I'm Over 'Pinktober'
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.
Photos by Daniel Kramer Reliant Stadium, one year ago.
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.