As a two-time breast cancer survivor, I am more than acutely aware that this is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Since I first wrote on this in 2010, I have seen pink T-shirts and slippers and pajamas and socks and sweatshirts and jackets. I have seen sports teams everywhere with pink jerseys and pink pants and socks and shoes and helmets. I could go on and on about all of the pink merchandise that I have seen including rings and bracelets and necklaces and mugs and pads of paper and just about anything that you can imagine. And I must say that I truly am sorry to see just about every single piece of it because it represents to me the wrong message and a missed opportunity to make a real and positive difference.
“I want to support those business, not by having to buy “pink” but because I appreciate and acknowledge what they are doing.“Barbara Jacoby
Don’t get me wrong. I am a 100% supporter of every person who has ever been diagnosed with breast cancer and has survived this horrible disease. I am also here to help and lend support to everyone who has lost a love one to breast cancer or any other type of cancer. I want to provide support and help to those who are caregivers and/or who have those who are close to them who are dealing with cancer. I want to do everything possible to garner support for raising funds for research and testing and medical help for those who do not have insurance or can’t afford the care that they need. However, I do believe that there is a better way to do this.
I believe that every single manufacturer of pink “stuff” should take a look at the cost of that manufacturing. Every single sports team who buys pink equipment and uniforms should assess their costs to purchase such goods. Every clothing and jewelry manufacturer who creates those lines should assess their motivation for doing so. Your message is that you based your support of breast cancer awareness and monetary support solely on advertising and preying on the sentiments of those who are dealing with breast cancer in any form.
Here is my suggestion. Why not take a portion of your company’s profits and make a direct contribution to the breast cancer organization of your choice. Let me know what you have done by posting signage at your venue or in your advertising. I shouldn’t have to buy a T-shirt that says that I am a breast cancer survivor. I will still watch my favorite football teams but they don’t need to run up and down the field in pink uniforms to let me know that they support breast cancer awareness. I don’t know of a single survivor who wants to wear the pink ribbon all of the time. Everyone who knows us knows that we are survivors and they don’t need to be reminded of it on a daily basis. And as a matter of fact, I don’t want to be reminded of it all the time myself nor do I want to be defined by the fact that I am a survivor. And for those who have lost the battle to breast cancer, believe me when I say that is not the reason that they want to be remembered. They want to be remembered for the loving, caring, giving and wonderful mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers or friends that they were.
Breast cancer awareness and research and funding for those who can’t afford the medical care should not be viewed and advertised because it is a money maker. However, I do want to know and support those businesses who are contributing to the cause because they believe in the cause. I want to support those business, not by having to buy “pink” but because I appreciate and acknowledge what they are doing. And if I never see another piece of pink clothing connected to breast cancer in my life, I wouldn’t mind in the least. It isn’t that great of a color on me anyway!
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.