(Closed) Pinkification: how breast cancer awareness got commodified for profit

posted 8 years ago in Wellness
  • poll: Feelings about "Pinkification"?

    I see nothing wrong with Susan G. Komen's marketing strategies. They're raising awareness.

    Pink Ribbons should not be placed on items with known carcinogens

    I have conflicted feelings about Susan G. Komen's marketing strategies.

    I've never considered supporting products touting pink ribbons.

  • Post # 3
    70 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I’m with you. It’s co-option of the worst kind. This organization cares nothing for women anymore, even if they did when they started–to put their name on things that may lead to cancer is just bogus and terrible, but even pinkwashing products that don’t cause cancer is icky to me. I mean, I don’t know where that money is really going, and it seems like a marketing strategy. Meanwhile, my understanding is that cancer support groups need funds.

    Post # 4
    1309 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    I go out of my way to choose products NOT labeled with pink ribbons. Depending on the time of year it takes effort. I’ve noticed many companies affiliate with the National Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which has much better numbers than Susan G Komen in terms of money going to administrative costs. Plus they don’t funnel money to Planned Parenthood (if you have a problem with that; I happen to) and they just do research for the cure as opposed to endless awareness-raising campaigns.

    Post # 5
    9916 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    View original reply
    @Magdalena:  Why do you have a problem with Planned Parenthood?  I know you are Catholic, and so I assume your issue is with their providing abortions and birth control.  However, I just want to make sure you know that they provide a lot of other services as well!  

    Post # 7
    7286 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2011

    F*ck Cancer


    F*ck Pinkification

    Post # 8
    963 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I don’t really like to support the breast cancer awareness campaigns. I doubt there is ANY disease that the general public is more aware of than breast cancer. I know supporting awareness and buying pink ribbons makes a lot of people feel good, I’d really prefer to see money going towards cancer research and patient treatment.

    Post # 9
    1309 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    View original reply
    @peachacid:  I don’t like PP for many reasons (from rather personal experience, they are not a good organization). I do appreciate that they do cervical cancer screenings. 

    The money from SGK goes that goes to Planned Parenthood supposedly goes to support mammograms, well, first of all PP doesn’t do mammograms, they refer out for that. If you call and ask for an appointment they’ll tell you that! Secondly mammograms are not all that helpful in terms of saving lives  – studies have shown they are just not the silver bullet once thought. So I think the money SGK sends to PP is a big waste.

    In general I think PP and SGK are both kinda sketchy “non profit” organizations that turn a pretty big profit for their respective “industries.” For PP I think it was $80 million in profits or something like that. They could give away a lot of free pap smears for that $80 million. The former head of SGK Nancy Brinker made $400,000 a year, the head of PP made about $420,000 a year. When Brinker resigned everybody was grossed out about how she was getting rich off a cancer charity. Well the PP executives get rich off a women’s health charity. Add to that my personal experiences with them, I’m not impressed.

    Post # 10
    1856 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    I a) find the commodification of breast cancer disturbing and b) dislike SGK politics so intensely that I have never and will never purchase pink ribbon products. I support organizations that directly conduct cancer research.

    Post # 11
    472 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I do not support the Susan G Komen foundation, for MANY reasons. Good to see that there are other people out there that are thinking before jumping on the pink bandwagon.

    Post # 13
    63 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: December 2012

    I don’t want to comment specifically on what the salaries of the CEOs at SGK and Planned Parenthood are but coming from the nonprofit industry, I find it absurd that people do not understand that administrative and overhead costs are necessary. A $400,000 salary is nothing compared to their budgets every year. Find a for-profit company with a comparable budget and I can guarantee that CEO will be making much more than the nonprofit CEO is. If the nonprofit industry cannot pay competitive salaries, smart and competent managers will go elsewhere. Do you really want the CEO of a multi-million dollar nonprofit organization to be someone with lesser qualifications and minimal management experience? And don’t even get me started on other administrative costs… again, do you really want all volunteers or severely underpaid, underqualified staff people managing your donation? You can’t tell me that passion for mission is all that matters, it only goes so far when you have your own family to feed. Also, why should nonprofit employees have to work on outdated computers with outdated software, and in substandard office buildings… so much more could get done with your money and organizations could be so much more efficient in the end if you weren’t so against it going to the “evil” admin costs. Sorry, end rant!

    And for the record, my mother just recently became a breast cancer survivor and I am still very against the “pink-washing” that has gone on with SKG and other breast cancer organizations, it doesn’t mean anything anymore! The whole KFC pink buckets thing a few years ago is what did it for me, it’s ridiculous what they slap a pink ribbon on these days.

    Post # 14
    2808 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I refeuse to support SGK…I’ve found other charities to donate to.

    On a related note, can we quite the whole “raising awareness” thing? Who the eff isn’t aware of breast cancer? There are lots of other cancers that need funding.

    Post # 16
    424 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @MrsEdamame:  I HIGHLY recommend reading “Cancerland” if you haven’t already.


    I cannot stand the “pinkification” of breast cancer.  It infantalizes women and research has actually shown that women take the message less seriously because it’s “pinkified.”  Prostate cancer isn’t marketed in blue.  And do NOT get me started on stuff like “Save the boobies.” Arghh.

    Not to mention that breast cancer already gets the most funding out of all cancer research.  I get that it’s a good cause, but there are other less-funded cancers out there that deserve just as much attention.

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