The group of participants was comprised of Topco Sales staff from various company departments and can be seen in the Topco Sales Breast Cancer Awareness Photo Gallery.
According to the company, the women also have posted the images on their social networking sites as a way to stimulate interest and dialogue about breast cancer awareness.
“The idea came from similar breast cancer awareness campaigns. Several of us women became inspired to join together and do something in the same vein for such an important cause,” said Desiree Duffie, director of marketing and public relations for Topco Sales.
Scott Tucker, president and CEO of Topco Sales, expressed his support by funding a grant to the Los Angeles affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation on behalf of the participants.
When Desiree told me about what she and the other women wanted to do I gave them my full respect and support,” Tucker said. “It is a noble gesture and I hope people will be motivated by the Tops Off participants. Everyone should do what they can, whether it is a donation of time, money, or taking a few moments to help spread awareness about breast cancer — it is all beneficial to the cause.”
Topco's Tops Off participants who bared it for the photo shoot include: Alina, International Sales; Amy, Planning; Chinkee, Product Development; Cheryl, Private Label Sales; Desiree, Marketing and Public Relations; Liz, Domestic Sales; Justina, Product Development and Miranda, Product Development.
The women have a variety of reasons for participating.
People who know me will tell you I’m not one to show a lot of skin,” Miranda said. “Hell I don’t even wear shorts in the summer! If this was something that moved me enough to bare my breasts to my co-workers — and then the world — maybe it will be enough to motivate others to be more involved in their own way.”
Liz said, “I care about and support breast cancer awareness. I'm honored to have been surrounded by a wonderful group of women who came together for a great cause. I hope to inspire others to show their support as well.”
Chinkee says, “Taking my top off for this campaign was a huge step for me, but I did it for a great cause. I'm proud of what I did and I hope that everyone out there will help support this campaign like we Topco women did.”
For other participants, Tops Off is a way to encourage other women to be proactive in the fight against breast cancer, the company said. “It was an opportunity to illustrate my belief that breast cancer is not taboo to discuss and that self examinations are important,” Cheryl said. “It took some courage for me, since I'm not a model, but this is small in comparison to the bravery shown by people fighting breast cancer and searching for a cure.”
Amy states, “Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a good opportunity to encourage all women and friends to do self-exams and to get to know their bodies. It is very important that all women are not afraid to ask any questions relating to breast cancer and talk to their doctors in case that they feel that something is not right.”
Alina says, “I hope this inspires women to never miss their mammogram. I also hope it will contribute to an increase in donations towards the breast cancer research societies — especially from men who love to look at breasts — it is time to pay up, guys!”
Some of the participants were motivated by personal reasons.
“A dear friend was diagnosed earlier this year with breast cancer and she has been such an inspiration; her strength, her grace, and her beauty,” Justina said. “I feel like this is an exceptionally small task I can do to help every amazing, beautiful woman prevent and beat this disease.”
The company said that although the adult industry is filled with nudity for the sake of titillation, this project purposefully brings women who work in the office into the spotlight — women who stepped outside their comfort zone for a good cause and posed for a tasteful, yet evocative photo shoot.
Desiree explains, “In an industry where breasts are usually portrayed as objects with sexual connotations, I think our Tops Off statement resonates with exceptional veracity. The photography is artfully done and makes a group of regular women extraordinary. We hope this unique approach will capture attention — if it does then we've obtained our goal — which is simply to create awareness.”
Alina adds, “Breasts mean much more than great cleavage. They are a symbol of motherhood, health and beauty for all women.” In addition to the women who posed, several other Topco employees supported the Tops Off cause. From the marketing and public relations department, Annalee was the photographer and Erica coordinated the photo shoot. Angela from the art department edited the images, and Jon from the art department assisted with the staging of the photography.
Lindsey Kaplan from StyleandColor.Me styled the hair of the Tops Off participants.