Why is That Pink? 5 Things That Should Stay Away From Breast Cancer Awareness

If you’ve noticed the world looks significantly pinker than usual right now, your eyes don’t deceive you. Each year, a growing number of companies are getting in on “celebrating” Breast Cancer Awareness month and turning their products pink.

While it should be nice to see so much of corporate America supporting a disease that affects 1 out of 8 women in this country, it’s difficult to overlook companies’ ulterior motives. For a lot of these companies, making pink items earns them major profits from well-intentioned consumers. While they’ll generally give a small percentage of the profits to a breast cancer organization, that’s a small price to pay for a boost in sales.

That’s just one reason that some breast cancer survivors have started banding together to speak out against the phenomenon known as “pinkwashing,” Some companies and organizations have no business aligning themselves with breast cancer, but they do it anyway to appear altruistic. Here are five of the more problematic examples of things that should have never turned pink:

1. Alcohol

Multiple alcohol brands have made their beverages pink for the October. For example, Mike’s Hard Lemonade is offering pink lemonade and promises money to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, while Sutter Home is contributing a dollar to the National Breast Cancer Foundation each time someone posts a selfie with its bottle of wine on Twitter.

That sounds great, but alcohol is no friend to curing breast cancer. In fact, studies show that women who drink booze every day are 1.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than those who abstain. Moreover, the American Journal of Public Health attributes 15 percent of all breast cancer deaths to alcohol. So why are alcohol companies acting like they’re part of the solution rather than contributing to the greater problem?

2. Handcuffs

Criminals in Greenfield, Mass., are in for a surprise this month – officers from the local police department will be apprehending suspects with the help of pink handcuffs. What a treat for those accused of a crime to get to be part of a novel breast cancer awareness campaign!

As Think Progress points out, though, prison is hardly a supportive environment for women dealing with breast cancer. In recent years, the media has reported on allegations of prison staff ignoring breast cancer symptoms and outright refusing treatment to those battling breast cancer. The justice system has a long way to go before pretending they’re committed to the cause.

3. Porn

Popular porn website Pornhub has temporarily changed its logo to pink in honor of breast cancer. The company will donate 1 cent for every 30 videos that are watched in either the small t*** [breasts] or big t*** [breasts] categories. “While you’re enjoying the boobs, you’ll also be helping to save the boobs!” the website reads.

You don’t have to be a prude to see that this campaign is at least a little problematic. The emphasis of this charitable action is the objectification of breasts rather than the women impacted by the disease. Are the porn-watchers trying to save women or primarily interested in saving breasts?

4. Fracking

Susan G. Komen for the Cure developed a partnership with Baker Hughes, a major fracking company. After the natural gas business donated $100,000 to Komen, they painted 1,000 of their drills pink so that could it could excavate gas while representing breast cancer.

Alas, fracking is an environmentally devastating activity that has many known adverse health side effects. Though there’s not yet conclusive evidence that fracking causes cancer, the fact that studies show fracking liquids contain known carcinogens and local residents are more likely to become sick suggests that fracking is the enemy of breast cancer.

5. NFL Paraphernalia

For the past several years, the NFL has made a big deal out of dressing its players in pink during the month of October to raise awareness for breast cancer. The professional sports league also sells dozens of pink football-themed products to its fans, claiming that the money goes toward breast cancer groups. Unfortunately, just 8 percent of the consumer’s money for these pink consumer goods actually goes to anything cancer related – not an impressive amount for a supposedly “non-profit” organization that already earns $10 billion each year.

On top of that, it’s hard to pretend that the NFL sincerely counts women’s health as a priority. Given its players’ ongoing issues with domestic violence and the league’s lackluster punishments for these serious crimes. If you want to help combat against breast cancer, there are much better ways than buying pink jewelry with the name of a football team.

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart


Jerome S
Jerome S10 months ago


Jim Ven
Jim Ven10 months ago

thanks for sharing.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Kamia T.
Kamia T2 years ago

I'm sooo tired of everyone jumping on a bandwagon that they don't really support. Of all of them, the NFL is the most repugnant. Hi, we want you to keep your boobs, but let the players beat the daylights out of you without any punishment. See any problem with that?

Christine Stewart
Christine S2 years ago

Personally, i hate those "yogurt' covered pretzels, because they likely contain palm oil- which is produced by burning down the rain forest and killing orangutans. No one was saved from breast cancer by destroying endangered trees and animals!

Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell2 years ago

Thank you

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 2 years ago

Thanks....and who says all porn is bad.

Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer2 years ago

I agree completely with the article!

Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Anon E.
Cela V2 years ago