On the 25th anniversary of the pink ribbon, we’re angry. Angry that too many women are diagnosed with and die from breast cancer. Angry that women of color and underserved communities are disproportionately burdened. Angry about the exploitation of the disease for profit. And angry that there’s so little to show for 25 years of pink ribbon awareness and billions spent on pink ribbon products.

Tell global cosmetics giant and pink ribbon pioneer, The Estée Lauder Companies, to stop the betrayal and be honest that:

  1. Empty awareness and publicity stunts are a distraction and cannot “create a breast cancer-free world.”
  2. No amount of positive thinking will prevent women from being diagnosed with or dying from breast cancer.
  3. The chemicals in their products may increase the risk of breast cancer and might even interfere with treatment. Tell them to clean up their products and stop pinkwashing!

The pink ribbon has long since replaced the meaningful actions needed to address and end the breast cancer epidemic. Women at risk of and living with breast cancer deserve better than Estée Lauder’s distraction of illuminating 1000+ world landmarks pink “for awareness.” We deserve more than platitudes to “choose happy,” “laugh often,” and “smile,” which shame and blame us for our disease. And we deserve not to be exposed to chemicals that are suspected to increase the risk of breast cancer—and might even interfere with treatmentsby the very company that claims to care about the disease.

 

If Estée Lauder is really serious about their self-proclaimed mission “to create a breast cancer-free world,” they will put their marketing, mere awareness, and positive platitudes aside. They will stop pinkwashing and take meaningful action that makes a difference to all women, from allcommunities who are at risk of and living with breast cancer.

This isn’t a time for celebration. It’s a time for anger. It’s a time for action.

For more about the campaign, read the brief here and spread the word on Facebookand Twitter!

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Get Ready for Pinktober

By Kira Jones
Communications Officer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (or as we call it, “Breast Cancer Industry Month”) is less than a month away. It’s time to get ready.

Over the years we’ve seen it all: pink fracking drill bits for breast cancer, pink buckets of chicken, pink vacuum cleaners, pink handguns. And, a lot of these pink ribbon promotions do more for a corporation’s bottom line than for women at risk of and living with breast cancer. Some pink ribbon products may even increase the risk of breast cancer because they contain cancer-linked toxins, a hypocritical practice we call pinkwashing. But together we’ve made these companies change their ways.

So here are 5 things you can do to get ready for Pinktober:

  1. Brush up on our “Critical Questions for Conscious Consumers so you’re ready to think critically about pink ribbon promotions—and help your community do the same.
  2. Support Breast Cancer Action through your own “Don’t Pink For Me”You can trust us because we’re free from conflicts of interest. Tell your friends and family “Don’t Pink for Me” and ask them to make a donation to Breast Cancer Action in your honor instead.
  3. Tell your friends to sign up for our emailsMake sure your family and friends are in-the-know about our campaign when we launch at the beginning of October.
  4. Like us on Facebook and follow us on TwitterBe ready to “like” and share our posts with your friends and retweet us using our campaign hashtag.
  5. Support our work and gather with others in the SF Bay Area Breast Cancer Action community at our Action Speak Louder than Pink – Food for Thought event on October 16 for a thought-provoking program accompanied by a delicious meal.

The best way to prep for the month-long parade of pink is to get ready to use the collective power we have to make change. We truly can’t make a difference without you.

PS. Wondering where the pink ribbon came from? Learn about the history here.

Think Before You Pink, a project of Breast Cancer Action, launched in 2002 in response to the growing concern about the overwhelming number of pink ribbon products and promotions on the market. The campaign calls for more transparency and accountability by companies that take part in breast cancer fundraising, and encourages consumers to ask critical questions about pink ribbon promotions.

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