A Song Of Sexual Freedom Becomes A Strong Anthem For Breast Cancer Awareness

chrissie-amphlett

We’re all familiar with the song ‘I Touch Myself‘. When it was released in December 1990 is became a controversial anthem for female sexuality in a time when women weren’t used to expressing themselves this way in the media.

Australian singer Chrissie Amphlett and her band The Divinyls were considered an anomaly on the music scene. It was rare in to see a strong woman front an all-male band, and not many women had done this. People like Chrissie, Debbie Harry and Stevie Nicks were among the few who led the charge for women to be empowered through music and entertainment.

“I Touch Myself” became an international hit in 1991 when it reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 10 in the U.K. and No. 1 in Australia, and had radio programmers around the world pondering whether the song was too naughty to spin.

In 2010 Chrissie was diagnosed with breast cancer and unfortunately passed away in April 2013. In fact she went to the doctors twice for mammograms which failed to detect the cancer, and it was only through continuous self-checks that allowed her to determine she had cancer.

Before she died, she decided to rework her hit anthem into a different type of empowering message and launched the ‘I Touch Myself‘ project. The song morphed into one that encouraged women to touch themselves to check for and prevent breast cancer.

And now the Cancer Council of NSW in Australia has decided to officially re-launch the song with a bevvy of female singers from down under as a powerful message of hope, power, and courage. Singers such as Olivia Newton-John, a breast cancer survivor herself, Sarah Blasko, Katie Noonan, Deborah Conway, and Suze Demarchi appear in the new video all singing snippets of the iconic song a capella in a chilling way that will bring tears to your eyes.

Chrissie-amphlett-the-divinyls

Chrissie’s husband and fellow band member Charlie Drayton told the Daily Telegraph in Australia that the 53 year old was a force to be reckoned with while she was alive and that this campaign is going to be a legacy of her strong spirit which will encourage other women.

“Twenty years ago, saying “I touch myself” on a record was so controversial. Chrissy would wish people didn’t think so one-dimensionally about it. She had the opportunity to sell that song visually and politically as a frontwoman in a band,” he says.

“The common denominator for the corporate machine was to make money, but she wanted people to reach deeper and find their own meaning with which to engage.”

“She would have wanted us to be more in touch with ourselves and to listen to what’s going on inside physically, and to be more in charge of our destiny and not to wait for doctors or advisers to be in charge for us — which is why we launched the I Touch Myself Project.”

The first line of the song being “I love myself” is a chilling forethought for what was to become of the song eventually. At the end of the video the camera pulls back and we see a woman reveal scarring on her breasts in a jarring image.

Well done Cancer Council of Australia for putting together such a beautiful video for an important message. Chrissie your spirit will forever live on and inspire so many women around the world that their life is precious, and not to live being afraid.

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