[Image Credit: Fabricandart.com]
Please read this post first: The Problem With Pink.
Last year, I devised what I thought was a very clever and original title for a series of posts regarding Breast Cancer Awareness.
However, last week, I “Googled” the phrase, “The Problem With Pink” and discovered, to my dismay, that several other writers have already used that title.
So, I asked for brainstorming ideas from my sister, who provided this title for the series: “Out of Sync With Pink.” Thanks, Susan!
. . . I am “Out of Sync With Pink” because of this concern:
The philosophy behind the ceaseless flow of commercial products and advertisements, which target the Breast Cancer Population.
We, as Breast Cancer Patients, float upon — and threaten to drown under– an undulating river of Free Pink Plastic Products.
I do not wish to appear ungrateful and cynical — however, I am smart enough to realize that I am a target and the ultimate goal is profit.
My strongest objection is focused upon:
The advertising campaigns which recommend “feel-good” Glamour Products as “the best treatment” for Breast Cancer Patients.
I object to these campaigns because they trivialize the potentially deadly nature of Breast Cancer and the devastating nature of the required therapies.
Breast Cancer Patients endure therapies that include surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. We endure complications, ER visits, hospitalizations, short-term side effects and long-term side effects.
In what universe would Glamour Products be “the best treatment” for a woman walking through this nightmare?
If I may be so bold:
I will “speak up” for my Breast Cancer Sisters . . .
. . . We long for the day when this “ceaseless flow of commercial products and advertisements” will stop.
. . . We envision a time when the money invested would instead be diverted into Breast Cancer Research, in order to save the lives of women: in this generation and the next.
. . .We look forward to a time when research will improve the quality of life and health of women who are struggling with the devastating side effects of therapies.
Yet in the meantime . . . .
. . . If we lose one or both of our breasts, we submit to Reconstructive Surgery or, at the very least, we have the decency to wear our Prosthetic/s.
. . . During the course of Chemotherapy, we agree to wear wigs or hats in public, to hide the shameful sight of our bald heads.
. . . We agree to wear Glamour Products so that we will appear to look good — even if we feel dreadful.
We hide the ravages of Breast Cancer and its therapies so that no one will see.
And, as a consequence, people forget what Breast Cancer does to women.
Example: I am a swimmer and people sometimes ask me: “Are you careful to ‘cover up’ in the Pool Locker Room?”
The answer is “No” but I find that implication in that question full of irony for this reason:
— Before surgery, I would have offended no one if I had walked onto the Pool Deck, wearing a revealing bathing suit, which shamelessly displayed the cleavage of my bounteous breasts.
— But after surgery, I must offend no one: I must “cover up” in the Pool Locker Room, to hide the view of my “shameful” scarred and concave chest.
Because no one wants to see what Breast Cancer does to women. We want to forget.
Please do not misunderstand me: I am NOT suggesting that Breast Cancer Patients “bare all” and become visual “Poster Children” for Breast Cancer Awareness.
If you have had Reconstructive Surgery, I salute you. If you wore a hat during Chemotherapy, as I did, I understand. If you have mastered the art of applying eye brow powder, I say, “Well done!”
However, together we can send a strong message to the “For-Profit” Corporations:
“I refuse to accept ‘Free Plastic Pink Products,’ which focus merely upon my ‘appearance.’
Deliver, instead, substantial help to this generation of Breast Cancer Patients and to the next.
Contribute, instead, to Breast Cancer Research, to significantly increase the longevity of and improve the lives of women: now and in the future.”
Margot Blair Payne,
for Breast Cancer Awareness Month: October 2013