Monday, October 6, 2014

True thoughs on Pink washing

Thoughts from my loved ones on Pink.
I was talking to Marci a few days ago about my mission - I have decided to take on…PINK.

I was telling her how I am sick of it and how in the hell does this crap serve any actual purpose??
She told me it does serve a purpose for her, it makes her think of me when she drinks from her coffee mug – she stops and says a prayer for me.

That really got me thinking.
I went through my email address book and picked random friends.  These aren’t all great friends – some I haven’t seen in a few years.  I really wanted to get an overall look at thoughts and feelings.

You will first see my question to them, their responses under. Their answers are not shorted. I have only ** a few curse words.
I will follow up later this week with me answers to these questions.

Do you roll your eyes at all the pink stuff?


As far as all the pink products go, I welcome their arrival every October.

It's not that I think that the 2 cents from my pink purchase are going to make a huge difference to anyone or that it will even get to the right place to help anyone. But buying a pink coffee cup or pink can opener gives me the opportunity to honor you.

When I see my pink item, I am reminded of you and I pray for you.

It hurts my soul to the core that I can't be in Austin to help you get to appointments, run your errands, make you dinner, clean your house, hang out with you on the sofa with a glass of wine or do anything to actually help you fight this terrible cancer.

So buying that pink item gives me a sense of empowerment... I will honor you every time I take my coffee to go or open a can of tomatoes.

I am not tired in any way of all of the pink stuff, but I think because it has been around so long and it's everywhere, it has lost its affect. I think the ribbons have more of a branding than the color pink

I remember last season when the NFL players wore pink accessories at their games, I remember thinking "Wow, that's really cool". 

sometimes.  It depends on the product, charity tie in, and taste level.  I’m personally out on Komen after last year’s Planned Parenthood debacle and that they believe they OWN pink and sue any other organizations that try to use it.  So if its Komen related I’m not into it.  Pink pepper spray, pink fried chicken bucket, the yogurt lids you have to return to have Yoplait donate $ - that annoys me.                                                                                                                                                             When people I know do small fundraisers to raise money because they are passionate about the charity (even Komen if its someone I know) – that I will support.  I do think Komen did a lot to significantly raise awareness about early detection over the past 15 years.  I would rather donate $ straight to an organization that supports those going through treatments, or studies cancer research.                                                                                                                                           
No, not really.  I realize that companies benefit from the "marketing" side of things, but I think that's all around us as well, so I don't really see that any differently.  If I were to buy something, it's because I want the product for some reason other than the campaign.  "supporting" BC or research or the affected is just a bonus, but I don't have any illusions that much money is going towards a charity from my purchase.  I realize that my giving directly is much more influential 

yes, it makes me think of how many people are getting cancer from breathing in the chemicals used to make all the cheap plastic pink things.   and all that money used to create all of these things, that should obviously be going towards research for a cure.                                                                             
I think it does raise awareness about the disease and hopefully encourages others to have mammograms. I also think things like Race for a Cure helps families feel closure and a sense of helping. 

Does it make you think of me or others with Breast Cancer
yes.  I feel like I can’t be annoyed with it because of people I know with breast cancer!  Occasionally I will think, I wonder if this would be ‘Cancer Thriver’ approved or considered crass marketing? 

Yes, absolutely.  Whenever I see anything breast cancer related, I always think of you, pray for you, and often get emotionally engaged on a different level.

If I see something pink - for the breast cancer awareness, it does make me think of you, and others.   but it doesn't make me anymore "aware" of bc, It makes me think of how f*cked up bc is, and how unfair it is. how it doesn't discriminate, and - honest answer - it makes me think, and feel sad for the survivors who are celebrating that they are survivors - because do they not know that one day they can wake up and it will be back?  Are the aware of that, or what they can do, if anything?  

Yes it does. I don't normally buy pink ribbon things but I do occasionally see them and stop and pray for those I know who have it, or lost someone to breast cancer.


If you have a coffee mug or something you use daily that is pink, does it prompt you to say a little prayer for those with cancer? 
Pink does not make me think of cancer but pink ribbon or awareness items make me think about those with cancer and wonder how they are doing and hope they are having a good day. 

I have a cookbook that I use regularly that is a pink ribbon one, so not daily, but it does regularly make me think of you.  Other pink things don't have the same effect though - they are just pink.

 I don't have anything that I use that is pink that makes me pray, I don't need anything pink to remind me.


What are you true thoughts on where the whole pink campaign has taken us? Good or bad
Good that it has raised so much awareness.  NFL teams wear pink in October, my company has a ton of events around Komen, I personally know way more than I would about early detection because of all the awareness campaigns.  I guess I’m a little burned out in general, and annoyed about the companies trying to take advantage of women in their purchasing decisions.  When I buy a new coffee mug, do I HAVE to buy the pink ribbon one, if I don’t am I an a-hole? 

Honestly, mostly indifferent.  I don't spend much time or energy on it.  I think there probably has been a lot of successful awareness raised and it's done some good.  I understand the thinking behind the frustration with it as well.  I think the Autism puzzle piece campaign is very similar and I appreciate the awareness it's raised for me even without having a direct connection to Autism (unlike BC, since that affects you and therefore me by extension).  As a parent of adopted kids and a child with hearing loss, I also appreciate when others are more aware of what our families "issues" are, because it takes the burden off of me to educate them, so in many ways I wish there was better "campaigning" for these things too, but I can see where I wouldn't want my kids to feel like the poster children for the campaign too, if that makes sense.

It's bad. the message needs to be revisited.  we need to be focused on prevention and cures.  

I really think it has raised awareness. I think it's extreme that the NFL jumped on board, but I think it helps guys understand more about the disease and helps personalize it. After all when you don't feel well or have crap going on-all you want is a hug from mom. And when you were little you hugged her breasts. It's a comfort thing.

I can't imagine how tired you must be of the pink but it truly does give me hope. When I see the football players wearing pink or the PF Chang's horse painted pink, I realize that I am not alone... so many people share the passion to celebrate their loved ones who are fighting this terrible disease. And we stand united in love and support.




Further opinions

I went further than my own opinions.  I asked my classes today as well.  People’s thoughts ran similar to mine.  There is a certain amount of guilt in not buying the pink item.  We think that people will judge us as uncaring. 

I would say that it’s become so prevalent that I don’t really think of you or anyone else when I see it. 

 Before hearing survivors take on it, I would have said that even if I thought it was over the top, survivors would be in support of everything pink.  Now that I have heard what you and other survivors have to say about it, I am more about educating people to make sure that they know many companies and individuals are profiting, not sending money to research. 

I equate this to the ASL ice bucket challenge.  It did bring in some money and awareness, but it also brought a lot of kids being silly and insensitive.  When the challenge came to my kids, we researched what ALS is and watched videos of people dealing with it.  Then I told them that they could do the silly challenge, but they also had to donate some money and tell people in their video that it is a serious disease. 

There are other cancers and other medical issues that could use more awareness – like heart disease and colon cancer.  I know Pink month won’t stop, but would be nice if we heard about other risk areas that also effect a lot of people. 

As far as pink goes, I know that the high schools do a pink out game.  No one would dare show up without a pink t-shirt because then they would be seen as pro cancer.  The football players wear pink socks.  The dancers and cheerleaders wear pink.  Who knows if any money goes to cancer research!  I doubt the kids ever put the pink together with a real person. 

I think if someone came up with a new fresh idea, gimmick (think "ice bucket challenge"), etc..for breast cancer then it would get more attention and be at the forefront of more people's minds.

What are YOUR thoughts to my questions??

If you feel strongly one way or another, I would love to hear from you.



With love
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