If you were to ask any number of people over, say the age of ten (maybe even younger) that you meet on the street (in the US anyway) if they’ve ever seen a pink ribbon and what cause it represents; I bet most, if not all, would say yes and yes.
The pink ribbon is everywhere and nearly everyone in these parts is more than familiar with it.
I think it might also be interesting to ask those same individuals a third question that might go along the line of something like this:
Has the pink ribbon become the bully of ribbons? Do you ever get tired of seeing all those pink ribbons everywhere?
I have a feeling you’d get more than a few yeses here as well.
Lots of diseases have ribbons tied to them. I suppose this is so every disease has some sort of identity or brand to set it apart. I’m not entirely sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing…
I do know that as far as ribbon notoriety goes, no other ribbon comes close to the almighty “hate it or love it” pink ribbon. Nearly everyone knows that the pink ribbon and breast cancer are inseparable in the awareness arena.
But awareness of what isn’t quite so clear.
Without peeking at the chart below, how many colored ribbons can you correctly match to its corresponding cancer?
Undoubtedly, some of the other cancers feel left out, or rather of course, some people affected by those other cancers feel left out.
I got a comment on one of my HP articles from someone who thought I should stop complaining about all the attention breast cancer gets. He told me breast cancer was lucky to get so much attention and that I should be grateful. I guess in some ways this is true, or could be if pink and pink ribbon use hadn’t gone so crazy and if truckloads of dollars were being delivered for research purposes, but this doesn’t seem to be the case at all.
I do know there are plenty of other serious diseases out there which deserve attention too. And again, this makes me wonder how breast cancer became the ‘showcase disease’, in other words, the shopping disease in the first place.
Fair or not, the pink ribbon is by far the leader in ribbon visibility, recognition and attention getting.
Good or bad, the pink ribbon is the ribbon among ribbons.
And let’s face it, the pink ribbon is probably not going away anytime soon.
In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with the pink ribbon. And I still like pink.
But just as it’s never a good thing for a person to be a bully, it’s not okay for the pink ribbon to become one either.
To download a FREE copy of my ebook, “Pink Is Just a Color, Ribbons Are Just Ribbons: A collection of writings about pink ribbon shenanigans,” Click Here.