Pink Ribbons, Inc

I resubscribed to Netflix Instant recently and this movie popped up on the radar.

I’m always suspicious of cause marketing and Pink Ribbons Inc. delves even further into co-opting of causes to further brands.

For example, Save Lids to Save Lives is a program that donates 10¢ towards breast cancer research for every pink Yoplait yogurt lid you send in. As one of the interviewees points out, if you ate a container of yogurt once a day for a year and sent in the lids you would donate $36.50. “Just write a check instead.”

Also, the story behind the origin of the breast cancer awareness ribbon (it wasn’t originally pink) is eye-opening.

“Welcome to Cancerland” by Barbara Ehrenreich

Originally published in the November 2001 Harper’s, Ehrenreich talks about her breast cancer and the breast cancer cult.

“Culture” is too weak a word to describe all this. What has grown up around breast cancer in just the last fifteen years more nearly resembles a cult — or, given that it numbers more than two million women, their families, and friends-perhaps we should say a full-fledged religion.

She also writes of the cancer-industrial-complex.

I know it’s October and you’ll see a lot of articles about breast cancer, but this one’s different. If you only read one thing about breast cancer this month, make it this.