Kyle Brinkmann National Cleavage Day Breast Cancer Survivor Project.

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