#126 Pinkwashing hit home


I thought that if I just stayed away from the stores that I wouldn’t have to deal with the pink products everywhere, I was wrong. Rick wanted to get out of the house for a few hours so he decided to go and visit his friend, I was happy to have the house to myself for a while, but when he returned home he had brought me a gift from his friends girlfriend. She has come to visit me and offered support in any way that I needed so I’m sure that she meant well when picking up this gift for me. It isn’t that I was bothered, because I know that she only wanted to show her support to me. She sent Rick home with a pink refillable cup with a pink ribbon on it. My daughter works at a store where these pink cups are sold so she has had to look at them every day that she worked, apparently she had seen one too many of these pink cups. When Rick showed me my new cup I held it up and told my daughter that I had a new present. She flipped out and said that she couldn’t stand to look at it. It took me a minute to figure out why she had such a bad reaction to someone trying to do something nice for me. I myself do not like companies taking advantage of people by selling pink products but it hadn’t occurred to me that every time my daughter had to look at anything with a pink ribbon on it reminded her that her mother has breast cancer. It’s not like I try to make a secret of my cancer but I do not try to throw it in anyones face either. My daughter is a strong silent type, so for her to visibly be so upset broke my heart. I decided that I would put this pink cup away in our office and I told Rick that he could use it to get the free drink that it comes with when he wanted one but he has to keep it away from Jesse. I just don’t see the point in upsetting my daughter anymore than she already is. Such a simple gift had such a huge reaction. I read the paper on the cup and it doesn’t say how much money will actually go to cancer research, so it may be just another marketing scheme to boost profits. It’s shameful that companies will use this disease to make money when they know that people will assume that they are donating a big portion of the profits to help cancer patients. There are thousands of companies who have a set amount on what they intend to donate(if any) no matter how much money they take in on pinkwashing their products. I saw a news article about a huge shoe company who allocated seventy-five thousand dollars for breast cancer awareness and then made it look like they were planning on giving a percentage of all of the profits of their pink shoes. I can only imagine how much money they’ll take in on this deal. You would think that there would be someone who watches over these pink ribbon offers, but there is currently nobody overseeing the use of the pink ribbon. I can only hope that someday someone will put an end to the misuse of the pink ribbon. It can be especially upsetting to some women who are suffering through breast cancer to have to just sit by and watch as breast cancer is shown as something pink and pretty and feminine, even normal, nothing could be further from the truth. There isn’t anything normal or pretty about having your breasts amputated or having poison put into your blood stream in the hopes that you can get rid of the bad cells that are taking over your body. The women who are shown wearing pink t-shirts and walking to raise money for breast cancer are being taken advantage of and they don’t even realize it. What isn’t shown is the thirty percent of women with breast cancer who die from this disease…where do they fit in this? Why aren’t they talked about during these fundraisers?  I wish with every part of me that a cure or a way to prevent breast cancer will be found, but that’s kind of hard to do when the money that people intend to give to research actually mostly goes to the people raising the money. There are some companies who are actually doing what they say that they are doing with the money, but good luck figuring out which ones they are. In the mean time I think I’ll just keep my new pink cup hidden from my daughter.

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4 thoughts on “#126 Pinkwashing hit home

  1. Hi Cin! I was gone over the weekend on a little family trip, and I left the computer at home. For me, it represents work since I mostly work and go to school online, so leaving it behind is a good feeling. The other people in my family see the computer as entertainment, unlike me. If I am online, I feel like I need to be working. Anyhow, I really missed checking up on you!! You bring up such a good point here, I never thought about the mental anguish the pink ribbon things causes family members of those with BC or those who have passed. People do mean well but seriously, the pink refillable cup thing would have pi$$ed me off. I think after being to various breast care centers every 6 months and reading posts on the site, I am definitely much more sensitive about these things….but then again, there is good old fashioned common sense!!! Argh. Well that’s something you can’t teach or buy, either ya got it or ya don’t.

    Well sending you a hug and I am now going to read your newest post 🙂

    • J,
      I’m starting to wonder if I’m not overly sensitive about the pink ribbons…after I went back and read what I wrote it comes off as me being bitter about my situation and that wasn’t what I was going for.
      cin

  2. Hi again! I don’t think it came off as bitter at all. In the position you are in and the shitty cards life has dealt you, you have the right to feel however you want about this issue. I personally get a little sensitive about the whole yellow ribbon thing with supporting our troops. For instance, my neighbors sport one of those magnets on their car – they are not military or affiliated in anyway, I guess it makes them feel better somehow, or look good to others. Hubby was deployed for 1 year and I was single parenting – they never asked once if they could help me in any way with leaves, cutting grass, shoveling snow, or even just to invite me to their back patio for a glass of wine, where they sit all the time. We’re in very close proximity, not like they don’t see me!! A perfect example – we had 23 inches of snow. This was a fluke for us, so I have no snow blower, etc just a shovel. We have a really long, narrow driveway leading to the back of the house (urban living!) and after I worked for 3 hours to shovel out a path for my SUV, I get to the front sidewalk. Neighbor (healthy, active 40 something) has shoveled his sidewalk out completely – and stopped at mine. I just started laughing! Seriously?? How many times I’ve shoveled, mowed, or raked n the various places we’ve lived and just kept going in order to help out a neighbor, paying it forward, taking care of people. In our city, you have to have the front walk shoveled within 6 hours of the snow stopping because of people walking to the bus, so it’s not optional. So I couldn’t rest, I had to get it done. Of course I was fine for that year, I’ve been in this lifestyle for 28 years now so I can handle and do anything I need to at this point.

    So my point is they have the yellow ribbon, but they don’t mean it. They don’t do anything tangible to help the troops and no proceeds of that ribbon probably went to help military families. So…how many people do the pink ribbon thing, the walks, etc and are hypocritical about it? Does it look good on their resume or with their colleagues, or just make them feel better about themselves? I hate to be cynical, too (I’m the butterfly, rainbow, bunny loving pollyanna in my house). Guess I am just being a realist about the commercialism of everything, especially sensitive about the pink ribbon.

    Oh well. There’s my cynical rant and I’m hijacking your blog, sorry!!! 🙂

    Hope you’re having a good day, friend.

    • J,
      You are more than welcome to write whatever you want on here, if you ever do want to do a guest post just let me know and I’ll post it for you. I’ve been hitting new highs for people reading my blog so I think it might be nice to have a guest blogger once in a while. Not to mention that you and I seem to think a lot alike.
      cin

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