You know, I used to love the month of October.
I loved the colors of the autumn leaves and how they crunch under your feet (well I still do, but read on), my son’s birthday falls in October, the heat of the summer is gone, Halloween costumes – it’s just generally a fun time of year.
But now October has turned into “Pinktober” and it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month – everything turns pink. Ick.
Breast Cancer Action has coined the term pinkwashing and here’s their explanation of the word: Pinkwasher: (pink’-wah-sher) noun. A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.
Pinkwashing seriously pisses me off. It’s ruining the month of October for me and that’s not a nice thing.
Pinkwashing raises a big question we should all be paying attention to. Are we really helping breast cancer research by buying all that pink merchandise? While many of us think we’re doing a noble thing by buying pink things, pinkwashing is often just a marketing ploy to sell more products. Of course, many of the companies that are selling pink merchandise do donate to breast cancer research, but many don’t (or if they do, it’s a tiny percentage of their actual profit).
And all of this is still not why Pinktober pisses me off so much.
The companies that really chap my hide are the ones that plaster pink ribbons on their products and make a big deal about how much they contribute to breast cancer research. HOWEVER their products are filled with toxins like parabens, TEA and DEA which have been shown to be carcinogenic. It’s almost like companies such as Avon and Estee Lauder know that their products contain toxic ingredients and they feel guilty about being contributors to breast cancer, so they make this big deal about having products that help fund breast cancer research.
This is NOT alright with me, nor should it be with you.
Lastly, Pinktober reminds me of having breast cancer and while that was 8 years ago, I don’t need the reminder.
Top 10 Pinkwashers
I found a great website at pinkwashing.org – check out what they had to say about the top 10 pinkwashers in this blog post a year ago. I couldn’t have said it better.
The Worst Offender
I think the biggest sin has been committed by the Susan G Komen Foundation. Their Promise Me™ Eau De Parfum is full of ingredients which have no business being put on our bodies – things like galaxolide (it’s a hormone disrupter) and toluene (a neurotoxin banned by the International Fragrance Association), and to make matters worse, only $7.97 from each $59 bottle will go to research. That stinks. Seriously.
If all this makes you mad enough to take action, click HERE.
Being Proactive With Our Health Is The Key
I think that only by supporting groups such as Breast Cancer Action, being aware of what we are putting onto and in our bodies in our cosmetics, body products, and food, keeping our stress levels down, and exercising regularly will we begin to see dramatic decreases in the numbers of women being diagnosed with breast cancer.
The bottom line is do your research, make sure your purchases align with your values and be comfortable on where your dollars are being spent.