Call me Vain – Amp Radio Contest

Yesterday was the official announcement for AMP Radios next contest give away “The Brest Summer ever” and it sparked a huge controversy among listeners. People do what they do best and headed online to start ranting, filling up Amp’s Facebook page and unfortunately spammed my twitter Timeline with complaints and put downs towards the radio station. At first I agreed, I did think it was a little distasteful, thought it was giving kids who listen to the radio the wrong idea about themselves, that having the perfect body is the key to life. I didn’t want to comment on my own opinion whether I was for or against it or start taking sides with those who decided to (in)directly talk about a station. Little do or did they know that the station listens to their viewers, and AMP DJ Buzz Bishop listened and shared his views, blowing off the insults that were then directed towards him and at his place of work. Don’t Shoot the messenger guys, the radio hosts are just doing their job.


This morning I listened to a young lady who had gone from 220 lbs and had lost 80 lbs through lifestyle changes. Good for her that is fantastic. But what we turn a blind eye to in this ladies accomplishment is what she’s left with. Of course many people are so self-absorbed that they truly don’t care about anyone else but themselves – and that’s fine. But try to step outside ‘your’ box, and think about it. She’s doesn’t have the body of a model, even in her great loss, she’s still left with skin that doesn’t ‘fit’. Who are we to say that her wanting a boob job to feel like the woman she is again, is wrong?


I thought about it, and although I don’t need a boob job by any means, I would kill to have an opportunity to have a tummy tuck. Is it because I’m vain? Maybe. But I’ve also got an unsightly 5 inch scar on my abdomen that has left me with less confidence in a bathing suit than someone should be at my size. I had emergency surgery back in 2007 that saved my life. Back in 2009 I went on a trip to Mexico, and let’s be honest you’d receive strange looks if you wore clothes in the pool or along the beach, so I braced myself put on a bikini and ‘owned’ my biggest fault. I didn’t think people would be rude enough to comment on it or stare, but throw a few drinks down the hatch and people have a new-found confidence and can be very blunt. Things such as “nice hack job” or “who did THAT.” were uttered from the words of drunk men and women. One lady told me that her husband took his shirt off donning a horrible scar much similar to mine because of my “confidence”- at the time I didn’t take that as a compliment, not everyone is nice and forgiving, many ask questions and jump to conclusions, and some don’t care and that’s fine too. But when you’re uncomfortable with yourself and its a visible problem or impairment¬†it’s as awkward as an “elephant in the room” scenario.


So although AMP has taken a risk with their contest, I give them kudos for giving a lucky lady an opportunity to feel good about herself again. For those who don’t think its right, you are entitled to think what you want, but who are you to judge, until you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes?


Whether AMP’s intentions are right and they say its to help someone, only time will tell, but after hearing the story this morning, I do believe that it is to help someone who can’t afford to help themselves.


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19 Responses to Call me Vain – Amp Radio Contest

  1. Great blog Cassie.
    Based on the fact that Desperados is partnering with AMP, I don’t believe for a second that the original intention was for anybody else other than women who just wanted bigger boobs (ie how Calgary bars will pay for half of a breast surgery for new waitresses).
    However, I think with the amount of attention this has received, undoubtedly people will look for the silver lining and fortunately there is one – being able to help women who would like to have the surgery for more reasons than just “having bigger boobs” but for those women who want it done to restore some of their lost confidence based on what has happened to them.
    I like that people like you are bringing a good perspective to it.
    However, at the core, I still think it’s all about young girls who want bigger boobs. Had this been sponsored by Wellsprings Calgary or an organization who is focused on doing good – this would have been a much more positive intentioned contest.

  2. Deidra23 says:

    The problem I have with this conest is two fold. First of all, yes.. They are giving my children (who used to listen to AMP until last night) the idea that they should be unhappy with their bodies. There is a very good chance my girls will be flat chested (like me) and i don’t want them to think ibadly about themselves because of it (like me).
    My second issue is the way the contest works.. post your picture and people vote? No. That means that instead of someone who has had a masectomy, someone with 6 kids or someone who lost 100lbs is NOT going to win. The winner will be some drop dead gorgeous bar star who probably already has more boobs than I do who wants to look like Dolly Parton for free.

