Monday, October 1, 2007

Starting to Hate Pink

It's October. I think of Halloween - orange and black. But it's turning Pink! I know what I'm about to say is completely politically incorrect and probably will horrify at least half of you. Sorry bout that.

I am sick of Breast Cancer Awareness. I'm just tired of seeing ads. I'm sick of companies trying to convince me to buy something because it's pink. I saw Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup in PINK yesterday!!!

Let me clarify. I think my reasons are logical.

Cleary, any kind of cancer is horrible, sad, and a tragedy for all involved. But why is breast cancer so much worse than any other kind of cancer that we need a whole month devoted to it? Is it because it involves women? More women die of heart disease than of breast cancer - heart disease is actually the #1 killer of women. More women die from lung cancer. More women die from Digestive system cancers (stomach, colon, etc.).

Heart disease is actually the number one cause of death for all Americans - male and female. And I don't think there's a whole month devoted to heart disease (is there? edit - there's February!).

So there's that. But also, I just have issues with all the "buy this item and we'll donate" marketing. I realize that it's a feel good way to get people to buy your stuff - "buy my item and you'll be happy with the item and even happier because some of your money will go to a good cause."

That's great - but can't I just give my money directly to the cause and it will have an even greater benefit? Plus, how do I know what organization you're giving to? It could be one with 90% overhead!

*sigh* I know...some of you are probably screaming at your computer. Please relax. I'm not trying to belittle the tragedy of breast cancer. But it's no more a tragedy or life altering experience than colon cancer. Both are going to change the lives of all involved.

And lest anyone accuse me of being insensitive (which happens a lot) I do donate to Susan G Komen foundation every year. But I don't sing it from the rafters because I have issues with people / organizations who "brag" about their donations. I feel it's a private matter (more on that someday later).

So go shop...but at least support small and indie businesses. They seem to give more per $1 spent than the big corporations.

Women Of Hope
A Planet 4 Creation
ZeVin Creations
Anna Bella
Rotem Gear

As for me, I'll be making some breast cancer specific jewelry - but I'm not selling them - they'll be given away. So you can't buy them from me. Sorry. :)

Be Healthy!


ZeVin Creations said...

Thanks for the reference! We've mentioned you on our blog as well.

jean said...

I think I know how you feel. The "marketing" of BCA is a double-edged sword. Awareness and lessening shame are good things( I remember when no one wanted to talk about it). But I do agree about the extent of the commercialization of it, which makes me uncomfortable.

I have some other issues with the "big" organizations -- while the intentions may at their root be good, there are too many political issues involved, and me for, personally, humane issues. And so many smaller organizations, and, as you point out, other illnesses, get passed over. (Although Red Month for heart disease has been growing.)

My cousin just started her 4th round of chemo for ovarian cancer -- she asked me why her type of doesn't merit the huge wellspring of support BCA gets. (My guess is marketing.)

Having said all this, I did decide to donate proceeds for certain items to the American Breast Cancer Foundation for a few reasons.

One, what they do is help under-served people get screening and help. When you think of how many people cannot afford health insurance (an issue in itself), how important is that.

Two, they are holders of the Humane Seal by the Physicians for Responsible Medicine. Important to me and my customers. Enough said.

Three, breast cancer has been very prevalent in my family. I've lost 2 cousins and an aunt (mother of aforementioned cousin), and many cousins have the "bad" gene.

Fourth, Komen, is a big part of the marketing IMO. Again, good intentions and a lot of good work, but I'd rather my modest donation be helping the people who can't afford even prevention.

I too feel uncomfortable about the flashy marketing of breast cancer awareness and find myself asking where does "awareness" end and "fashion statement" begin?

Bad Momma said...

I just started a new blog to blow off steam.

I am glad I am not alone in my "starting to hate pink"! I was feeling guilty about my simmering resentment.

My first entry is about this issue and why I am bitter.

Thanks for sharing.