The Pink Ribbon | Teen Ink

The Pink Ribbon

January 11, 2009
By Anonymous

About a year ago my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was caught early and thankfully she received successful treatment. As a child of two emergency room physicians, I was never a stranger to medical terminology or serious illness. Perspective is very different, however, when it is your family member being affected, and not just a statistic in a text book.

I'm sure that most everyone in the U.S. is familiar with the pink ribbon symbol that has come, over the years, to represent breast cancer. It's everywhere. Wrist bands, cereal boxes, reusable shopping bags. The pink ribbon, once a symbol of hope and opportunity, has become its own industry.

You can find the pink ribbon plastered on a product in all or almost all the aisles of a supermarket. There is a great cause behind this ribbon, of course; some portion of proceeds from these products fund the fight for a cure. However, if everyone stands for your cause, does anyone, really?

I feel that the breast cancer ribbon has been manipulated and taken advantage of by companies to amp up sale of their products. Why does putting a pink ribbon on a box make a company look so good? For all we know, .0000001% of proceeds fund a cure. And yet these people feel the audacity to credit themselves for the common good.

Is this not something that should happen without trying to manipulate the media to boost sales? When I see someone wearing a shirt from a run to support breast cancer, or perhaps another kind of event, I think of my mom and thank those who have contributed to her success. But when I see the pink ribbon on products, I think of product placement and CEOs. Not a cure.

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This article has 1 comment.

cubbiefan28 said...
on Jan. 29 2009 at 11:26 pm

I completley agree with your comments on product placement and CEOS. Corporations are ruthless. I watched a documentary called THE CORPORATION in my AP Language class. Some of the statistics were staggering. I recommend watching it.

Thanks for writing this opinion piece. Not enough people realize what corporations are willing to do to make a profit.