Tag Archives: awareness

Fuming Pink (Over Breast Cancer Awareness)


I don’t want to spend the entire month of October harping on the fact that the world goes pink in support of breast cancer awareness. After all, I am aware. It’s different this year because last year, I was in a chemo-induced haze and didn’t really have the strength to give a shit. This year, it is more difficult to escape the pinkness. It is only the third day of the month, and the pervasiveness of pink has invaded every corner of my life.

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Pinktober (October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month)

This essay was originally published on October 3, 2015. 

Since 1985, October has been Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was established by the American Cancer Society and a now defunct pharmaceutical company that was absorbed by drug behemoth, AstraZeneca (thanks, Wikipedia). The “awareness” portion of the message has morphed into a marketing juggernaut, with so many pink ribbon products and charitable events claiming to donate money to breast cancer research, that critics have dubbed the month “Pinktober”, and refer to the countless marketing campaigns as “pinkwashing”. To use a popular euphemism, you can’t swing a dead cat without seeing pink this month. I wish no harm, of course, to cats or any animals.

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