Changing the Conversation about Breast Cancer, One Conversation at a Time

It’s nearly impossible to take a vacation from pink ribbon culture. Even an escape to the sandy shores of south Jersey doesn’t guarantee entrée to a ribbon-free zone. To a great extent that’s because breast cancer activists did such a good job raising awareness about the importance of the breast cancer epidemic. Unfortunately, after that little pink ribbon transmuted . . . → Read More: Changing the Conversation about Breast Cancer, One Conversation at a Time

Attention! [by Chemobabe]

Lani Horn, a.k.a. Chemobabe

Pink Ribbon Blues is honored to share a recent post from blogger, Lani Horn, who writes under the name Chemobabe. She is a social scientist in her “regular life” and created ChemoBabe as a persona who has “enough spunk and edge to get smacked down” by treatment and “stand back up ready to fight some . . . → Read More: Attention! [by Chemobabe]

ACTIVISM-[SL]ACTIVISM: An Essay by Erika Jahn

Erika Jahn is a Projects Coordinator for Breast Cancer Action Montreal and a writer for Kickaction, “an online community space for girls and young women who think for themselves, take a stand and act creatively to bring positive change to their communities and across the globe.” On March 17th, 2011 Jahn posted an essay on as part of the . . . → Read More: ACTIVISM-[SL]ACTIVISM: An Essay by Erika Jahn

Rethinking, Reclaiming, and Remaining Compassionately Pink

Today’s Pink Ribbon Blues essay is written by Molly Brenner, a senior at Vassar College whom I met last fall after giving a lecture on pink ribbon culture. —

Molly Brenner

In the summer of 2010, I worked as a Program Operations intern at Strong Women, Strong Girls, a nationally recognized after-school mentoring program for girls in grades . . . → Read More: Rethinking, Reclaiming, and Remaining Compassionately Pink

Interview with Emily Main of

Re-post of Is the Pink Ribbon a Bad Idea? Maybe

In a new book, sociologist Gayle Sulik examines how all those pink ribbon marketing campaigns associated with breast cancer may be doing more harm than good.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—As National Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close, it’s likely you’ve seen more than a few pink ribbons, pink . . . → Read More: Interview with Emily Main of

“Cure for Cancer Stalls…Companies in the Black”

Gergana Koleva wrote a thought provoking article for AOL’s Wallet Pop, about how consumers might distinguish between “legitimate support for the cause from shameless product marketing.” When the symbol is used for both purposes, consumers are left in the dark about what to support and what to avoid.

Check out Koleva’s article. I had a chance to talk with her . . . → Read More: “Cure for Cancer Stalls…Companies in the Black”

An Awareness Umbrella? Breaking the Awareness Habit for Something More Meaningful

The Ad for the pink and white awareness umbrella reads:

“A beautifully constructed umbrella is appreciated rain or shine! Recipients will know you care when you pick gifts that show you’re there! Umbrella comes in clear vinyl sleeve. Awareness Pink Ribbon Design.”

Awareness. We see and hear that word a lot, especially when it comes to the cause . . . → Read More: Awareness Umbrella

Cat Nap for the Cause

“Support the fight against breast cancer, simply by taking a nap!” If only we’d known it was that simple.

Actually, it’s not that simple. Deep down we know that too. But cause marketing campaigns excel at helping us to forget reality. They use the cause of breast cancer to capitalize on emotions and good intentions.

The moment we think . . . → Read More: Cat Nap for the Cause

Economic Interests and Lost Productivity

Writing to you from the Texas Book Festival in Austin.

The post on the Birth of the Perpetual Fundraising Industry prompted Anna, diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, to ask a vital question. She writes:

“The vested interests in my continuing decline in health are staggering and frightening.

But if we’re talking about this from . . . → Read More: Economic Interests

Runaway Ribbons and De Facto Cause Support

Paula’s thinking pink, are you? Regardless, you may be supporting pink cause marketing by default.

Pink products are so ubiquitous – especially during breast cancer awareness month that you might have to go out of your way to avoid pink ribbons when you purchase your favorite products.

One of my readers told me a story about how she accidentally bought . . . → Read More: Runaway Ribbons and De Facto Cause Support

"women urged to get screened because it might save their lives. But that’s only 1 possible outcome, and it’s the least likely one" @cragcrest

“Pink Ribbon Blues”

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

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"Seeing clearly through the pink haze" Toronto Sun

*Sad face*: Being happy does not help you live longer" New Scientist

How should we address breast cancer when norms continually change? The Guardian

Your Fun 'No Bra Day' Photos Are Overshadowing Terminal Breast Cancer Patients Broadly

Backlash against “pinkwashing” of breast cancer awareness campaigns BMJ

Breast Cancer to Rise 50 Percent by 2030? Hey, Not So Fast! Health News Review

Breast Cancer: The Flaws in the Cause

How to Make the Biggest Impact With Your Breast Cancer Donations Money

The Very Pink, Very Controversial Business of Breast Cancer Awareness Racked

NFL, Pink Ribbons Not Enough to Win over Women CNN

3 Questions We Need to Answer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month Chronicle of Philanthropy

The problem with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Women's Health Magazine

Pink Ribbon Envy: Living with an Uncool Cancer The Nib

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

Canadian Mammogram Study KCRW, NPR Affiliate

Time to Debunk the Mammography Myth CNN

Breast Cancer: Awareness, Activism & Pinkwashing NPR Charlotte

Buying Pink Al Jazeera's The Stream Watch »

The Pink Backlash Orlando Sentinel

Why Jolie's Test Costs So Much CNN

Preventative Mastectomies: Disease and Deception BlogTalkRadio

Angelina Jolie and the 'Breast Cancer Gene' 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