The Stolen Color From My Rainbow

ImageI’ve been pondering this post for about nine months, since October, when our concerns with “pinkwashing” peak each year. That is when it first occurred to me that I resent giving up pink. Today’s release of the new film Pink Ribbons, Inc. prompted my return to the subject. (I already have my tickets for tonight’s showing at the Laemmle.)

I have never been a huge fan of pink. Too girly, maybe or too cheerful for my “take no prisoners” and follow no rules self. But that does not change the fact that pink should be mine to reject, not “theirs” to take away. The color has been usurped by the cause marketing world as a vehicle for selling products, most of which do nothing to impact breast cancer.

As the movie explains, the ribbon didn’t even start out as pink in the first place. It began in the early ‘90s as a peach ribbon, created by Charlotte Haley, whose grandmother, sister and daughter all had breast cancer. Ms. Haley used handmade ribbons to bring awareness to the lack of funds directed toward breast cancer prevention by NCI. She is rumored, ironically, to have rejected Estee Lauder when they approached her about co-opting the ribbon as a broader symbol of anything but her personal awareness campaign. Enter pink…

In the breast cancer world pink may be the most divisive thing of all! Some love it, some hate it, but no one seems to be quiet about it. The division doesn’t help us! We, the breast cancer community, must come together. We must give up the pink war. We must use the vast resources at our disposal to strategically focus on curing breast cancer. We need to prevent disease. We need better treatment. We need prevent metastasis. And we need to prevent people from dying. We don’t need pink.

A few weeks ago I came home with new pajamas. As I was putting them away husband noticed and said, “But they’re pink…” Yes, they were pink! Why shouldn’t they be? I want the beauty of my rainbow back, in all its colors!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chemobrainfog
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 22:01:13

    You continue to amaze me in the way you can dig so deeply. You know I’m on your side all the way and I will be on your side FOREVER. The divisiveness must stop. It’s time for us to stop the madness. It’s time to stop with the Awareness and START ACTING. Tell me what you want done and I’m there. I love you, Lori. There. It’s out in public. Our “honeymoon” in DC as our NBCC sisters joked about continues. I want to see the pink PJ’s. We have to have a PJ party. I trust you won’t mind if I wear red or purple…… I can’t wait to have a conversation about the film with you. There are so many things wrong, it will take years for us to make it right… but we have to start somewhere. Being smart with our “pink dollars” is a good place to start. Make the money do the greatest good for the people who are counting on it the most, who need it most… that MUST be a primary focus. Read my comment on the page where the radio interview is……. I got a little irritated by a few comments and I had to set the record straight. Meaningful progress…. and mets first. And a PJ party with red wine….

    Love you…


  2. Jan Baird
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 17:03:02

    Pink can be okay, just not the sole emblem color for breast cancer. You are right that it divides us, when we should be united on all fronts. I don’t relish confrontation with my friends with rose-colored glasses. But when they show me their pink merchandise, I want to scream out that this is not the answer to cancer. xx


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