As we close out Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Beyond Boobs!, we’d like to take a moment to remind you that breast cancer doesn’t care what month it is, nor is it partial to pink.
Beyond Boobs! exists to help the wives, mothers, and daughters who have breast cancer now. That’s why we preceded Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a post called, “3 Things Young Women Need to Know About Breast Cancer.” That’s why our Good Health Fairy asked you to get Beyond Breast Cancer Awareness to Breast Health Action. And that’s why when October ends, Beyond Boobs! carries on.
The Pink Ribbon and Pinkwashing
October, known for foliage, football, and "fiends," now has become synonymous with the pink ribbon. While the pink ribbon campaign has been effective in focusing public attention on the serious topic of breast cancer, it has also spawned a pink industry profiting from the use of the ribbon with promises to benefit various breast cancer charities or often just the vague "breast cancer research."
The widespread placement of ribbons on products ranging from chia pet kits, dog costumes (really!), to rubber duckies has, in some cases, made people immune to the original, well-intentioned objective of the campaign. Even more serious is the emergence of the "pinkwasher." This is a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease. To learn more about pinkwashing, click here: Think Before You Pink.
Take Breast Health Action NOW!
At Beyond Boobs!, we have been promoting breast health ACTION from our very beginnings, six years ago. Recognizing that "breast cancer awareness" was very passive (who isn't aware of breast cancer?), we were one of the first organizations to focus on breast health and changing behaviors, and other organizations have followed our lead. And unlike many other non-profits, we aren't focused on a future cure, we are helping women with breast cancer NOW.
As we work with young women diagnosed with breast cancer, we are helping to restore them to health - mind, body, and spirit - educating them about reducing their risk of recurrence, and encouraging healthy habits. We also educate all women about managing their own risk of breast cancer, advocating for their health, and urging a lifestyle of wellness.
So as you wade through the sea of pink ribbons this fall, we hope you will pause and do the following:
- Women, ask yourselves, "Have I checked my breasts lately? Do I need to schedule my annual mammogram?" And men, please urge the women you love to take these actions. Your encouragement is often enough to compel us to do what many of us fear.
- As you use the pink ribbon to show your support (and we wholeheartedly thank you!) to the over 220,000 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and the almost three million breast cancer survivors, we encourage you to learn who benefits from your charitable purchase and what percentage of your money benefits is donated.
- Remember the many lives that have been lost to breast cancer and embrace the women who are fighting it now with grace and courage.
October is over, but we’ll continue to spread the word…we hope you’ll join us.
Warm hugs, Mary Beth