Thursday, October 6, 2011

What I'll be celebrating in October

I'm not going to spend this month wearing pink and forking out money for products covered in pink ribbons. Instead, I'm boycotting the Susan G. Komen foundation and companies that "donate" proceeds to them. In recent months, I've been doing A LOT of research on the "pinking of America" and how breast cancer is now a brand instead of an illness.

Please let me preface this by saying a few things: I do understand that breast cancer kills women because my grandmother died of this disease, I'm not trying to say that breast cancer doesn't deserve awareness but I do think we need to tone it down a little and remember that there are other diseases that kill lots of women and people in general.

When I walked into the grocery store last week (which was still September/Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month) there was pink EVERYWHERE. Signs on the door telling you which brands were donating money, pink ribbon balloons and just a general sea of pepto pink. Many of these companies want you to believe that breast cancer is the number one killer of women, but in reality its not even in the top 10. Want to guess what number one is - heart disease, which is follwed by cancer (in general) and stroke. Last night, Andrew and I watched a special on CNBC about Corporate Philanthropy and where the money really goes that companies donate. One of my favorite quotes from the show was "if shopping could cure breast cancer, we could have cured it ten fold by now."

I was surprised to find out that a lot of products sporting pink ribbons can actually cause cancer such as Yopliat yougurt. The yougurt is made from cows that are injected with a hormone that increases the risk of breast cancer in women. Komen has apparently done their own research into this and found that there is no risk and continues to place the pink lids on their product every October. They also recently were in the news for suing other breast cancer non-profits for using the the words "race for the cure" to promote their own races. The organization I volunteer with wanted to partner with them to make women more aware that breast and ovarian cancer are linked, but they refused without at $25,000 donation to their organization.

The cause marketing that Komen is using makes breast cancer seem like something we can easily glamourize and make light of by purchasing pink products. The truth is that any kind of cancer is not glamorous and cannot be cured by buying everything with a pink ribbon attached. Instead of giving your money to breast cancer awareness this month, consider some of these other great causes or at least do your research and find out where the money is really going!

Celiac Awareness

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

Healthy Lungs

Lupus Awareness

Domestic Violence Awareness


Unknown said...

Great blog! You should definitely post this one on Maya's Friday Favorites tomorrow so more people can see it!

Megan said...

I think it's fabulous that you saw something and went out and researched it. I always wish I did this more instead of being lazy!

TexasBobbi said...

What a truthful post and I agree with what you are saying.

Maya said...

This is a great post! My mom and grandmother are both survivors, and I don't agree with pinkwashing, either. Plus, Komen's Foundation has done some other questionable things too....hear about their pinkwashng of the KFC buckets?