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'No Bra Day' & Other Dishonest Ways We AREN'T Raising Breast Cancer Awareness

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Posted by on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:26 AM
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3 moms liked this

'No Bra Day' & Other Dishonest Ways We AREN'T Raising Breast Cancer Awareness

by Maressa Brown

pinkwashing products breast cancer awarenessIt's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, aka "Pinktober," aka the time of year when tons of companies and individuals attempt to raise awareness for the disease in ineffective or downright disingenuous ways. I know, it's a cynical perspective, but it's one echoed by the blogger behind Cancer in My Thirties. With her post entitled, "National No Bra Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- OR -- Please Put That Pink Can of Soup Down & Put Your Bra Back On," she recently struck a chord with many readers who are similarly fed up with Breast Cancer Awareness Month's unique ability to talk a big pink game while doing absolutely nothing at all for the cause.

The trend has been called pinkwashing. Like when October 13 is declared "No Bra Day."

As if -- as the Cancer in My Thirties writer puts it -- "a day where girls and women are encouraged to walk around with their nipples poking through their shirts [is] 'supportive' for women who are living with or who have died from breast cancer, or who have managed to 'complete' the arduous treatments and disfiguring surgeries required to put them into remission." Ugh. So true.

And how about those "stores ... filled with pink as companies try to make a buck off breast cancer"? This is galling beyond belief when you realize a lot of these products don't give any portion of their profit to charity ... and if they do, it may be minimal and/or directed to an organization/program where the money isn't necessarily well-spent.

To someone like this blogger, who has actually been through a battle with the disease, this annual pinkwashing extravaganza is nothing short of totally galling and insulting. But we should ALL see it that way. We should all be aware of what actually raises breast cancer awareness (and it's probably not taking off your bra and posting about it on Facebook or sharing what color bra you're wearing on Twitter!).

And we also need to be more aware of where our donations are going. For instance, according to James Bennett, professor of economics at George Mason University and recognized authority on charitable organizations, in 1988 the American Cancer Society spent just 26 percent of its budget on medical research and programs. The rest covered “operating expenses,” including about 60 percent for generous salaries, pensions, executive benefits, and overhead. Meanwhile, a peer organization of the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, can only manage to put forward 13 cents to its cause for every dollar it raises.

That's why I've been making sure to look at every pink product I'm considering buying to see what the funds go toward. Not all cancer charities are alike. And as disheartening as it may be, not all Breast Cancer Awareness campaigns have a conscience, either.

What do you think about all the pinkwashing that goes on this time of year and ridiculous campaigns like "No Bra Day"?

by on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:26 AM
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Replies (1-10):
JamesMom714
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:32 AM
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I've never liked it much. Or understood the walks and runs which spend a lot of money to coordinate but bring in little (and even fewer goes to actual research).

I do like how St Jude's does things and a significant portion of their money earned goes to research.
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phantomphan
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:34 AM
It disgusts me.

Teeshann
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:38 AM
4 moms liked this

i thought the no bra day was kind of dumb. how the heck does that help those who have gone through it? i'd rather donate to a fund.

SleuthMaria
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:38 AM
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Honestly, I couldn't care less if they give money to breast cancer research, I just love the pink stuff available this time of year. If a company makes a product that's comparable to that of another, but theirs comes in pink, I'll buy the pink one simply because it's pink.
Don't get me wrong, I do want to see a cure for breast cancer.
MIA0223
by Emerald Member on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:39 AM
23 moms liked this
I have been saying this for a while and always get bashed!
We need to be careful where we donate, and IMO the whole "pinkwashing" thing is just a money maker.
And in.some ways sexualizing a very serious disease, not raising awareness.
The whole "I <3 boobies" thing is not the way to raise awareness.
I know I will be bashed again, but maybe this will raise actual awareness about this and where your money is going!
The public has good intentions. They see breast cancer and think.they are helping. But why not go for breast cancer research, not as much awareness?
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Bluescorpia
by Shanoon on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:40 AM
I never thought of it like that. Now that you posted this, this makes me feel more aware how the survivors feel about this...
SleuthMaria
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:42 AM
3 moms liked this
Oh, I've never heard of no bra day. For me, that's any day I don't leave the house, well yard really. I hate bras & only wear them if I go somewhere I have to drive to get to. How does not wearing a bra do anything for breast cancer?
leakymommy2
by Gold Member on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:45 AM
2 moms liked this

Quoting JamesMom714:

I've never liked it much. Or understood the walks and runs which spend a lot of money to coordinate but bring in little (and even fewer goes to actual research).

I do like how St Jude's does things and a significant portion of their money earned goes to research.

I'm with you. St Jude's is great. Susan G is nothing but a fraud. I think I will watch the documentary on netflix since it's 'pinktober'
Liastele
by Lauren on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:47 AM
6 moms liked this

I don't understand "awareness" programs. Everyone knows what breast cancer is. I'm really more concerned about a cure. I have no problem with funding going to salaries... but it should be the salary of the post-doctoral researchers working on the cure.

leakymommy2
by Gold Member on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:49 AM
7 moms liked this

Quoting MIA0223:

I have been saying this for a while and always get bashed!
We need to be careful where we donate, and IMO the whole "pinkwashing" thing is just a money maker.
And in.some ways sexualizing a very serious disease, not raising awareness.
The whole "I <3 boobies" thing is not the way to raise awareness.
I know I will be bashed again, but maybe this will raise actual awareness about this and where your money is going!
The public has good intentions. They see breast cancer and think.they are helping. But why not go for breast cancer research, not as much awareness?

Every time I see 'I love boobies' or 'save second base' I get annoyed. I agree with everything you said. How about instead of used funds to make rubber bracelets and tacky shirts they use the money to pay for women's mammograms or have workshops for women to learn self exams? Oh how about, and I know this seems far fetched, we may for some of the women's treatment that are struggling!
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