Saturday, November 13, 2010

In Response to NY Times article "Think About Pink"

So the creator of project boobies emailed me a link to a NY Times article recently.  About this survivor who was complaining about the pink ribbon on everything.  To that I can relate.  Everything seemed to have a pink ribbon on it.  I get that, in October the ribbon was everywhere.  That is the only part of the article I can agree upon.
Paraphrasing, she said that the pink ribbon was on everything and it promoted "awareness."

Then she said this,
"The experience of actual women with cancer, women like Rollin, Black, Ford and Rockefeller — women like me — got lost."

Uh what?

So I put on a Save the Tatas shirt or a Project boobies that takes away from your experience with cancer?

She says "Sassy retail campaigns have sprung up everywhere, purporting to “support the cause.”
Ok so as a writer shouldn't you check facts?

In the photo for the blog I am PROUDLY wearing a projectboobies shirt for a tv interview, one that she was complaining about in the article to be sassy and purporting to "support the cause."

Sorry Ms. Orenstein, it does support the cause.

Have you heard of Kokolulu?  A free retreat for cancer survivors in Hawaii.  A portion of project boobies proceeds goes to fund the retreat.  THE FREE RETREAT.

As for Save The TaTas, a company I am familiar with, a company who, whenever I ask for t shirts for a fundraiser or a group the owner Julie Fikse donates to me without question, has according to their website donated $535,000 towards ending breast cancer.

Sorry that diminishes your battle.

 Sorry that Kris Carr, survivor and author of Crazy Sexy Cancer bothers you with her positive message.

Does it diminish the battle of the 52 year old survivor who asked my friend for a save the tatas shirt, knowing that she got it from me?  Does it diminish the fact that the doctors didn't give her much time to live. 

I say No.

Most of the breast cancer survivors I know are in their 20's and 30's so I would instead of wearing as you would want me to a “I ❤ My 72-Year-Old One-Boobied Granny t shirt instead of the tatas or projectboobies shirt I would wear my  I ❤ My 27 yr old friend who is a college student and a young adult breast cancer survivor

Because I do.

And a pink ribbon on toilet paper doesn't diminish the battle or the stories of my friends Lani, Angella or Ann, who are survivors, bloggers, and advocates (and Ann at this time is facing a recurrance)

Seeing a pink ribbon everywhere doesn't diminish my battle. It only fuels my fire to advocate for ALL CANCERS  even more.   I maintained a positive outlook while battling cancer and depression at the same time.  I guess I just prefer to live my life positively, even while staring in the face of my own mortality.

No survivor I have ever heard say cancer is fun.

We all know it sucks.

Wrap that up in a pink ribbon. 

Mel is the producer of The Vic McCarty Show.  Listen live Monday~Friday 10am-noon eastern on

Check out my podcast The Cancer Warrior on Available on demand and also available on Itunes.


  1. I lost a "breast" to breast cancer. I didn't lose a "tata" or a "boobie". Cutesy sayings minimize the devastating effect of cancer. I feel offended every single time I see one of those t-shirts. I also think it's disgusting that companies claim or appear to be supporting breast cancer but all they are doing is cashing in on the pink ribbon.

    This woman addresses the pink ribbon issue much better than I ever could.

  2. I think this is a great post and point. I love that we are able to make this topic more approachable. And I find that to be the key.

    My grandmother lost a breast to cancer and she is very happy to simply BE ALIVE, living such a fulfilling life that she doesn't have time to whine about cutesy words...

    I do think it is crap that companies cash in on cancer awareness, BUT as someone who might one day face breast cancer, I will happily take that tiny percentage they are donating to cancer research.

    I have a couple posts on the topic if you are interested.

  3. Kylee, when you lose one of or both of your breasts due to cancer, we'll talk about whining. I hope it never happens to you.

  4. Mel,

    I think your post here shows exactly the danger. All of these messages of awareness have done nothing to cure breast cancer. The sad fact remains that any woman who has had breast cancer is at risk for developing Stage 4 cancer. There is no evidence that BSEs save lives. But people get all fired up and donate to these causes that do nothing to eradicate breast cancer. Donating to awareness causes does nothing to get us closer to what should be the real goal, eradication.

    The voices of survivors is very absent from most of these debates, especially the voices that disagree with you and don't like "boobie" organizations.


  5. The company Feel Your boobies was started by a breast cancer survivor Katie. I found my lump during a bse. I am here to talk about it. Prevention is also a big part of saving lives. I am all for eradication of cancer. If you listen to my podcast or read my blog that is what I am all about as well. I want to put myself out of a job as a cancer advocate. I don't know of any cancer survivor or advocate who isn't for the eradication of cancer. We can agree to disagree on this topic. That is what is great about living in the United States of America. Thank you for sharing your opinion on my blog