Today is October 1st, which, for the last 25years has been recognized as “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month”. It’s also the day that my friend say, “Cool – I can get lots of pink things at Target now.”. Yep, that’s what it has come to, in my opinion – a month known for the proliferation of pink things, but not really the cause behind it any more.
And you know what? I’m kind of okay with that.
Of course, I don’t diminish the impact that breast cancer can have on a woman and her family – my son’s grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, in fact. Nor do I ignore the need for awareness for a disease that has the second highest incidence rate to prostrate cancer (2006 most recently data available), affecting nearly 200k women directly, each year. I just have a problem with the monetization of the awareness.
Have you guys ever heard of “pinkwashing”? It’s a controversial variation of cause marketing that focuses on breast cancer & how *some* of the companies using the pink ribbon & BCA may not be doing it for pure motives. I emphasis *some* because I want to impress that not ALL companies releasing special products for BCAM have ulterior motives – but you know what they say about “bad apples” and all (*did you know that metaphor is actually true?). Anyway…
In no way am I telling you not to purchase a specially branded product – I’m just asking that you educate yourself of the brand’s intentions with this marketing. The “Breast Cancer Action” organization has come up with a site, “Think Before You Pink” to help consumers challenge themselves to ask questions before purchasing a pink branded item. I don’t see anything wrong with purchasing a product because it is pink and you like it, but please do not say you bought it only as a way to support the cause. Own your purchase and if you are sincere about wanting to help, please donate directly to a reputable breast cancer charity – the most notable being the “Susan G.Komen for the Cure” organization, or give of your time in your local community ANY TIME OF YEAR, not just in October, because we all know cancer doesn’t only strike one month a year. And wear your pretty new pink product when you go.