Does anyone feel that breast cancer has some weird misplaced consumerism attached to it? I see all these advertisements and events for finding a cure but the associated paraphernalia that goes along with it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Here's an excerpt from an essay by Barbara Ehrenreich written a few years ago about her experiences with the "Cult of Pink Kitsch:"
Do we commercialize other forms of cancer like this, or even other diseases like heart disease or AIDS? Why does breast cancer specifically lend itself so well to this type of consumerism? Could increasing survival/decreasing mortality rates allow for more levity concerning this disease?...and bears are only the tip, so to speak, of the cornucopia of pink-ribbon-themed breast-cancer products. You can dress in pink-beribboned sweatshirts, denim shirts, pajamas, lingerie, aprons, loungewear, shoelaces, and socks; accessorize with pink rhinestone brooches, angel pins, scarves, caps, earrings, and bracelets; brighten up your home with breast-cancer candles, stained-glass pink-ribbon candleholders, coffee mugs, pendants, wind chimes, and night-lights; pay your bills with special BreastChecks or a separate line of Checks for the Cure. "Awareness" beats secrecy and stigma of course, but I can't help noticing that the existential space in which a friend has earnestly advised me to "confront [my] mortality" bears a striking resemblance to the mall.