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Has Pink Gotten A Bad Rap?

Since it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I gotta ask, has pink gotten a bad rap?

And, do you have a favorite color?

I’m not sure I can actually pick just one color favorite. I have different favorites for different things. I love purples to look at (think irises). Browns and blues can’t be beat for clothing and decorating purposes. Green soothes me I guess since my bedroom walls are green. How can nature’s most prevalent colors not be top picks?

Yes, every color has its place.

And then there’s pink…

Has pink gotten a bad rap, especially during October?

You might assume I’ve given up on pink. But I haven’t. I still like pink and I won’t give up on it, not entirely anyway.

Do I get sick and tired of pink wrapping itself around ‘my disease’?

You’re darn right I do. I get really, REALLY sick of it!

But I confess; I still like pink. Pink is still an honorable color.

I have never been a ‘pink girlie-girlie’ kind of gal. Other than in the hospital nursery full of newborns who all look alike, I don’t like the ‘assignment’ pink has had over the years to represent females. Forget that crap. I just like pink.

I like pink t-shirts (PLAIN pink t-shirts), pink sweaters, pink flowers, pink lemonade (love that), pink sunrises, pink sunsets, pink hearts and my Pink Moon Lovelies friends (you know who you are). Heck, I even have a pink purse!

Who would have thought, right?

And do you want to know something really ironic?

I purchased that pink purse right after my diagnosis without even thinking about the color. I’ve kept using that purse during summer months ever since. I just happen to like that purse.

My mother told me one time that everyone looks good in pink. I think she was right. Pink does flatter most women and men too. Son #2 has a pink shirt or two, plus a pink tie and he looks fabulous in them, though admittedly I’m biased.

Like I’ve said over and over again, the discontent so many feel in October about pink and pink ribbons isn’t really about pink or ribbons at all.  

To grab a copy of my FREE ebook, Pink Is Just a Color, Ribbons Are Just Ribbons: A collection of writings about Pinktober shenanigans, Click Here.

No, it goes a whole lot deeper than that.

The problem is what the two together have come to represent:  a skewed representation of a deadly disease and an overused and misused symbol that has morphed into a marketing tool used more for profiting than anything else.

Yes, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has ruined pink for many. Understandably so.  Has Pink Gotten a Bad Rap?

But I’m not going to allow it to take away my pink.

I intend to hang onto pink; maybe just not so “tightly” in October.

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What’s your favorite color?

Has Pinktober spoiled pink for you?

This is the color pink image via The Sarcastic Boob.

Has Pink Gotten a Bad Rap? #Pinktober #breastcancer #breastcancerawareness


Thursday 23rd of October 2014

I love to look at pink, especially in nature. So many hues, all four seasons. Sunrises and sunsets, snow and water reflecting the pink sky, spring, summer and fall flowers, fall leaves. I have been turned off being associated with pink in my own personal expression ever since I was diagnosed and learned the truth behind "the cure". I don't want anyone to think I support Komen or Whatever the eff the NFL calls their pink campaign (and I am a fan). I often think those of us who won't rock the pink ribbon culture go back to the original salmon colored ribbon for breast cancer, the one that was hijacked and neoned for marketing and bullying. I might like pink again.


Friday 24th of October 2014

Jane, You are so right about the lovely pinks on display in nature. I still am not turned off by pink. Guess I have a stubborn streak or something. ha. But gosh, do I cringe every time I see those NFL players donning pink when they should be focusing on purple (domestic violence month). The display feels way too forced and somehow insincere. Thanks for reading and commenting too.

Beth L. Gainer

Wednesday 16th of October 2013

Hi Nancy,

I've come to resent pink as associated with breast cancer. I feel nauseated when I see pink trucks sporting pink ribbons.

During October, I find myself getting all bent out of shape about pink. But like you say, it's not about pink the color at all.

Like Karen, I'm an artist. I work with oils and love every color in the world. I also use pinks in my work, so I guess that does not make me a pink hater. I love blending and mixing and discovering colors I had never even seen before. Just the other day, I was painting a landscape and discovered a shade of green I never saw before. I'm hoping I invented the color: Gainer Green has a nice ring to it, eh?

Great post!


Wednesday 16th of October 2013

Beth, Lots of people seem to feel nauseated by pink in October, but of course, it's not about pink at all. You and Karen are so lucky to be such talented artists. And yes, that must give you a whole different kind of appreciation for all colors. I absolutely love the name Gainer Green! Now I'm wondering what shade of green it is... It does have a nice ring to it for sure! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts on pink.

Nancy Beth

Saturday 12th of October 2013

I have always liked pink but I like the bright fuschia pink! I won't stop wearing pink but I am overwhelmed with it in October. I won't, however, wear a button down shirt unless required. After mastectomy that was all I could wear and so I refuse to wear one now. I am pretty mad about corporations exploiting my disease to make a profit though. Pink isn't always pretty.


Sunday 13th of October 2013

Nancy Beth, As I wrote in my post, I still like pink too. My favorite is the pastel version of pink. Interesting how you feel about the button down shirts now. I totally get that. Come to think of it, I don't think I've worn one either since my bilateral. And you're so right, pink is not always pretty. Well said. Thank you for adding to this discussion about pink.


Wednesday 9th of October 2013

I have a big problem with "pink". Corporations using a disease that kills 40,000 women a year in this country to increase their profit margins is simply wrong. Most only contribute a very small percentage of the money they make selling PINK to everyone. And, even more importantly..... the money that is donated is very seldom used for research to SAVE lives. Even an organization like Komen uses hundreds of thousands of their donated money simply to pay their CEO an extravagant salary. I can never celebrate PINK until not one more woman (or man) dies from breast cancer. 40,000 a YEAR dying in the U.S. alone!...... 40,000!!!!!!


Wednesday 9th of October 2013

Kathi, I appreciate your passionately stated opinion. Thank you!

Theresa Palomares

Wednesday 9th of October 2013

Hi Nancy! I agree, it's not about the Pink, it's about the free enterprise system that has taken advantage of a dreadful and deadly disease by profit of pink products sales with virtually no dollars given to BC research so we have to ask two questions when buying pink products..1. Who is the recipient of the purchase proceeds? Is it the company selling the product or is it a specific BC research org? 2. How much of the "purchase proceeds" are going towards the org of choice? I have contacted Helen of Troy/Revlon Hair Tools over a purchase of a curling iron that my husband bought me for my birthday, it said on the box, right next to the pink ribbon "A portion of the proceeds"....portion? How much portion? 20%, 10% 5%??? I still have not gotten a straight answer from them so I stated that for me, as a consumer, if a company is not willing to share at least 30% or more then I will return my product! They replied with stating that they are sorry that they couldn't meet my expectations! Guilana Rancic did a great pitch on her daily ENews episode today talking about different pink products and she was very outspoken about HOW much of the proceeds of these products were being given towards the cause and to WHOM the org was! Good for you Guilana! We can never get rid of the monster that was created for us but we can try to understand it and make it accountable and transparent!


Wednesday 9th of October 2013

Theresa, You really pinpointed the key questions to ask in your comment. Good for you for asking them yourself and then for being willing to go to the extra trouble of returning the product when you didn't like the answers. That will make a statement! Just imagine what might happen if more us did those simple things. Thank you!

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