Pinktober is upon us, because it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most have had some kind of experience with the pink because the boobies have become a sensation, especially when it comes to marketing.
The awareness started in 1985 as a campaign to educate women about breast cancer, which became a gold mine for pink profiteers. This became a huge revenue-generating machine for companies and to raise awareness of their own image, but Cancer is not a popularity contest. It is something that holds close to many people’s hearts because of the many loved ones who have been affected by it.
The pink stands for hope, hope that one day there will be a cure. Hope to the women who are fighting because every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Hope to the women who are survivors and remain survivors. Hope to the families who lost a loved one and that there is a community of support.
I’ve had both family and friends who have been diagnosed by this specific cancer. One friend in particular was diagnosed a couple years ago while she was pregnant at the age of 25. She was eight months pregnant when she found out and in fear she was not going to be able to see her kids grow up. She ended up having to undergo surgery immediately after she gave birth. She is cancer free right now, and is thankful for the help and support that was received because she can enjoy raising her children.
The only way to make progress is through research. In order to have the funds for research is by donating. Marketers have slapped pink on everything imaginable. NASCAR proudly race pink cars, and the NFL by wearing pink gear.
Yet, the number of annual deaths from breast cancer has hovered around 40,000 for more than 20 years. It is the second leading cause of death in women. Although Breast Cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer and more than 410 will die each year as stated on the National Breast Cancer Site. As mentioned in the Susan G Komen site it was in the fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors. The ribbon was derived from the popular red ribbon of AIDS awareness. In 1993, Alexandra Penney, editor-in-chief of the women’s health magazine Self, and Evelyn Lauder, who is a breast cancer survivor and Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estée Lauder Companies, founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. That was when the pink ribbon was established. The proliferation of the pink ribbon can be explained, in part, by its power as a marketing tool. Because the color pink is considered feminine in western countries, the ribbon has come to be a symbol and a proxy of goodwill toward women in general.
If it were not for the power of the pink ribbon there would not be 3 million survivors alone in the United States today. There are so many ways you can support those being affected by breast cancer, give help through hope.