  3. Crystal says:

    I agree with what you are saying here, but I worry that the contest will be lost to the women in “need”. Do we have faith that the people of Calgary will vote for a woman in the contest who is a breast cancer surviver or lost a lot of weight in their journey? Personally, I don’t. I feel like this contest will be won by some young, pretty face that people (mostly men) will want to vote for. But please, let the listeners of Amp and the voters for this contest prove me wrong. I can tell you that if a breast cancer survivor makes it to the top 10, that is who I will be voting for… but if one doesn’t, then I won’t be participating in any of this nonsense at all.
    Sorry to hear about your scar. I know that can be difficult to live with and sometimes it is hard to learn to love ourselves. I know this from having a large, visible birthmark on my face that still gets nasty comments (from adults even!) to this day. But, I have reached a point that I would never want it removed because it is part of who I am…. and you have no idea how many times I have to say that to people.
    Wow, my reply was long! Good post Cassie!

  4. thatangela says:

    Hey Cassie,

    I sure don’t want to judge any woman who wants to have a cosmetic procedure to improve her health or appearance. I come from a different perspective, considering I had a breast reduction in 2001, which I described on my blog yesterday.

    I don’t understand women who want big or bigger boobs to improve their self-esteem or whatever, but c’est la vie. It is your body and it is your choice.

    I take umbrage, however, that this very personal decision is degraded to the level of competing for it in a contest and then having pictures of the ‘lucky’ finalists paraded in front of all for a voting session.

    It is only after the discussion that took place yesterday giving me hope this ‘prize’ goes to someone who may need it for real reasons. Please note, however, that anyone who needs for health reasons (mastectomy, etc.) should be able to get it covered under Alberta Health Care, just as my reduction was covered by Health BC. If I’m wrong and that’s not the case, then I apologize and think AHC should cover these procedures.

    I feel it is only because of the discussion that took place yesterday that this ‘contest’ will not turn into a bar star affair.

    I feel, however, that the ‘winner’ will still be declared via frat-boy decision, based on who will look the best with a monster set of boobies.

    I also balk at Amp Calgary’s justifications that ‘we already so much for women’ and ‘if you don’t like it, just ignore it.’

    To the first point, cuddling one kitten does not give me permission to go out and kick 100 cats in the face.

    And to the second point, I wonder where we would be today if the Famous Five had said ‘we’ll just ignore the problem and let it go away.’

    That, to me, is a very very scary thought.

    I hope you’re having a wonderful day. Get out and enjoy the sunshine!


  5. Terry says:

    While I can see both sides of the argument, I wish the online crusaders would take a more positive approach. Sure there is huge potential for this to be a free boob job for a bar-star, but there is a lot of potential for good. Maybe all the energy spent in twitter rage would be better used trying to force this contest into being for good? Make it what you want by rallying around positive applicants; people who need it. Force AMP to award this to someone who’s life would be changed for the better.

    Or I guess we can all keep bitching. That solves everything. Just makes me sick to read all of Calgary’s online champions being so negative. “I don’t think Calgary has it in them to vote for the right person.” Pretty sure I heard the same thing before our municipal elections. Bravo.

    Great post, Cassie!

  6. CassieNeil says:

    Firstly, I’d like to just say thank you to those of you who’ve taken the time to respond.

    I agree with those of you who have said “it’ll probably go to some bar star who wants enhancements” I guess that is a risk you take when offering a procedure through contest, It’d both baffle and scare me if that were the result.

    Deidra, I think that your children will be raised by a mother as strong as yourself, who’s gone through what they may go through, but continual conversation with them and an “open door” relationship should hopefully help them realize there is more to life than looks. A Radio station shouldn’t be the cause of their self esteem issues.

    I’m just a voice among many who is trying to see the positive side to a predominantly frowned upon procedure. I’m also trying to remain positive that with more discussion about the ones who ‘need’ it will surpass in votes to the ones who ‘want’ it.

