Think Before You Buy Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the bombardment of pink ribbons is everywhere from yogurt to yoga pants. Race for The Cures are going on nationwide and it is so easy to get caught up in the cause because indeed, it is a good cause. But, there is a dark smear on this crucial campaign to look “for a cure”- which by the way, is apparently a trademarked phrase belonging to the Susan G. Komen foundation. Now, let make make it clear that I am not against breast cancer research or organizations that are trying to honestly put an end to all these needless deaths. Those are the good guys. What I have a problem with is all the marketing going on that doesn’t really support the cause it claims to.

Breast cancer is one of those diseases that has impacted almost everyone in one way or another. My grandmother lost her life to it, my sorority has educated millions of women on early detection, and I had a lumpectomy for a suspicious lump my senior year of college. People are told to save lids, buy pink, and race to raise money to find a cure. But in reality, it seems that the Susan G. Komen foundation has lost sight of their cause and instead is more focused on going after other charities for using phrases, creating perfumes that are offensive to recovering survivors, and marketing the multitude of products sporting the famous pink ribbon. It is sickening, as is the choices Komen is making when deciding who is going to carry the brand. Is slapping the pink ribbon on a bucket of KFC Chicken really such a great idea to raise funds? Never mind the fact that fried food causes obesity which increases the odds of developing cancerous tumors.

I believe that there needs to be more awareness made about environmental causes for cancer, lifestyle changes that need to be stresses, and less “buy this lipstick and we will donate $.05 to cancer research”. It is true, the Komen Foundation supports Planned Parenthood, give low income women free mammograms, and educates. But doesn’t it seem a bit contradictory that many of the products that are supposed to help pay to cure cancer actually perpetuate it?

Maybe I wouldn’t be as upset if this was anything other than a charity. Something that is supposed to be really helping people find, not spending millions of donor dollars in legal fees. And while I applaud those who run the 3-Day events for not only surviving but triumphing above this disease, I am saddened that such a well-trusted name would become such a bully. Isn’t finding a cure the whole point? So what if a small town in the midwest wants to “Swing for a Cute”? Isn’t the money still going to the same place?

The bottom line is while it is fantastic to support breast cancer- and all cancers for that fact- it is more important to make sure that your money goes where you want it to, donate to the American Cancer Society or to research facilities directly. Yes, it is very important to have a sense of camaraderie against this evil, but not for the sake of sacrificing smaller charities who only want to find a cure as well.


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