Yes, I’m annoyed.
It’s now October. How do I know? It’s not because football season is in full swing, or because the leaves are turning or the mornings are chilly – it’s because everywhere I look, everything is pink.
You’ve likely heard of ‘green-washing’ – the idea that companies exaggerate their environmental awareness while killing the planet with their products behind the scenes. “Pink-washing” is the same concept. It’s cause marketing gone awry when Komen gets 10 cents for every Yoplait lid I send in. I might as well not buy the 89 cent yogurt, not waste a 44 cent stamp and instead make a gift of $1.33 online.
Worse yet, in the grocery store today there were aisles and aisles of pink products that have no donation (yours or theirs) involved in the relationship at all. The packaging is simply for sales…*cough*, I mean ‘awareness’.
Every jersey, helmet, shoe, field, football, hat, jacket and scoreboard around the NFL was pink today and yes, I spent much of the day in front of (or near) the TV. The only time that words ‘breast cancer’ were muttered was in ads telling me I could get all the pink merchandise I wanted on NFLshop.com. I was happy to later find that nfl.com/pink encourages women over 40 to get an annual mammogram (An action secondary to ‘Bid Now on Pink Items’). I am, however, surprised that in the 8 hours of football coverage, not once was it mentioned.
Maybe I’m bitter that this cause is getting more attention than mine. Maybe I’m tired of people exploiting the ‘good’ to make a profit. Maybe I’m frustrated that people’s definition of activism is buying a pink walker from Target.
All I’m asking is that you Think Before You Pink and do your homework as most of this awareness is a smoke-screen for selling more stuff and most purchases do not include a gift to any cause or organization. If you really want to support efforts to end breast cancer, here are the direct donation pages for the American Cancer Society, the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I bet if you donate enough, they’ll even send you a pink ribbon.