Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pink Ribbons Tie Together Corporate Fluff

I just watched Pink Ribbons, Inc., a 2011 documentary that examines the corporate sponsored fight against breast cancer.

Surprise: Corporations like Revlon, Ford, Yoplait, the NFL, KFC, and many more are waving the pink ribbon to improve their image with female consumers and increase their bottom line. I already knew and was somewhat irritated by this (you probably are too). Once I saw the documentary I became extra miffed.

It seems corporations aren't really donating as much money to research for the cure as their ad campaigns would have us believe. Also, not much attention is given to making sure funds go towards research that isn't overlapping or would benefit ethnic or age groups beyond middle aged, White North American women.

Also interesting is that the pink ribbon culture shifts responsibility from corporations that produce and profit from products containing known carcinogens and the government which should be protecting us. The burden falls on victims and potential victims of cancer. There is a false implication that simply early detection will protect you from cancer or give you better chances of surviving. The message is that if you are upbeat and fight hard enough you will survive cancer. There is also the underlying suggestion that those who don't survive cancer have somehow failed at this.

You can see Pink Ribbons, Inc on Netflix Watch Instantly.

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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1 in 8 women get breast cancer. If you'd like to help change this, get active with Breast Cancer Action, a group working to address and end the epidemic by putting patients before profit. You should totally check out their Think Before You Pink campaign.

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