  7. Diane says:

    To be honest I’m torn. Much like that lady that lost 80 lbs I’m in the same boat. I’ve lost 50 lbs. I’ve also birthed 6 kids etc. One at 15 years old. Yes, my mistake and it was terrible for me to get pregnant so young, but being that I did, I went from 14 years old with no boobs… flat chest to big pregnant boobs. I gave the baby up for adoption, did not breast feed and I was left with nothing or what you can maybe describe as flat pancakes. I’ve lived with these non boobs for 22 years. I’ve always wanted real boobs. Not big… just perky and boob shaped. I’ve been very self conscious for years now and someday hope to be able to afford to get mine done. I probably would have entered this contest if I didn’t feel like I’d be judged and looked down upon and if I thought I had a chance to win. Plus, how do you rally all your friends and family to vote for you online to get a boob job? Voting contests for kids is one thing, but at my age how would I get the votes for a boob job?

    My take on the contest is that I am still on the fence. I see the pros for it and the cons against it… especially the message it is sending the young listeners. I know that if I’d ever have had regular normal boobs no matter the size I’d be happy with myself. Aside from my chest I’m pretty self confident. I think partly it’s how society views women and portrays them that makes me feel inadequate, but it’s also what I see all around me…. women with normal perky boobs. Something I have never had with out a good bra.

    • thatangela says:


      I think you’re an incredibly strong woman with a lot of character. You’ve made some tough decisions at a young age and I know you’re raising your children to be strong and open-minded. Bravo.

      I, too, would have a difficult time rallying anyone to vote for me in a contest that will — more than likely — ultimately be decided on looks. For that reason, I won’t be voting.

      As I said in my earlier reply, I hope the vociferous reaction to this contest changes its direction and it does go to someone who — for whatever reason — ‘needs’ it.

      I am, however, disappointed in Terry’s viewpoint that we’re all just bitching. As I said in my earlier reply, I don’t think the contest would have taken the direction it has without the voices being heard. Of course, I also don’t think Calgary voted in the right person.

      C’est la vie.


      • Terry says:

        I truly didn’t mean to imply everyone was just bitching.. I was heavily caffienated, and used the broad internet brush to paint the participants. I do think there is a lot of negative energy that could be put to better use though; I guess that was my point. I think voices can be heard even if they aren’t raging. Sometimes it is easier to have meaningful discussion when people do not begin the discussion enraged.

        Judging from the little I garner from blog posts and twitter personas, you are all strong intelligent women.. I love and respect that. Keep being that way and shape your world how you want it to be.

      • Diane says:

        Thanks Ang!

        Means a lot to read those words from you. I know we don’t always see eye to eye(I voted in that mayor, there have been days I am thrilled with that, but there have been days I’ve wondered why), but I respect your opinion and how you voice it. I do not plan to enter the contest. It was a brief fantasy, plus I think scrimping and saving my own money will make it more rewarding in the long run. Having said that… if someone offered me it for free I would not say no. However, I know I would not win the contest and gave up that idea as fast as it entered my head. I’m with you and hope that someone deserving wins it.


      • Kassie says:

        More posts of this quality. Not the usual c***, plaese

    • Lyddy says:

      Your story was ralely informative, thanks!

  8. Mich says:

    I get the point of the surgeries for women like the lady who lost 80lbs… what I disagree with is the fact that its 1 – promoted by a bar which instantly implies boob job and 2 – its open for what i consider to be vain surgeries such as a nose job for someone who barely has a noticable crook or something so miniscule like that.

    I think what they should have done is make this contest specifially FOR people who have made drastically healthy life changes and therefore lost a lot of weight. I would absolutely love the contest if thats what it was promoting, healthy lifestyles and therefore healthier, longer lives.

    Also…. what about all the other top 10 contestants who wont get the surgery? their flaws will be plastered all over the website and then judged by whose is the worst? And if you arent the worst and you walk away from this contest with no surgey but the whole city recognizing you as the “one with the flabby belly” how good would they feel after that?

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