It's probably not pink.
Two of the most iconic buildings in the world, the White House and Buckingham Palace, have already been bathed in pink, along with other landmarks taking their place in the pantheon of interests who want to declare they care about breast cancer. You've probably noticed, it's Breast Cancer Awareness month. A time when the world is reminded that breast cancer happens and that if we "think pink" we will be doing a service in the cause, making people aware of a deadly disease that strikes one in eight women. The lush and lovely orange and red landscape of fall is interrupted every October by what appears to be an ejection of Pepto-Bismol pink across our consciousness.
Two years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The extent to which we bathe in October pink hits me even harder now, and not in a good way. Teddy bears, t-shirts, iPad covers, bras, water bottles, bags, and other made-in-China tchotchkes abound -- slap a pink ribbon on it and feel good about yourself because you remembered breast cancer.
I'm someone who has always resisted "Awareness Month" campaign strategies. To start, it's a little demeaning to imply that remembering, say, black history in February, absolves us of thinking about it all the time. Awareness months also feel like they've become marketing and promotional tools for a whole range of interests that run the gamut from the serious to the surreal. Did you know that October is also Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Auto Battery Safety month and National Squirrel Awareness month?