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The Hunt For Pink October

October 17, 2011

Not much a hunt really. You can’t take two steps without being bombarded with pink ribbons or sassy and cryptic facebook “awareness” campaigns. The problem with all this is that at best, it does nothing; at worst, it causes harm.

At my school, there are posters plastered everywhere. It has a picture of a woman’s torso (perfectly toned abdomen and breasts intact) wearing a pink bra. “WEAR PINK FOR OCTOBER! IT’S BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!” screams out at you from below the boobs. I am making it my personal mission to remove all of these posters (mind you if security catches me I will get in shit, but oh well). They are extremely disrespectful, glamorize a horrible disease, and do absolutely NOTHING to help those that are fighting breast cancer.

That poster is pretty much taunting breast cancer survivors. How would you feel if you had to have both of your breasts removed because of cancer, only to have images of an intact chest flashed in your face constantly for the sake of “awareness”?

Do we really need breast cancer awareness campaigns? Who is unaware of breast cancer? What we need are fundraising campaigns, education campaigns. Education on the facts of breast cancer: No, it is not solely a woman’s disease; men can get breast cancer too. No one dies from a lump in their breast, they die from breast cancer that has spread to other parts of their body. It is absolutely heart breaking how patients with metastatic breast cancer are dumped by supposed cancer support organizations like Komen (if you’re thinking of doing any fundraising for them, please look up what they actually do to people and reconsider). Instead of just sticking a pink ribbon on something, wearing a rubber bracelit, or posting your bra colour as your facebook status (slacktivism), do something that will actually make a difference. Organize a fundraiser at your workplace or school for your local cancer treatment center, learn how to sew so you can help out Victoria’s Quilts, help out the Cancer Society through the Relay For Life, volunteer, donations (you don’t even need to leave your couch for that one). You can help start the discussion about reconstructive surgery to help remove the stigma attached to it (no it is not for cosmetic reasons, it is for holistic reasons. You don’t berate an amputee for using a prosthetic limb so why treat a breast cancer survivor like trash for trying to reclaim a piece of them that they were forced to give up?)

There are countless things you can do that can actually make a difference in someone’s life. We need to put an end to this massive wave of people that pretend they are taking action.

I know this is pretty different from my usual entries. This is something I am very passionate about. I’ve lost several family members to various forms of cancer, and recently lost someone I knew to breast cancer that had spread elsewhere. I refuse to wear pink. Will you?

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