As many of you are well aware, and for those of you who are not: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You've probably seen quite a few pink ribbon inspired looks pop up on makeup & nail blogs around this time in support of bringing awareness to the cause. This is not one of those looks - nor is it an attack on other's pink looks. But my pink look is in support of awareness about breast cancer awareness and here's why...
|Created with vegan & all natural cosmetics from Sugarpill, The Body Needs & 100% Pure|
First and foremost a disclaimer: I am writing this post not because I don't support the idea of breast cancer awareness/support/research, and not because I am a heartless bitch. I cannot even begin to fathom what it must be like to be affected by such an awful condition and I have the utmost respect for those who endure it. Furthermore, I completely understand the desire of others to want to express their support and sympathy - with this I have no problem. However, I think there is a largely ignored aspect to breast cancer awareness that needs more attention brought to it - that is the aim of this post.
My change in perspective came after watching Pink Ribbons, Inc., a documentary about the phenomenon of Breast Cancer Awareness. In the words of one reviewer, "The film raises the question of whether branding the disease has taken precedence over preventing it.":
"The ubiquitous pink ribbons of breast cancer philanthropy and the hand-in-hand marketing of brands and products associated with it permeates our culture, providing assurance that we are engaged in a successful battle against this insidious disease. But the campaign obscures the reality and facts of breast cancer: Despite billions of dollars raised for finding a cure, more and more women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and still face the same treatment options they did 40 years ago. Yet women are also the most influential market group, buying
I highly recommend watching this film. It will truly change your perspective on all things pink. You can watch the trailer above or stream the full movie online here. It has a lot of things to say, all of which are of great value, but I want to focus on what it has to say about makeup companies & makeup.
The hypocrisy of Pink Ribbon beauty lines & products is mind boggling to me. Why? Because some of the biggest donors to the breast cancer cause (i.e. Revlon) also have some of the worst rated products in terms of carcinogen levels. (scroll down for a link to where you can look up the carcinogen levels of beauty products). Does it not seem a little fucked up that the companies who use known carcinogens in their products claim to support finding a cure? Sometimes even going so far as to put pink ribbons on these very products. If they really cared about preventing breast cancer, rather than the bottom line of profit, why not simply stop using known carcinogenic chemicals in their cosmetics?
|Sephora promoting Pink Ribbon products - but what does any of it really have to do with breast cancer?|
If you want to support breast cancer this October, educate yourself on cancer-safe cosmetics and start supporting companies that are truly committed to providing safe products. The next time you reach to buy a Pink Ribbon product, think 'What are the real motives behind this marketing? By buying this, am I supporting breast cancer or this company? Is this company truly committed to the cause or just trying to make a buck off my good intentions? Is this product truly carcinogen free?" We get all up in arms about companies that support animal testing (as we should), but not nearly as upset about companies pumping our favorite products full of cancer causing chemicals or exploiting this truly terrible disease. Mostly because we simply don't know. So learn, NOW! Here are some great resources to start learning which products are tied to carcinogenic products:
- Learn about safe, clean beauty products from the girls who wrote the book No More Dirty Looks. Click the image to visit the website.
- Check the Skin Deep database of over 75,000 beauty products to see their ratings for carcinogens, toxins, and more. See a list of 'safe' cosmetic companies and search by products that have the best and worst ratings
- Personal Care Truth: This website believes education is the foundation in understanding cosmetic safety. We are lifelong learners committed to delivering information based on current scientific evidence while encouraging open discussion and dialogue.
I want to see this disease eradicated as much as anyone else, which is why I'm writing this. I sincerely hope it does not come across as insensitive or offensive as that is not at all my intention. I'm also not attempting to over simplify this incredibly complex disease by suggesting it is only linked to cosmetics - cosmetics is simply my area of expertise and so that is my focus. This post is merely my small attempt to help spread the word and I absolutely invite you all to have your say on this issue in the comments.