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Blow Drying My Hair Doesn’t Help Cancer Patients

It’s October. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It’s a good thing to remind women to get their┬ámammograms, to do self examinations and giving money to worthy causes is always good. We need to collectively and individually decide what a cause is and where our dollars are best spent.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month I’ve been invited to luncheons, parties, gallery openings, book signings and salons. I was invited to a salon where I could get a mani-pedi or a wash and blow dry to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research. I immediately forwarded the invite to Kelsie because sometimes I think y’all have lost your minds and your humanity.

No, I do not wish to have my hair washed and blown dry when women are bald from breast cancer treatments. No, I don’t want to use October to make boobie jokes. Have you seen breast cancer? Women (and men) have their breasts amputated. Some women have them reconstructed. It is all painful and it’s all an attempt to not die. After amputations they are given poison to kill the cancer. It causes other problems (like heart attacks) but it kills the cancer sometimes.

I hate pink. Pink the color you buy when a baby is on the way. Pink is the color of nurseries and of little girls. Pinks is a color that infantilizes women. Pink is not the color of an adult who is trying to avoid a life sentence. There are moments where pink ribbons (in spite of their pinkness) can be meaningful and poignant. Pink ribbons are not meaningful and poignant when they’re wrapped around a can of soda or a bag of chips.

I don’t know of a solid breast cancer related charity. I haven’t done my homework on that one but I will. Soon.

I know everyone loves cause marketing. I know that brands think cause marketing makes them look better. I understand that folks want to believe their shopping is making a difference (it isn’t). I know for a fact folks use cause marketing because it sells stuff.

I’m not sure how a pink-tini will cure cancer. I just know it bothers me.

7 thoughts on “Blow Drying My Hair Doesn’t Help Cancer Patients”

  1. Even though I have loved ones who have had breast cancer and survived, the whole pink ribbon campaign really pisses me off. Come October 1st ever year, I see pink this or that everywhere. I understand the need to get the message out and create awareness, but as a cervical cancer survivor myself, I am angered. January is cervical cancer (health) awareness month. Have you EVER seen a national campaign about it? Women are STILL dying from HPV that turns into cervical cancer because they are not informed that a simple test during their PAP smear could save their lives.

    But a woman’s reproductive health means NOTHING to the men who are usually the heads of these nation campaigns. To them it’s not something that affects their sexual pleasure like breasts do. All cervical cancer means to them is that a woman can no longer get pregnant. Who cares about that when tits are at stake, right?

  2. Yeah, this irks me too. I did a post last year on not drinking the “Pink Kool-Aid.” This year, I’m thinking I might do another just to get my irritation out of my system. As for a solid breast cancer related charity, I would love to hear what you research turns up. I was recently approached by an organization called which is not exclusively focused on breast cancer, but looks like it has an solid concept going.

  3. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies

    I’m so glad you wrote this; I completely agree. I really feel that a lot of brands get on this pink ribbon bandwagon purely for marketing purposes and it makes me a bit queasy. Can I also add that whenever I see something bearing the words “save the ta-tas” I want to punch someone in the throat? Because I do. Ta-tas. This is an appropriate way to talk about a disease. Side note, have you read Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich? It really articulated a lot of the feelings I had over the whole pink ribbon thing.

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