Big Business of Breast Cancer
As we near October, I am bracing for the pink wave that will soon dominate the landscape. Any medium or longtime reader knows that I have, shall we say, rather strong negative feelings about all of this, and I very much like this essay from Marie Claire. Here is the beginning and then a link to read more. Please do so, and then you can mutter and rage along with me for the next month.
The Big Business of Breast Cancer
Some $6 billion a year is committed to breast cancer research and awareness campaigns. Is it any wonder that the disease has become a gold mine for pink profiteers and old-fashioned hucksters?
By Lea Goldman
Aside from the slow-rolling hot dogs at concession stands and the sideline billboards for Hubba Bubba bubble gum, you'd be hard-pressed to find a hint of pink at any of the National Football League's 31 stadiums, where, during most of the six-month season, the decor tends to match the distinctly masculine nature of the game. Not so in October, when pink becomes the de facto color of the sport.
Players bound onto the field sporting pink cleats, wristbands, and chin straps, and punt pigskins emblazoned with pink decals under the watchful eyes of refs with pink whistles. It's all part of the league's massive sponsorship of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which by October's end will have seen the distribution of 650,000 pink ribbons at stadiums across the country.
Though the NFL has, shall we say, a
complicated history with women, its embrace of breast cancer
awareness is perhaps only fitting. After all, in the nearly 20 years since the pink ribbon became the official symbol of the cause — Estée Lauder cosmetics counters handed out 1.5 million of them in 1992 as part of the first-ever nationwide awareness campaign to leverage the pink ribbon — breast cancer has become the NFL of diseases, glutted with corporate sponsorships, merchandise deals, and ad campaigns. This is true year-round, but especially in October, when breast cancer marketing reaches a frothy pink frenzy. This month, an awareness-minded consumer can buy almost any knickknack or household item in pink — from lint brushes and shoelaces to earbuds and Snuggies.