I'm Over 'Pinktober'

Categories: Pop Culture

pinktober.jpg
Photos by Daniel Kramer
Reliant Stadium, one year ago.
A while back I was at Luke's Locker to buy some running gear. One of the things I needed was Body Glide, a deodorant-like stick that runners use to prevent chafing on places like our heels and under our arms. Luke's had two types of Body Glide -- original formula, and "For Her." I asked a clerk what the difference was.

Physically, the difference was obvious. Body Glide for Her had a pink lid, unlike the normal grey lid. We looked at the back. The ingredients seemed identical. There was no information on the package as to what differentiated the original from the "for her" -- in fact, the Body Glide specifically states that the original is "used by everyone" -- and at Luke's the price was exactly the same. So why the need for a special product just for women?

We've seen this before. Bic was famously trolled on Amazon after releasing a ballpoint pen "for her," because a good old-fashioned unisex ballpoint just wouldn't do. But the thing that bugs me the most about the Body Glide is the pink lid. As if that's automatically supposed to represent something in our consumer lizard brains.

That something is called Pinkwashing. Don't get me wrong, I love the color pink. It's flattering and stands out, and I don't even mind so much that it's part of the gender binary -- girls like pink and boys like blue.But we're in the middle of October -- Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- and I just can't take the pinkwashing any more.

In 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation started handing out pink ribbons at a race for breast cancer survivors, and since then pink-ness has spiraled into a consumerist nightmare. KFC made its fried chicken buckets pink one year. Estee Lauder made a special pink lipstick "for the cure." And last week, as I was making dinner one night, I opened a carton of eggs to find each one branded with a tiny little pink ribbon. I am not kidding you.

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36 comments
Carlos Ignacio M
Carlos Ignacio M

So it is ok for Noelle's to be condescending about my statement but it is not ok to mention that her words do not match her profession that happens to contradict her statement. Neither one of you were asked by me to comment and yet, I am not supposed to comment on your comments. "dude. give it a try" is for you the dude that keeps having an opinion against mine, Dude! But, Dat Ngugen, you have not responded to my question directed at you, what are you involved with? and, please don't show me photographs of you holding up signs and your comments in here. At what level is Dat Nguyen with his fight against corporations and against their money making tools? Let me know, Dat Nguyen, Dude!

Carlos Ignacio M
Carlos Ignacio M

Yeap, Dat Nguyen, I figured that you would not be sure; but it is ok to be attacked by both of you. Now, the ones that attacked my statement without been welcomed are insulted. Again, what have you done and what are you doing to ask me "how can that not bother you"? Dude?

Dat Nguyen
Dat Nguyen

not exactly sure why you would bring up noelle's legit profession, Carlos Ignacio M. just because she's in marketing doesn't mean she can't have an opinion against a certain campaign. people can disagree without attacking each other's character, dude. give it a try.

Carlos Ignacio M
Carlos Ignacio M

And.....Noelle A. Perry works in Indivly Magic? "A content marketing agency that creates highly visual blog and social media posts for our clients". Please, spare me with pseudo "I am better than you because I am a responsible human, and you are not"...The pure crap that I have heard and witnessed for so many decades.

Carlos Ignacio M
Carlos Ignacio M

Dat Nguyen, where is there an indication that I am on the side of corporation greed? Corporations will always act upon any situation to make money and it is a side effect of our conspicuous consumption. My thesis was on "The Corporations and its Captive Audience"; I am very aware of the circumstances regarding this and do not need any proselytizing from anyone. I can assure you that I have been very active against corporate greed for decades, at least twice the years that you have been alive. I am very involved in the fight against corporate greed, mass consumption and mass communication. I am also very interested in what energies you involve against corporate greed, please let me know, we are always looking for resources.

Cathalin Orellana
Cathalin Orellana

What a fantastic article and video, thank you for sheding light. On another note, I really wish we could also focus on Domestic Violence Awareness Month as it is a huge issue. Harris County reported over 35K cases of Domestic Violence alone in 2012. We also have mental illness and as we can see in news reports, it is a huge issue as well. It should be well balanced.

Dat Nguyen
Dat Nguyen

it's not raising awareness that's the problem. it's the fact that corporations are making money off it. you might think there's not a problem with that, but much of the money we spend on pink don't go towards cancer research at all -- how can that not bother you?

