Pink Ribbon Blues Contributor Lisa Valentine has written two essays for the PRB Blog: “What Lies Beneath,” which examines cultural expectations about women’s breasts, and “I Didn’t Know Then What I Know Now,” which shares how Lisa went from being an avid Komen supporter to a new kind of breast cancer advocate. Earlier today (Jul. 12) Lisa published an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune highlighting the exploitive character of much of today’s pink ribbon culture.
In “Keep the Race Moving Toward the Cure,” Lisa Valentine . . . → Read More: “Keep the Race Moving Toward the Cure”
A sea of pink
It’s June. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is months away. Yet, I’ve received countless “pitches” throughout the year from PR firms gearing up for another year of pink ribbon festivities and revenues. In the wake of mounting concerns about pinkwashing, profiteering, political biases, and the overwhelming diversion of funds from research, prevention, and the kinds of actions that might help people in dire straits after a cancer diagnosis, the happy-go-lucky pitches keep flowing in. Here’s one I recently received.
Hi . . . → Read More: “BREAST CANCER AWARENESS PITCH”
I’m pleased to have written a guest editorial for KomenWatch about the recent scandal involving the Komen organization.
KomenWatch (www.komenwatch.org) is a public service website aimed at “sharing information and generating critical discussion about the largest breast cancer fundraiser in the world, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.” The KomenWatch website includes a large, searchable database of news sources and other articles that highlight public concerns about the Komen organization and/or its role in contributing to the splintering of the breast cancer movement and to the overt commercialization . . . → Read More: “The Emperor Has No Clothes”: Komen for the Cure Exposed
The statue of Christ the Redeemer is lit up in pink for the start of the national campaign "Pink October" to raise awareness for breast cancer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Sergio Moraes) www.boston.com
Breast cancer is clearly big news and big business in the United States, but it’s also going global.
Numerous world landmarks have been lighted in pink in the name of breast cancer awareness –the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario; the River Danube’s historical Chain Bridge in Budapest, . . . → Read More: 22. Pinking the Global Landscape, and the Global Market
KomenWatch (www.komenwatch.org) is a public service website aimed at “sharing information and generating critical discussion about the largest breast cancer fundraiser in the world, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.” The KomenWatch website includes a large, searchable database of news sources and other articles – dating back to the 1990s – that highlight public concerns about the Komen organization and/or its role in contributing to the splintering of the breast cancer movement and to the overt commercialization of the cause itself. It also publishes occasional editorial analyses . . . → Read More: “The Scent of Exploitation”
There’s been a lot of talk about boobies lately especially in breast cancer awareness campaigns. Discussions erupted in the blogosphere in early March after Peggy Orenstein posted a set of pointed questions about the awareness tactics of an “I ♥ Boobies” campaign promoted by the Keep A Breast Foundation. Katie of Uneasy Pink was super uneasy about the situation, questioning why it was okay to sexualize women and trivialize the disease in the name of “awareness.” Jackie Fox, author of From Zero to Mastectomy, questioned the overabundance . . . → Read More: “Boobies.” I said it. Now, May I Have Your Attention Please?
The commercialization of breast cancer has been a growing trend. Beginning with the emergence of the pink ribbon in 1992, there has been an increasing notion that breast cancer “awareness” results from pink osmosis. Many, including myself, have asked: What exactly are people made aware of? When analyzing the imagery associated with pink ribbon products and awareness activities, the messages are clear:
Breast cancer exists.
[singlepic id=300 w=420 h=340 float=center]
All women are at risk.
[singlepic id=33 . . . → Read More: “It’s Time To Get Real”
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz for The Wall Street Journal
The fury over Komen’s official responses to the trademark debacle continues to mount as individuals, breast cancer advocates, journalists, bloggers, and the diagnosed raise numerous questions about Komen’s trademark policing, hubris, and financial allocations. Despite an ambiguous admission on the Nightly News with Brian Williams that Komen may have been “overzealous” in its trademark protection and that the organization is “not perfect,” Komen maintains its official response that it sees trademark protection as “responsible . . . → Read More: Komen’s Leadership In Question