By Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director
On the 25th anniversary of the pink ribbon, we’re angry. Angry that too many women are diagnosed with and die from breast cancer. Angry that women of color and underserved communities are disproportionately burdened. Angry about the exploitation of the disease for profit. And angry that there’s so little to show for 25 years of pink ribbon awareness and billions spent on pink ribbon products.
Tell global cosmetics giant and pink ribbon pioneer, The Estée Lauder Companies, to stop the betrayal and be honest that:
- Empty awareness and publicity stunts are a distraction and cannot “create a breast cancer-free world.”
- No amount of positive thinking will prevent women from being diagnosed with or dying from breast cancer.
- The chemicals in their products may increase the risk of breast cancer and might even interfere with treatment. Tell them to clean up their products and stop pinkwashing!
The pink ribbon has long since replaced the meaningful actions needed to address and end the breast cancer epidemic. Women at risk of and living with breast cancer deserve better than Estée Lauder’s distraction of illuminating 1000+ world landmarks pink “for awareness.” We deserve more than platitudes to “choose happy,” “laugh often,” and “smile,” which shame and blame us for our disease. And we deserve not to be exposed to chemicals that are suspected to increase the risk of breast cancer—and might even interfere with treatments—by the very company that claims to care about the disease.
If Estée Lauder is really serious about their self-proclaimed mission “to create a breast cancer-free world,” they will put their marketing, mere awareness, and positive platitudes aside. They will stop pinkwashing and take meaningful action that makes a difference to all women, from allcommunities who are at risk of and living with breast cancer.
This isn’t a time for celebration. It’s a time for anger. It’s a time for action.