This morning, my sweet husband defaced my refrigerator magnet with this sticky note.
I laughed and laughed. People, I married well. The man has a sense of humor, and reminds me daily not to take things so seriously.
I’m not saying that I’m all Zen and nothing ruffles my feathers. But now, it’s just the big stuff.
Big stuff, like Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Oh, for the love of boobies! Stop it with the pink! Quit trying to get women to go braless in “support” of breast cancer awareness. Take your pink sports equipment and “I love her rack” hunting gear and shove it. Quit buying toxic nail polish and pink plastic coffee mugs that promise a part of the proceeds fund cancer research. Stop trying to fool yourself that you’re doing “your part” to stop breast cancer by buying more crap.
Let me explain.
My grandma died of breast cancer. My mama was diagnosed at 49 and survived chemo and what we can now acknowledge was a nightmare of a mastectomy. I had my first lumpectomy at 23 and am a champ at producing questionable lumps, bumps, and cysts. As you might imagine, I, uh, have a bit of an opinion on the subject of pink ribbon industry. I have a couple horses in this race.
I’ve done fundraising for the Susan G. Komen Foundation in the past. I’ve walked the walks, and wrote my 1 and only ever sponsored post about a ridiculous promotion tying KFC and Komen together. (I saw it as a way to tell my story and maybe throw some cash at what I still thought was a reputable organization.) However, Komen’s politics and spending can now politely be called “questionable.” I will not fundraise for them in the future.
Even if you ignore Komen, we are still bombarded with pink ribbons year-round. If you didn’t feel crummy already, the pink ribbon overdose will surely make you feel nauseous.
Call me a cynic, but if you spend $10 on a coffee cup because part of the proceeds benefit breast cancer research, you are insane if you think more than 2 cents are going to any kind of research-related entity. When I see beribboned items for sale, I think, “sucka.”
I sound angry – and I guess I am.
I’m beyond pleased that we can talk about mammograms and breast cancer in public instead of just whispering about them to our closest girlfriends. Lifting the taboo from the term “breast” has done so much for women’s health.
However, we are lulling ourselves into a sleepy complacency. Buying the pink coffee cup doesn’t mean you’ve done your part. Trusting huge charities to take on what is now the industry of breast cancer is ridiculous – especially when the charities are part of the industry.
Most breast cancer isn’t genetic. So, what’s causing the rest of it? We have to look at our food supply, at the chemicals in our personal-care items (which our government doesn’t govern), at the substances in our environments.
If you want to do something, I beg of you: don’t buy the damned pink coffee cup.
Write your congressperson about the lack of oversight in cosmetics and personal-care items.
Make a donation to an organization that meets your goals and fits your morals. Charity Navigator has taken some of the guesswork out of it.
Talk about breast health with your friends. Share information, not stupid boob-related pictures on Facebook that just add noise, not value.
Pay attention to the questionable substances in your environment – whether it’s the plastic in your home or the stuff in your community’s air.
Just don’t buy any more pink crap – literally and figuratively.
And thank you for letting me get that off my lumpy, scarred chest.
Wanna hear more about my boobtacular boobie adventures? Evidently, I write about my rack a lot. But the more we talk about it, the less alone we are.
- Here’s a nice overview. Please forgive the aforementioned, regrettable Komen tie-in.
- What’s it like to be 31 and think you have cancer? It’s like this.
- What’s it like to be getting married and have to have boob surgery? It’s like this, and this.
- What’s it like when your boobs require seemingly constant medical supervision? It’s like this.
- What’s it like when you have yet another freakin’ cyst right as you’re starting a new job? It’s like this and this.