For this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the I Touch Myself Project has launched an inspiring version of the song starring Serena Williams. In an Instagram post, Serena acknowledges she was totally out of her comfort zone, but says she wanted to do because “it’s an issue that affects all women of all colors, all around the world.”

For 90s music buffs, you may remember “I Touch Myself” the then provocative hit single released by the Divinyls in December of 1990 that excited millions, made others blush, and catapulted the Australian rock band to international stardom. Originally written as a groundbreaking celebration of female sexuality, the song took on a whole new meaning for Chrissy Amphlett, the band’s dynamic frontwoman, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer decades later. It inspired a mission.

In 2010, three years after Chrissy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she learned that she had breast cancer. She vigorously fought both diseases “with exceptional bravery and dignity,” and through it all had one last divine wish…  a new vision for her hit song. Chrissy wanted “I Touch Myself” to become “an anthem for spreading awareness about the importance of touching ourselves for early detection” of breast cancer.

On April 21, 2013, at age 53, Chrissy lost her battle. In tribute, “Chrissy’s family and friends, her husband musician Charley Drayton, fellow songwriters, Cancer Council NSW and supporters from around the globe” came together to create the I Touch Myself Project. Their purpose: “to make sure Chrissy’s legacy lives on to remind women to be in touch with their bodies, and if something’s not right, see their doctor.”

To fuel the cause and make Chrissy’s final wish a reality, a new version of “I Touch Myself” was recorded by ten of Australia’s leading female music artists and released in 2014 and has served as an anthem for women’s health ever since.

Breast Cancer Facts

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide
  • 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
  • Less than 5% of women with breast cancer have a family history
  • 75% of breast cancers occur in women over 50
  • Early detection in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control

(sources: National Breast Cancer Foundation, World Health Organization)