October 02, 2008

October is here: Think before you pink

October has arrived again and you know what that means -- the pinkness of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Don't get me wrong, I think it's terrific that we have news coverage of breast cancer and that more people's attention will be directed to this issue. But so much of the pinkness is geared to early detection and not to treatment or research for metastatic disease.

The whole pink marketing thing bugs me tremendously. Why do people need to lick and mail in yogurt lids, buy merchandise, wear pink ribbons. If you want to support research into treatments for metastatic disease or for a cure, the best thing to do is GIVE MONEY. Your donation, in any amount, will go directly to the charity and their projects. No need to buy that pink Kitchenaid mixer, English muffins or Barbie doll unless it's something you want anyway.

Here's food for thought -- "if shopping could cure breast cancer it would be cured by now."

Breast Cancer Action urges you to ask some critical questions before opening your wallet for pink-ribbon campaigns:

How much money from your purchase actually goes to the cause?
What is the maximum amount that will be donated?
How much money was spent marketing the product?
How are the funds being raised?
To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?
What is the company doing to assure that its products are not contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?

In other words, Think Before You Pink. If shopping could cure breast cancer it would be cured by now. The breast cancer movement needs action from people like you to create real change, the kind that will create a better future for women with, and at risk for, breast cancer.


  1. Wow, thank you for posting this... definitely some food for thought. It will change the way I think about the Pink campaigns..... for better.

    BTW, your feature should be up in the morning. Again thank you for letting me feature you!


  2. Hi Jill! I found you thru Nana's Box...I just wanted to say that I think you're an amazing woman! You've faced so much adversity-and fought on and survived-and you have an amazing outlook! You are a role-model...

    I will be busy this weekend with the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk where my friends and I have raised over $800...while walking, you will be in our thoughts, to keep going, to motivate us and to remind us why we walk! A big thank you!

  3. Yeah! So glad you included information about Think Before You Pink If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the other side of Yoplait’s so-called save lids/save lives campaign. http://www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org/Pages/TakeAction.html : Yoplait makes its yogurt with milk from cows treated with rBGH, a synthetic growth hormone. And get this - use of rBGH has been linked with breast cancer, not to mention a number of other health issues. (You can send a letter to Yoplait through the Think Before You Pink web site.)

  4. bjohanna11:16 AM

    I've always appreciated your "think before you pink" comments. Yesterday (10/7/08), Macy's had a full page ad featuring different pink products. Couldn't help but wonder about the workers who make these products. What “pink” products are made by workers who have unions, have good health coverage, toxic-free work environment, and get a living-wage salary? What “pink” products are made by workers who don’t have decent health coverage, are exposed to toxics as part of the manufacturing process, and get paid the lowest amount the manufacturer can get away with?

    On a side note, I’m sure this isn’t the “pink” that Macy’s wants us to think about: “2,300 get pink slips at Macy’s.” (NY Post, 2/7/08).