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Tag Archives: history

Think About Pink: Letters

Title: Think About Pink: Letters

Author: Various

Publication: New York Times

Publication Date: November 26, 2010

We read with concern Peggy Orenstein’s opinions about breast-cancer-awareness tactics and believe that another point of view must be considered. Orenstein’s ridicule of the impact of the pink ribbon is offensive to the millions who wear it proudly and who participate in raising awareness and much-needed funds for research, in a world where more than 450,000 people still die from breast cancer every year. The pink ribbon is a worldwide symbol, promoting awareness and galvanizing support from individuals and businesses, large and small. Their generosity has allowed our organization to devote $1.5 billion to research, education, detection, treatment and support programs.

The enemy in this fight is not a color or a ribbon; it is a disease that too often leads to suffering and death, and against which we still need major advances.

Founder and C.E.O.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Chairman, Susan G. Komen Scientific Advisory Board

Link to All Letters

Think About Pink

Title: Think About Pink

Author: Peggy Orenstein

Publication: New York Times

Publication Date: November 12, 2010

[I]t’s hard to remember that, not so long ago, the phrase “breast cancer” was not something women spoke aloud, even among themselves. It wasn’t until the early 1970s, with the high-profile diagnoses of the former child star Shirley Temple Black, the first lady Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller that the disease went public. A short time later, Betty Rollin, an NBC-TV correspondent, published the groundbreaking memoir “First You Cry.” Back then, her grief over losing her breast and the blow cancer dealt to her sex life was greeted with hostility by some critics and dismissed as frivolous. Mammography was just coming into use to detect early-stage tumors. The American Cancer Society was still resisting the idea of support groups for post-mastectomy patients. A woman like Rollin, some said, was supposed to be grateful that she qualified for a radical mastectomy, stuff a sock in her bra and get on with it.

Fast-forward to today, when, especially during October, everything from toilet paper to buckets of fried chicken to the chin straps of N.F.L. players look as if they have been steeped in Pepto. If the goal was “awareness,” that has surely been met — largely, you could argue, because corporations recognized that with virtually no effort (and often minimal monetary contribution), going pink made them a lot of green.

Link to Full Article


Breast Cancer Tales: The Inspirational vs. the Actual

Title: Breast Cancer Tales: The Inspirational vs. the Actual

Author: Abigail Zuger

Publication: New York Times

Publication Date: October 25, 2010

Before penicillin came along, syphilis was known in medical circles as “the great mimicker,” a stealthy disease able to mangle the human body in virtually all known ways. “Know syphilis and you know medicine,” professors would tell their students.

Exactly the same thing might be said of breast cancer these days — but not in the same circles. Rather, it is the social scientists who get to contemplate the full panorama of human reaction to disease by studying the fallout from a single one: all the shades of anguish and anger, the posturing, the politics and the cartloads of wishful thinking, all wrapped up in a big pink ribbon.

Link to Full Article

Pink Ribbon Fatigue

Title: Pink Ribbon Fatigue

Author:  Barron H. Lerner

Publication:  New York Times Well blog

Publication Date: October 11, 2010

Another Breast Cancer Awareness Month is upon us, which will mean lots of pink ribbons.

The pink ribbon has been a spectacular success in terms of bringing recognition and funding to the breast cancer cause. But now there is a growing impatience about what some critics have termed “pink ribbon culture.” Medical sociologist Gayle A. Sulik, author of the new book “Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Women’s Health” (Oxford University Press), calls it “the rise of pink October.”

“Pink ribbon paraphernalia saturate shopping malls, billboards, magazines, television and other entertainment venues,” she writes on her Web site. “The pervasiveness of the pink ribbon campaign leads many people to believe that the fight against breast cancer is progressing, when in truth it’s barely begun.”

Link to Full Article

This Campaign Thinks Pink

Title: This Campaign Thinks Pink

Author: Stuart Elliot

Publication: New York Times

Publication Date: January 29, 2007

An organization that has fought breast cancer for 25 years is marking its anniversary with a new name and a new logo as well as a new campaign that demonstrates a new attitude.

The organization, known as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, is planning to spend more than $1 million to market its rebranding as Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The foundation is working with three agencies on its initiatives: Duffy & Partners in Minneapolis; TracyLocke in Dallas, part of the Omnicom Group; and the Irving, Tex., office of Weber Shandwick, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

The campaign began last week in print, outdoors and online, on a new dedicated Web site (25komen.org).

The new name for the foundation is intended to capitalize on the fact that, according to research, it is increasingly becoming known for fund-raising events like the Race for the Cure.

Link to Full Article