Think before you Pink

It’s October, so you know what that means.  Everywhere you go, you will be faced with the opportunity to buy something pink.

Pink T-Shirts, Pink Shoelaces, Pink Hats…

Pink Coffee Mugs, Pink Ribbons, Pink Feather Boas…

Pink Medicine Bottle Caps, Pink Bagels, Pink NFL Players…

And it is because of all the success of this pink marketing, that I want to remind everyone to please think before they pink.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  As a woman who has breasts and a family history of cancer, I am all for the increased awareness of everyone in society to the realities of cancer.  I’m glad it’s finally a subject that is in the forefront of the minds of all people, no longer the word that is whispered at the dinner table.  Cancer fighters and survivors don’t have to hide in the back ground or be afraid to talk about their battles, their struggles, their downfalls, and their triumphs.

And, full disclosure, I’ve bought and still do buy pink items.  I’ve signed up for and completed Susan G. Komen races.

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I’ve been known to rock my killer pink Packers sweatshirt on game days.  Plus, those damn pink ribbon bagels are freakin’ delicious.  Can someone please tell me why Panera does not sell those year round?

What I’m talking about here are all those not so honest and reputable companies that pop up this time of year, slap pink on their products, and then use people’s emotions and sense of charity to line their own pockets.

Case in point.

I’m a Big Brother watcher.  I know, I know.  It’s a terrible show.  I’m aware many of the people who go on this show not only have a lot of attention-seeking, ‘I want to be famous’ issues, but also do so for self promotion.  But being a social worker, I enjoy that whole social experiment aspect of this train wreck.

The current season just ended and the “contestants” from this season have recently been released back into society.  Intent to suck as much from their 15 minutes of fame as possible, a number of them are charging full steam ahead to grab as many green backs as they can before the clock hits zero.  Some are selling T-Shirts, others getting paid to make ‘celebrity’ appearances, but this one just turns my stomach.

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Using a deadly and debilitating disease like breast cancer for your own personal financial benefit is disgusting.  Before you get all in an uproar with me about how he is doing something good, let’s run the numbers.  This person has 394,000 followers.  If every one of these followers buys a bracelet, that means he brings in $1,970,000.  Look back at the post.  He specifically mentions proceeds, which I read as, he will subtract any costs from the gross intake.  Let’s assume he could make these 394,000 bracelets for $50,000.  After he subtracts that from the gross intake, that leaves $1,920,000.  Twenty percent of this is $384,000.  That means after expenses and ‘donating’ to charity, this person takes home $1,536,000.  Makes you wonder who the purchasers are really donating to.

Now I will give his credit for putting the numbers out there for those of us who want to do the math to figure it out for ourselves, but the problem is, people are not crunching numbers this time of year, they are just buying based on emotions.

And that is what many ill-intentioned people are counting on.  When most of us see something pink, we assume that, by purchasing that item, we are going to be funding breast cancer research and fighting the good fight.  And, although legally these companies and individuals are not doing anything wrong, they are donating to cancer, I feel many are being morally evil, knowing many of us will blindly buy their pink products, sending less than we know to actual research and more than we wanted to their personal bank accounts.

And here’s where I will dedicate this post to my friend Carrie and her incredible family who have been fighting Cancer and winning for decades now.  She opened my eyes to this topic years ago and has had me reading the fine print ever since.

I’m not saying don’t make a purchase.

Buy the pink if you want to.

Sign up for that race.

Get that mammogram.

Make that donation.

Just think and research before you spend that money.

Make sure your pink purchase truly matters.

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