You Know What's NOT Sexy?


Don’t say “breast cancer.” Because breast cancer is SUPER SEXY. If you’re not convinced, check out the  Pink Ribbon Blues photo gallery. It includes common breast cancer “awareness” images like these.

A Boobfest features sleek women in black cocktail dresses to raise funds for breast cancer. KK Temptations holds a bikini contest to increase awareness. Fox News uses an alluring image of a woman cupping her pink bra in an article about lymph node removal for those with early stage breast . . . → Read More: You Know What’s NOT Sexy?

What Lies Beneath

Over the last year, the Pink Ribbon Blues Blog has become a forum for discussing pink culture and industry from multiple vantage points and through a multitude of voices. As the PRB Contributors list continues to grow, I am hopeful that the status quo surrounding breast cancer will dislodge to create meaningful awareness, understanding, and actions that will have a significantly greater impact on the eradication of this and other diseases. To this end, the Pink Ribbon Blues Blog opens 2012 with an essay by . . . → Read More: What Lies Beneath

18. Advertising WHAT???

Nizarys Vargas is a senior at the College of Mount of Saint Vincent. Her current concentration is business administration with a minor in sociology, and Ms. Vargas plans to become a funeral director. Having worked closely with the Sisters of Charity, she is committed to helping people through some of the saddest and most difficult times in their lives. The Sisters have also been a guiding force in helping her to know what it means to be surrounded by strong, empowered, and compassionate women. Ms. . . . → Read More: 18. Advertising WHAT???

10. {ReThink Your Pitch} Q&A With A National Brand Over Breast Cancer…

Kate-Madonna Hindes is an industry leader and national author and speaker on emotional integrity and authenticity in today’s online media. Her columns are regularly published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Women of HR, GirlmeetsGeek, Brazen Careerist and JobDig. With 15+ years of combined, published, experience for news media, state government and Fortune 500 businesses, she regularly covers national Social Media Technology events from an HR / Recruiting perspective. “{ReThink Your Pitch}” was originally published on GirlmeetsGeek on September 24, 2011. With permission, Pink Ribbon Blues is honored to . . . → Read More: 10. {ReThink Your Pitch} Q&A With A National Brand Over Breast Cancer…

Boobies, for Fun & Profit!

Note: This essay was also published on the Oxford University Press Blog on April 28, 2011.

A blogger who goes by the name of The Accidental Amazon recently asked: “When did breast cancer awareness become more focused on our breasts than on cancer? Is it because our culture is so obsessed with breasts that it slides right past the C word?”

The Amazon’s questions are important — but they are inconvenient; blasphemous to the pink consumption machine, disruptive to the strong . . . → Read More: Boobies, for Fun & Profit!

“Boobies.” I said it. Now, May I Have Your Attention Please?

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?

Komen’s Leadership In Question

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

NY Times Magazine’s, “Think About Pink”

Peggy Orenstein, author of forthcoming book Cindarella Ate My Daughter, wrote a compelling article for The New York Times Magazine (Nov. 12, 2010) addressing contemporary efforts to make breast cancer “sexy” for an upbeat and stylized cancer marketplace. In Think About Pink, Orenstein critiques the “I ❤ Boobies” and “Save the Ta-tas” campaigns that detract from the truth about breast cancer and fetishize breasts “at the expense of the bodies, hearts and minds attached to them.”

[singlepic id=181 w=320 h=240 float=right]I’m glad this aspect . . . → Read More: NY Times Magazine’s, “Think About Pink”

New @ASCO guidelines on the screening, assessment & care of anxiety & depressive symptoms in adults w/cancer… #bcsm

“Pink Ribbon Blues,” Book

Paperback includes new Introduction on fundraising controversies and color insert with images of, and reactions to, the pinking of breast cancer (2012).

Order the Paperback » 

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Recent Sulik Interviews

A Year After Bombings, Some Say 'Boston Strong' Has Gone Overboard NPR, All Things Considered

Canadian Mammogram Study KCRW, NPR Affiliate

Breast Cancer: Awareness, Activism & Pinkwashing NPR Charlotte

Buying Pink Al Jazeera's The Stream Watch »

The Pink Backlash Orlando Sentinel

Preventative Mastectomies: Disease and Deception Listen to BlogTalkRadio »

Angelina Jolie and the 'Breast Cancer Gene' Listen to KCRW »

Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer. The New York Times Magazine.

The Story Behind the Pink Ribbon Campaign Sisters Talk Radio

WISH Interview Women's International Summit for Health

Making Cancer About The Patient, Not The Body Part CBS Pittsburgh

Sexy breast cancer campaigns anger many patients USA Today

The perils of pink The Daily

Komen pink campaign creates breast-cancer blues for some Dallas Morning News

A yellow flag for the NFL's pink New York Daily

Gayle Sulik named #7 in SharecareNow’s Top 10 Online Influencers in Breast Cancer

"Breast cancer cancer causes so easily derailed" Philly Inquirer

"Komen Charity Under Microscope for Funding, Science" Reuters

"The Fight Against Cancer - And Abortion?

"Susan G. Komen For the Cure defunds Planned Parenthood." In Deep with Angie Coiro

"Amid Breast Cancer Month, Is there Pink Fatigue?" NPR's All Things Considered

"How is Breast Cancer Culture Undermining Women's Health?" America’s Radio News Network

"Pink Ribbon Culture and Breast Cancer" The Kojo Nnamdi Show

"The Big Business of Breast Cancer" 
Marie Claire

"Does Breast Cancer Awareness Month Crowd Out Other Diseases?" Slate

"Pink Inc. Has Many Starting to See Red" The Sacramento Bee

"Get Your Pink Off" Ottawa Citizen

"Komen Pink Ribbons Raise Green and Questions" USA Today