So it may come as a shock to most of you reading this. (although it can’t be much of a shock if you read my homepage) This Breast Cancer survivor is not a fan of pink ribbons. And it’s not because I don’t see the value in raising awareness of the reality of Breast Cancer. Women SHOULD know that 1 out 8 women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer in their lifetime. So they should go for a mammogram and do self-breast exams, especially if you have a family history.
But I have a problem with Pink Ribbons becoming a marketing campaign for companies to promote their products and to sell more because it has a pink ribbon on it. October is now Breast Cancer Industry month. Most of America thinks they are doing a good thing by buying items with the pink ribbon symbol on them. We are all under the impression that the company will give a big chunk of money from the item directly to research. And most of the time that is NOT the case. Or Companies are ironically selling items that contain chemicals that actually cause the cancer they are trying to raise money to extinguish; like makeup and perfumes. (For info on your specific makeups & perfumes and if they are ok to use- look them up on the Ewg.org database) The Breast Cancer Action‘s campaign Think Before You Pink Campaign helps raise awareness of “pink-washing”. When a company cloaks themselves in Pink ribbons to sell more product it’s called “pink-washing”. There is also a great documentary called Pink Ribbons, Inc. It’s eye-opening. It’s available on Netflix. Your going to get really pissed off every time you see a Pink Ribbon on a product- because you’re going to know what is behind that. Here is good synopsis of Pink Ribbon Inc documentary by Ms. Magazine. The whole Pink Ribbon industry is a waste of our time, money and devotion.
So- if you really want to help someone going through Breast Cancer treatment, think about donating your money directly to a non-profit that helps women undergoing treatment with grocery cards or help with medical co-pays. Like to charities I love, Heaps of Hope or The Ellie Fund. These are local charities in the Boston area, but there are many local charities all around the country that do some real, practical good. And if you have a friend or relative going through treatment, please refrain from buying us pink ribbon items. We know we have cancer, we are well aware of it! And we also know that you care about us and hate to see us going through it. But here is a list of great items you can give a cancer patient or make them a meal or pay a utility bill for them. They will know you get “it”. And I am working on finding out where to send money that will go directly to a research foundation that is doing cutting edge research that will hopefully put an end to Breast Cancer. I can’t wait for that day! I hope it happens in my lifetime.