We are all connected to someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, so it speaks to our soul, pulls our heart-strings and gives us a sense of pride to know we are doing our part.However, as always is the case, there are enough businesses out there capitalizing on The Cause without really explaining what their contribution will be, if any. The use of the pink ribbons is not regulated and some are taking advantage of a good thing to pad their own wallets. There are web sites like www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org which focus on educating the general public on questions to ask, how to uncover where proceeds from purchases will be donated and how they will be used.
But on another side of the spectrum of pink products, lies a long list of questionable ingredients you can' t help but recognize as a troubling level of hypocrisy.Take the 2010 "Buckets For a Cure" campaign sponsored by KFC. Yes, you read that right. A meal of fried chicken in support of cancer.
This bucket does indeed make a difference. To my waistline. Which actually is shown to increase my risk for breast cancer. In fact, there is a short paragraph on the Susan G Komen For the Cure® web site which states as such:
But in an effort to avoid singling out KFC, it should be mentioned that there are countless other products bearing pink ribbons that contain processed ingredients, trans fats and unhealthy amounts of sugar. And these ingredients have been linked to an increased risk of obesity, disease and yes, breast cancer.
This means women (the primary purchasers for the household) are purchasing these pink products. And if they consume them (or a female member of their household does), they are inherently increasing their risk of the same disease they are supposedly fighting against.
While the information is extremely limited with regard to proper nutrition on the Susan G Komen For The Cure® web site, there is also mention of alcohol.Which is interesting, because of well, this:
Sure you could argue, guys aren't at risk, (although it is estimated that over 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year) so why not purchase products that support their mothers, sisters, wives and friends? But let's be honest, this food isn't healthy. For anyone. And the connection to fighting cancer is done in bad taste.
Honestly, if it were up to me, I'd do away with all the pink. We have reached overkill status. After all of this research, pink ribbons now speak to me on a level that leaves me feeling disheartened and sad.
I want to help but not by feeding myself and my family unhealthy food. Or wondering how much of the proceeds from pink products actually support the cause.
I would save pink ribbons for healthy initiatives that promote the right kind of effort and lifestyle - like The Race For the Cure and other local opportunities to donate money and time in supporting those diagnosed and affected by breast cancer and educating the rest of us on what we can do nutrition-wise to decrease our risk (hint: stop eating so much crap and sugar).
Because at the end of the day, this is a purpose that has true significance. But it now seems to live only through our pink-colored glasses.