October Is The Wrong Shade Of Pink
I couldn't let October pass without giving my two cents on the marketing machine known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I think it's great that there's an emphasis on creating awareness, but as we know, all attention isn't good attention. Though October has been the month of awareness since 1985 it's not been until the last decade that marketers decided to make it "sexy" and "cool" to go pink. It teeters on the line of awareness and exploitation.
Everyone has something pink to sell these days. You can find office supplies, gadgets, accessories, even groceries adorned in pink! There are athletes decked out in it, buildings lit up with it, and stores dedicated to it. What I don't see are stories putting a face to this terrible disease. Do you know how much of your money from that pink whatever is going towards real cancer research? My guess is 10%. If they've already reached their goal for the year it may be 0%. In some cases these products aren't even affiliated with breast cancer research. As a marketer I get it. We're "cause" marketing, but as a woman I just feel exploited.
It's not enough that I live with the fear that breast cancer may one day strike me or my family, but I also live with the memory of a loved one who did not win the fight. Until you've witnessed breast cancer firsthand you have no idea how devastating this disease is. Lung cancer I understand, skin cancer makes sense, but breast cancer has no rhyme or reason. As I think about my grandmother's last day on earth after fighting so hard to beat cancer only to have it re-occur more vicious than before there's no pink anything in this world that could erase that pain. I honor her not with tattoos, decals, or trendy things, but by living my life in a way that would make her proud, not just in October.
As you buy your pink products put a little thought behind it. If you want to support breast cancer research just give directly to an organization. For many companies their pink looks more like green to me. Capitalizing on the pain of others under the guise charity is deplorable. I refuse to help them pad their profits in the name of breast cancer and urge you to join me. Since it's almost November I'm sure we'll be on to the next cause pretty soon. I'm sure next October will be even pinker.
I made this in honor of my grandmother who lost her fight in September of 2002. Her fight is my motivation.
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