With October now in full swing you may have noticed or been bombarded with pink on every corner. From the top of the Hancock, to the pink ribbon flags downtown, pink NFL uniform details or pink campaigns from a majority of companies the pink advertising of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is all around us. But despite the pink that seemingly flows from the sky in October breast cancer is still a huge problem and this may be due to the myriad of ads that miss the mark and don’t really seem to help the cause at all. Two of the most prevalent problems with breast cancer awareness ads are pink washing and the over sexualization of breasts in the ads.
Despite pink being my favorite color, I’m calling it: there is too much pink! Especially when most of the pink ads or promotions from companies don’t actually raise awareness or support the cause in any way. This is otherwise known as pink washing, where marketers use breast cancer to promote their products and supposedly donate to breast cancer charities. In reality companies hardly reveal where the pink money goes and it would be better to donate directly to breast cancer charities rather than buying supportive products. Not only is pink promotion often just a marketing ploy, it also spreads empty awareness. Sure pink ribbons help to remind people of breast cancer, but that is not the end goal. If we truly want to end breast cancer there needs to be a call to action in these ads that help to actually prevent women getting cancer. Lastly, pink ads spread false information about the cancer. Whether early detection, up playing the likelihood of getting it or not providing accurate statistics these ads are actually detrimental to the cause but greatly benefit the company leading to higher profits. Pink ads should make false claims simply to promote their products. So I ask you to think before you pink this October.
The second, though certainly not the last problem with breast cancer awareness ads is that most of the time they are directed at men and hope to end breast cancer because of their sexual value, ever heard of save second base? The problem here is that it places value on the breasts themselves over the woman. While these ads may go a step further than the pink fluff to actually promote self-exams they don’t do it in the best way. Not only do they sexualize the exam but by claiming you should get an exam because we like boobs doesn’t help the problem. It distracts us from the goal of saving women’s lives and not just their breasts. What are some other problems you see in breast cancer advertising or do you think these really aren’t problems?
Translated caption of video: It is indeed a Breast Cancer can endanger a nice pair of tits, but could be worse: Every 8 hours a woman dies of Breast Cancer in Chile. Men in Chile, we lower that number, encourages a woman to get a breast exam!
Por Amor a las Tetas. (2013, October 1). Retrieved October 9, 2014, from http://vimeo.com/51243128
Stop the Distraction. (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2014, from http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/?page_id=2618
The Daily Targum. (2014, October 8). Retrieved October 9, 2014, from http://www.dailytargum.com/article/2014/10/save-the women not just the boobs