Jewelz Cody
Jewelz Cody

Anyone up in arms about this hasn't read the article. Thank you for saying it out loud and published. Using breast cancer as a marketing tactic is just bullshit. I'm sick of it. Oh yeah, I'm a survivor, too.

Chris Glazier
Chris Glazier

I pray that you never lose someone early in their life to a cancer that has no cure. If by misfortune you do i will pray even more that you get your head out of your own ass and support anything that is fighting for the cure or awareness. Its called life not a script.

Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

DEAR GOD, THEY HAVE OPINIONS! THEY'RE BECOMING SELF-AWARE! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE [or, y'know, don't follow a highly opinionized news source and then bitch about it]

Carlos Ignacio M
Carlos Ignacio M

I am very aware of breast cancer all year, I have four very dear friends fighting it right now.

Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

if you go out, shop or interact with the world at all during the month of october, you're aware of breast cancer. i was actually aware of breast cancer BEFORE i was bombarded with pink for a month out of every year. shocking, i know.

BobbyFreshpants
BobbyFreshpants topcommenter

What about Brown November for Prostate cancer!

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Then there's the fact that the Komen foundation has sued the snot out of other groups attempting to raise money for cancer research--I know, raising money for research, what a stupid idea--for using pink ribbons or pink lettering, or "run," or "cure." Insightful stuff, Ms. Shey. I know what I'll be tweeting when I'm off Uncle Sugar's dime.

Ellen Bigelow Jones
Ellen Bigelow Jones

google "think before you pink" to learn of groups exposing the breast cancer "industry"

Lourie Staib
Lourie Staib

How can you say you are tired of pink, only an ignorant man would say that. I just hope a lot of money goes to research.

Stephen Ranson
Stephen Ranson

NFL makes soooo much money from this pseudo advertising campaign.

jane
jane

The blue one?

Juan Campos
Juan Campos

where the fuck is my testicular cancer month? i love titties, but care about my nuts first

Chris Whatley
Chris Whatley

Great story. I was just discussing this with friends yesterday. How many trillions do we have to raise before we find a cure? I definitely agree that "pinkwashing" exists and is used to manipulate consumers into purchasing their products. Chris Glazier, did you read the story? Clearly not...just blindly posting comments made on assumptions. And JWW, I doubt a female was the brainchild of the NFL's idea to front like they give a shit about curing breast cancer. Definitely sounds like a dude finding a way to get naïve women interested in football. It's about making money. It's the American way.

Jimi Austin
Jimi Austin

October is about Fall and Halloween colors, not pink. Save that shit for February.

Jww Weghorst
Jww Weghorst

There are lots of charities. The pink thing was probably dreamed up by some NFL big wig's old lady.

Chris Glazier
Chris Glazier

Really HP first you force your opinions of "what's hot" or "good eats" etc. on us and now you ask if anyone cares about cancer awareness?

Eliseo Ramos
Eliseo Ramos

That's just Komen. I think the article is trying to show that "pink" is just a device to sell more stuff while not actually doing anything towards scientific progress

Linda Black
Linda Black

thank you! i thought i was alone. DO SOMETHING EFFECTIVE.

Stephanie Morales Pitre
Stephanie Morales Pitre

October is also Domestic Violence awareness month, also known as the silent killer. How about people educate themselves on that topic as well. Speak up. Advocate awareness! Silence hides violence!

Carlos Ignacio M
Carlos Ignacio M

Each one of these seats represent a woman that gave birth. All the pink in October is worth it if makes just one woman aware of breast cancer. I could be your mother. Deal with pink, it is not a big deal in comparison to other things that we have to withstand in life.

Lakeya Washington
Lakeya Washington

During the month of October "pink" symbolizes companies decision to support breast cancer awareness or make donations towards the cause. I personally do not feel like its a "washing" . In the medical community we show our support as well by wearing pink in our wardrobe. Besides that society has always used pink to differentiate between sexes. Why are people suddenly tired of it now that everyone is on the bandwagon? The word is being spread and research is being funded that is the goal.

Mason Rankin
Mason Rankin

Pink symbology has become more about inserting sex into commercialism than it is about saving lives.

Eliseo Ramos
Eliseo Ramos

I'm certainly curious about how much money actually gets to the research

KD Davis
KD Davis

Is this a trick question?

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