Gayle Sulik, who I’ve mentioned before here, does a masterful job of ripping the lid off the damage that pinkwashing has done. Her book, Pink Ribbon Blues, is linked in the image on the right.
I think awareness alone falls very short of the goal if ending the disease is the goal. Unfortunately, I think that Susan G. Komen – and I’m talking the Houston mothership here, not the local chapters – is now much more about the brand than it is about the cure.
When it comes to “pink”, I see red. And I’m not alone.
- In 2005, the estimated mortality rate for breast cancer was 15% of those diagnosed with the disease
- In 2007 (the year I was diagnosed), the estimated mortality rate was 17%
- In 2009, the estimated mortality rate was 16%
Where’s the win here? If mortality rates are essentially holding steady, where’s the progress on “the cure”?
In the pink avalanche that is now the month of October, where is the discussion of the fact that the very products being pink-washed carry toxic substances with a link to cancer?
It also includes the Promise Me fragrance – also an Avon product – that has toluene and galaxolide in it, both of which are toxins. Read about them here.
There are a host of other regrettable “pink” products flacked in October, including Kentucky Fried Chicken (really?) and dairy products with rBGH, the growth hormone pumped into dairy cows that has in turn driven the rise in breast cancer diagnoses. Which hormone is, BTW, made by Eli Lilly, who also produces a number of breast cancer drugs. Talk about milking cancer!
And don’t get me started on the pinkwashing of the NFL. The pink gloves/cleats/dancing-ribbons-at-halftime do NOT mean that the NFL is giving one thin dime to Komen. It’s “awareness” – where’s the ****ing money, dudes? Don’t tell me it’s coming from the pink products being flacked on NFL team sites. The league keeps the lion’s share of that money.
If you want to support action to stop breast cancer – and other cancers – join the movement to cut down on environmental toxins, to end plastic food, to stop ingesting endless amounts of crap through our skin, our lungs, our mouths. It’s not just about cancer, it’s about the health of our entire community – the human community. On the whole dang planet.
Stop buying makeup and skin care products with parabens and other toxins in them. You can get information on most products via SkinDeep, the Environmental Working Group‘s searchable cosmetics/skin care products database.
Stop eating food out of boxes, and introduce yourself to your stove. Cooking is easy, it’s fun, and it puts you more in touch with your family. Make time to cook together, you’ll be amazed at the conversations and communication that develop in the kitchen. Make trips to your local farmer’s markets a weekend excursion for the family.
And stop buying “pink”.