It's October y'all.
Know what that means? Football and cooler nights and sweaters and pumpkin scented everything.
It also means a deluge of pink ribbons everywhere. You'll see more fundraisers for breast cancer awareness this month than you will the rest of the months of the year combined. You'll be able to buy pink trash bags, pink socks, pink ribbon jewelry.... everything from shampoo to sweatshirts will turn pink for October. The NFL players will be wearing pink socks and gloves. Even our high school football team has a "Pink Out" game.
The sad part is, most of that money is simply revenue for the companies capitalizing on an extremely popular marketing campaign. If you look at the numbers, very little of the money spent on pink ribbon stuff actually goes towards funding anything to do with breast cancer.
That sucks. But you know what? For me, buying a pink ribbon bracelet because it's pretty and your mother had breast cancer is ok. Wearing pink ribbon fuzzy socks on the first cold day because you couldn't resist them is ok. I'm pretty sure there aren't too many people around who are not aware of breast cancer. One in eight women will get it, which means a lot more of those eight will be directly affected by it. Choose how you participate in the pink ribbon campaign wisely. Going without a bra for a day to "save the ta tas" is not ok.... it's a Facebook gimmick.
(If you want some cute stuff and help fund mammograms for women while you're at it, shop at The Breast Cancer Site. They will tell you exactly how much of your purchase goes toward breast cancer funding.)
A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a softball coach from out of town, and she mentioned that her mom has breast cancer. I told her that I am a three year breast cancer survivor, and her email reply was:
Yeah. It damn sure is.
Next weekend is our softball league's fifth annual "Hope for a Cure" tournament. K's team will be wearing special pink ribbon jerseys, and I bought Hubby a pin that says "Real men wear pink". Not because I want to jump on the Pinktober bandwagon, but because this has been a very real, very difficult, very personal journey and "Pinktober" MEANS something to me. When I hand out the trophies and medals to the winning teams next Sunday and tell them that I'm a breast cancer survivor, it shows those young girls that breast cancer is more than just a pink ribbon on a cup. I can look at them and smile and tell them thank you for playing for a such a good cause. I can give them a face for "Pinktober".
I don't wear pink to make people aware. I don't wear my pink ribbon necklace so people will know I had breast cancer. I support "the cause", because in turn, I'm supporting the women who have been and are right there with me. Fighting cancer is a big, huge deal, and every day that I wake up breathing and smiling is a big fat "f-you" to cancer. And that's worth wearing pink for!