Beyond the Crown: A Look at Mr. Breast Fest 2015

June 30, 2015

Joshua Banks is a very busy man. He works full time as an X-ray/CT technician at Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk at night and by day he is the owner of Flex Your Fitness, a company that sells athletic apparel and sports products. He and his wife Cristina are parents to two active little girls, Savannah, 4, and her younger sister, Isabella, 8 months.

Joshua is also royalty. On May 9th he was crowned Mr. Breast Fest 2015 at the annual event held at Hunt Club Farms in Virginia Beach.

It all began when Flex Your Fitness teamed up with Juice Bar to hold a dance-a-thon to raise funds for Beyond Boobs!. Joshua decided to look into the group to find out more about who he would be supporting.

“The money donated to Beyond Boobs! is going to people who need the support,” Joshua said. “I also found out that one of the women who participates in a Flex Your Fitness boot camp is a Boober! and I have seen how BB! has given her great support. They are like family to her.”

So when Juice Bar’s marketing director e-mailed Joshua about competing for the title of Mr. Breast Fest 2015, he was all in. But then Joshua took a closer look at the details included in that e-mail. “I gotta do what?” In all of his excitement, Joshua had not noticed he would have to wear a bra and schmooze with attendees to win votes for the coveted title of Mr. Breast Fest 2015.

Even though Joshua works with patients every day and runs his own business, he still considers himself a shy person. And it was his first time wearing a bra.

“I had to let go of my shyness and shake it off,” Joshua said. “The event was a lot of fun. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. There was a hula hoop competition and a doughnut-eating competition. All of the guys competing had a blast.”


Joshua pictured with co-founders Mary Beth Gibson and Rene Bowditch

In addition to showing the crowd he knew his way around a hula hoop and a doughnut, Joshua had to mingle with attendees and answer questions on the stage. “I was just being myself,” he said. “I was personable and interactive and I did my best. I think people paid attention when I talked because I am very passionate about the Beyond Boobs! mission.”

When the awards were handed out Joshua was nervous. He watched as a fellow contestant was named Mr. Congeniality and he applauded when the man who raised the most cash that day was named Mr. Money Bags. But as he watched his competition accept their awards he wondered what he had done wrong.

“After they gave out all the prizes I thought I had lost,” Joshua said. “I was about near tears. I was busting my butt out in the heat and I love BB! so much. Why hadn’t I gotten an award?”

When Joshua heard his name called as the winner of the Mr. Breast Fest 2015 title, he fell to his knees with joy. He was speechless as the crown was placed on his head and everyone crowded around him. All he felt was love.

“My celebration was to live in that moment,” Joshua said.

On the way home after the event he called his wife and told her that he had lost. “When I walked in the house with that crown on my head she was so happy,” he said.

Joshua takes his duties as Mr. Breast Fest 2015 seriously. “This is all brand new to me, so I am still feeling it out,” he said. “I have to show my face at BB! events and represent the group. I want to raise money and awareness and help out however I can.”

Joshua plans to sit down with the director of radiology at the hospital where he works to find a way for them to team up with Beyond Boobs!. In his job as a technician he sees a lot of patients who are suffering from the effects of poor health and he wants to help people live better, healthier lives.

“The mission of Beyond Boobs! is something everyone can relate to,” Joshua said. “So many people go without the help and support they need, but Beyond Boobs! fills that need. I have seen firsthand that breast cancer survivors and their families who need help get what they need from BB!. It is a community of positivity, and who doesn’t want to be a part of that.”



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