An Alternative to “Pink October”

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Welcome to the new Think Before You Pink® blog!

Here, we want to provide an alternative to the dominant narrative about “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and help provide information that can’t be found in the numerous aisles of pink products you’ll see this October.

Earlier this month, a BCA member wrote to us on Facebook, saying that she was dreading this October- her first after being diagnosed with breast cancer. For many, especially those living with breast cancer, October is a time to prepare oneself for “being bombarded with pink crap”. Races for “the cure” abound and consumer marketing agencies take the opportunity to dress products in pink in order to raise “awareness” for breast cancer. Do we need pink M&Ms to remind us about an epidemic that threatens one out of every eight women throughout their lifetime? These cause marketing opportunities are great for corporations who want to improve their image—but for women affected by breast cancer, they fail to address the source of the epidemic and are therefore a source of intense frustration.

Pink products do not tell us about the disparities that impact different demographics with cancer. Access to services, treatment and information unjustly varies among populations. Pink products do not tell us that 50% or more of cancer causes can be attributed to environmental factors. Pink ribbon products fail to address these issues, and yet often benefit the companies who make a profit by contributing to the breast cancer epidemic. There are things you can do right now, other than shopping, to help end this epidemic.

This blog is intended for you to write about anything from pink-ribbon campaigns that enrage you to ways in which you’ve taken action. We will also include insightful articles about pinkwashing—and what you can do about it. We look forward to your participation!


  1. Laura
    Posted October 6, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I agree that the pink products get overwhelming in October. However, it was one of those insidious little pink ribbons that reminded me to do the self exam that saved my life. Maybe it’s been over commercialized and co-opted by so less than ideal products but, so what? Instead of killing the pink ribbon, perhaps you could take advantage of the awareness generated to gain momentum for the causes you’re talking about (i.e. Green Ribbons for the Environment, a healthy eating campaign, etc.).

  2. Kathy Blancett
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    I drive a school bus. One of the ladies was diagnosed with breast cancer this month. All the drivers put pink bows on the grill of the bus. I did not I said the pink won’t battle your cancer . I will put a cross and a banner that God heals on the grill of my bus. I hate cancer and hate to make it pretty.

  3. cam
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    All this talk of preventing breast cancer. Three things can prevent breast cancer. A plant based diet, lots of exercise, meditation and prayer (for stress relief). Think of that the next time you reach for a box of cookies or a hamburger. It takes more work to make a salad or walk or ride your bike to the market but the end result is a healthier lifestyle. See this movie free on or avaiable at pay sights “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. It will change your life.

  4. Posted October 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Please send this link to everyone u know. Sheeple really need to be aware what they are supporting when they buy “pink”!

  5. Sam Harp
    Posted October 23, 2011 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    While I don’t wish cancer on anyone, men or women, I am so sick of the pink Ribbon campaign, and the very idea that the NFL would promote Pink before paying attention to Men’s prostate cancer is beyond me. Prostate Cancer kills more men than Breast Cancer kills women. I am so sick of Susan G. Komen I don’t know what to do. I told someone yesterday that asked me for $$ Hell fucking NO, thats how pissed off I was.

  6. Meghan
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I think that anyone who is affected by any disease other than breast cancer harbors a small bit of resentment towards the Pink campaign. That aside, my beef with the pink campaign is the way it glorifies breast cancer-nothing about any disease is pretty. Women do not smile through treatments, families are not fired up by diagnosis. I feel that Pink puts extra pressure on women who are diagnosed to put on a brave face and embrace their disease. One of the few positives i see from the pink campaign however is its ability to help women feel beautiful and not isolated after some of the effects treatment has on their body.
    I am tired of people not understanding why i am not supportive of pink washing. as a woman, as a person, i think finding a cure and having resources for breast cancer patients is amazing. however, everyone is fighting a battle, and some of them you just cant wrap up in a pretty pink ribbon.

  7. simone
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    Just food for thought: Kohmen pledges to fund research. So it does… but… here an interesting breakdown of the Kohmen financials:

  8. simone
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    upps… that article is also interesting but this is the financials on e I mean:

  9. Mike Kramm
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    It’s been a pet peeve of mine for awhile now, where companies will bend over backwards to pink wash al thier products but laugh in my face when I suggest doing anything for prostate cancer awareness. Then I get subjected to seeing pink ribbons year round. Sept is prostate cancer awareness month but who knows about it, after all how could you see any blue through all the pink and thats IF anyone decided to try putting a blue ribbon anywhere. Now the WWE has decided to pink wash their company. Lets see number of pro-wrestlers diagnosed with breast cancer…. 0 number diagnosed with prostate cancer 5 that I know about, my point is which one seems more appropriate. Especially in September. We need to start making our voices heard, we cant just keep sitting back and taking this assault on our senses. Call ever company that wants to market pink ribbons all the damn time that we and ours will no longer purchase thier products until they dial back thier BS and hopefully even share the “awareness” with other deserving charities.

  10. Mike Kramm
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Not to mention the fact that I have heard on TV and Radio and read many stories about how Susan G Koeman turned away men who had been diagnosed with breast cancer because they are male.

  11. Chris
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Please tell me just how much teh NFL donates from actual items sold in the store. NOT the auctions. I cannot find this info ANYWHERE and even emailed the store’s customer service. They ‘said’ they’d get me an answer. They have not. Why is that info not PROUDLY displayed somewhere on the pink site?!

  12. Posted November 1, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

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  13. Posted December 10, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

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  14. Posted December 13, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

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  15. Posted September 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink


  16. Todd
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    It may be breast cancer month, but I think everyone is fully aware of it by now. You would have to live under a rock to have not seen it on toys, cereal boxes, shoes, football players & FaceBook. There are many other types of cancer that do not get the recognition Breast Cancer does. My wife didn’t die from breast cancer and it pissed her off see that it got all of the attention. So I try to make people aware of all cancers 2 yrs after she was taken from us. Until the other ribbons are publicized as much… I can tell you where to put the pink ribbon.

  17. Posted June 2, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility
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  18. Posted October 8, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    So glad people feel the same way I do about this….there is a corporate corruption of this month that preys off of our good intentions…we must rise above it and take advantage of this month to distribute information and knowledge to everyone.

    In this video I made I discuss where we’ve gone wrong with the breast cancer awareness month and then talk about how we can collectively make a difference. Please watch and let me know what you think!


  19. kattymitts
    Posted October 7, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    This is my first October post-mastectomy. My first since diagnosis where I finally, happily feel more like myself. I’m in tears at having found this site. I feel normal. That’s all I want: normalcy. xoxo

  20. Kimberly Westburg
    Posted June 24, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I am almost 2 years out from my double mastectomy. I hate the month of October and the constant reminders of hearing about breast cancer. Pink this and pink that. Pink is still my favorite color, but I won’t wear it in October.

  21. Cookie
    Posted May 7, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I am a Breast Cancer survivor and do not mind the pink! I think it’s more about your attitude. Yes, it gets a little much some times but when an fellow employee provides something pink each year not only in October I wear, use or eat it with knowing someone cares enough to go out of their way. It also gives me a chance to say did you get your mamo?

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