Pinkwashing Green - Our Daily Green

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pinkwashing Green

Pinkwashing is a term Our Daily Green recently discovered in relation to the pink explosion our nation has created to bring about awareness for breast cancer. Frequent readers will remember that the turning point in my personal green lifestyle was a series of cancer diagnosis * among close friends and family members. Cancer is something we're all too aware of in this household. 
*(Within a 6 month period, about eight years ago, six close friends or family members were diagnosed with some sort of cancer. Today only one of those six is alive. Their diagnosis' rattled me so much. I consider myself a problem solver, but there seemed to be no solution to this horrifying disease. All I could do was consider what I grew up with and what I knew. Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells. What causes cells to grow abnormally or mutate?)
In case anyone has missed it, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, with our nation being slathered in pink merchandise at every turn. It's unfortunate that marketers exploit Americans desire for an easy, pain free way to help. Buy Pink! Pink toasters, pink t-shirts, pink jewelry, and even pink tools. It's appalling how easily consumers believe that shopping is the way to solve a problem. Much of the pink merchandise available is simply to "promote awareness" and doesn't even donate any money to any prevention, research, or cure programs.  

According to Barbara Brennan, director of the Breast Cancer Action  in San Francisco, 
“There is a value to awareness, but awareness of what, and to what end? We need changes in the direction the research is going, we need access to care—beyond mammograms—we need to know what is causing the disease, and we need a cure."
Our Daily Green concurs. We are already aware, but are we aware of the steps to take towards PREVENTION?  It's time to make a personal investment by either donating directly to research charities, getting educated about healthier choices for better living, and truly finding cures.  

The pinking and sexualizing of this very serious cancer quite frankly insults those afflicted and their families. We do not need to "go pink" or "save the tatas" or "feel our boobies" to want to conquer this insidious disease. Such campaigns trivialize a very real need to find a cure. We can do better for each other. We can do more.
pinkwashing, susan komen

A few simple actions:  
  • Get your mammogram
  • Avoid food with growth hormones
  • Avoid modified foods with chemical preservatives
  • Exercise regularly
  • Breastfeed your babies
  • Research charities and donate directly to them, versus buying an item you don't need that only donates a portion of the proceeds to the cause 
Rethink pink, and start to think PREVENTION and CURE instead.


Christy said...

I agree with this post so much - it annoys me to no end how pinkwashing has invaded just about every purchase. I do not want anyone to have cancer but I don't need a box of macaroni to make me aware of the deadly nature of cancer.

ConsciouslyFrugal said...

Preach!!! I LOATHE the "save the tatas" crap, etc. We lost my sister-in-law to this effing disease and these jackasses want to make it some sexualized, "cute" disease? Seriously?

What enrages me more than anything is that polluters are getting our tax dollars in kickbacks and enormously powerful positions in government (Monsanto, anyone?). Yet there is ZERO focus on these polluting bastards. Cancer has become epidemic in the face of processed foods and the chemical cocktail that has become our environment, yet we just don't know what causes it? Really? Or is it that we don't have the will to stand up to corporate giants who profit off our deaths?

Oh, rage. Rage, rage, rage.

FreshGreenKim said...

Join the rage! I bristle everytime I see some new "pinked", made by sweatshop workers piece o' rubbish.

Kristine said...

Excellent, Kim. I couldn't agree with you more. Why in the world would they come out with Go Braless Day for breast cancer awareness, as if this will make the women who've faced mastectomies feel better? Horrifying. The memes/ads are worse--the suggestive sexualized tone of the ad. is not right! Thanks for this post.