Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don’t give up the fight!- Bob Marley “Get up, Stand Up”
I will keep this brief. I have mixed feelings towards breast cancer awareness month. Yep, that’s what I said. I’m all about supporting the cause, and appreciate of the folks who genuinely put their time, money and efforts, but I can’t help but feel like the month is turning into a holiday of sorts. Pinktober. And that annoys me to my core.
Today I experienced that level of annoyance at a full time high. I gleefully glided in a cafeteria, which will remain nameless, ready to order lunch. My attention was drawn to the flyers stating, “In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, today featured are homemade desserts”. Each dessert had a label with the pink ribbon on it, along with the price of that item. My eyes beamed with joy at the sight of all the chocolate covered strawberries, cupcakes, cookies, and crème puffs, but then I came back to my senses.
#1, sugar is cancer’s bff, but that’s another posting, and #2, are the proceeds of these sweet treats sales being donated to an organization? Being aware of the overuse of the pink ribbon to sell products, I asked; and was politely told, no. My initial sarcastic response was “oh, so you all are just going to exploit us huh” and then my inner Angela Davis kicked in. Not only is it not right, it’s downright deceptive. The only reason most people will even gravitate towards the sweets is because they are lured by the pink ribbon. I had a chat with the management to express my disappointment and they assured me they will follow up once they submitted my concern. I’m giving them until Friday.
This isn’t a cute holiday where you can wear pink for 31 days in a row. The harsh reality is that this year alone, over 220,000 women alone will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Sometimes it gets ugly, sometimes people pass away from it, or women lose a part of their body they never thought they would. Don’t become immune to the cause due to the oversaturation. Be educated about the companies you so willingly give your money to. A “pinkwasher” 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: http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/?page_id=13. (information from Beyond Boobs Inc).
I will leave you with this; go back to the basics. Pay attention to your bodies, do your monthly self breast exam, go to the doctor, get clinical exams, mammograms, encourage your friends and family to do the same, eat well, take on an exercise you enjoy, learn who benefits from your charitable purchase and what percentage of your money benefits is donated, and if you can, give a person that’s going through this experience, or any other for that matter, a HUG.
If you are looking for something to do this Saturday, October 26th, I’m having a small gathering in honor of this month from 1-4pm, to discuss this topic and introduce my budding project, PINK FIRE, as well as watch a film called “Pink Ribbons, Inc”. If you’re interested in coming, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i’ll send you the DEETS!!
What do you all think about this month? Like, comment and subscribe!