Since I know many people love lists, I try to write list posts from time to time. One such list post is “Ten Reasons Why the Pink Ribbon Has Lost Its Appeal” post from last October. A version of it was also published on Huffington Post. It seemed to really strike a chord for many. I was hoping this list could become one of the whittled down variety; but sadly, there’s more to add.
Often times I cannot think quickly enough on my feet, so I find this list to be quite handy when people ask me what’s wrong with pink ribbons (and they do). No matter what your thinking speed might be, it’s nice to have some specific responses ready to go, so this is why I’m sharing this condensed version with you. For more details on my original list, click here.
Ten Problems With the Pink Ribbon!
1. The pink ribbon has morphed into mostly a marketing tool to sell stuff and lots of it.
2. The pink ribbon is used to sell image as well as products. Talk about bang for your buck; I mean ribbon.
3. Pink ribbons are often misleading regarding dollar amounts being spent on breast cancer anything.
4. Sometimes pink ribbons are selling questionable, even possibly cancer causing products. (also known as pinkwashing)
5. Pink ribbons dress up breast cancer often times giving a skewed misrepresentation of this deadly disease.
6. Pink ribbons exclude the men who can and do get breast cancer too.
7. Pink ribbons are entangled with intangibles such as: faith, hope and courage. No, I’m not opposed to these things just the entanglement because they crowd out other genuine feelings like fear, anger and uncertainty.
8. The pink ribbon has turned into the bully of ribbons. Yep, it has!
9. The pink ribbon has too many ties with blatantly sexist breast cancer awareness campaigns. Look around.
10. The results from all this ribboning have not been good enough – unless perhaps you’re selling pink stuff.
New Additions to the List!
11. Another problem with the pink ribbon is how divisive it has become. Sometimes it seems as if there are two sides in breast cancer land, the pink ribbon side and the non-pink ribbon side. Again, I’m not opposed to pink or pink ribbons. I am opposed to overuse and misuse; big difference. Enough with the ribbons! I hope we can all focus on the same goals. Collaboration is sorely needed. Let’s focus on that!
12. Individuals dealing with metastatic disease often feel shut out by all that pink and all those ribbons. I hear this over and over, so even if folks in the land of pink ribbons don’t believe this is true; it still is.
13. Another addition to my list this year is that too often this “pink ribbon entanglement” over-simplifies breast cancer by contributing to the illusion that it isn’t that bad anymore. One example – inflammatory breast cancer is pretty much left out of the awareness conversations. Why? Because it’s rare and anything but simple. Another example – buy something with a pink ribbon and you’ve done your part. Again, way too simple and not the answer.
So there you have it, my 2013 version of what’s wrong the pink ribbon. I’ve probably still only scratched the surface.
Now I’m secretly hoping someone asks you what’s wrong with pink ribbons. If they do, I hope this list helps!
What would you add to the list?
Which one(s) do you find most troubling?
Have you ever been asked, what’s wrong with pink ribbons? If so, what do you say?
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