Breast Cancer : The Pink Ribbon Campaign Essay

Breast Cancer : The Pink Ribbon Campaign Essay

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In a time where cancer is quite common it is no wonder that there has become a normalization towards female cancer patients. The normalization of cancer in females can be broken down by what we call the pink ribbon campaign complex. It is how cancer has become a cultural and social norm that once a woman is diagnosed with cancer, she becomes a warrior against her body in the fight to become a survivor and cancer free. This normalization has reached to a point where it can be seen in marketing products. We all have seen either in a store or in a form of media the types of commercialization and marketization that cancer has become, especially in women. Companies have joined the production of the pink ribbon campaign by plastering pink colours and ribbons on all their products. This type of commercialization however is only seen in female cancer patients, particularly breast cancer. The pink campaign has become such a culturally accepted normality that one has to stop and think of all the pointless products that have been plastered with the “pink ribbon” seal of approval.
Within these forms of commercialization we see that there is a sense of being feminine and having a sense of femininity or appeal towards society while having cancer as a woman. When you critically start to look at all the celebrations of cancer fighting in women, you start to realize that we as a westernized culture have created a link between heterosexism and ableism in relation to the bodies of women with cancer. Take for example the “Look Better, Feel Better” program in hospitals treating women with cancer where they instruct women to invest in their physical appearance to regain self-esteem. This program forces women to restore themselves to a previous state o...


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... walks, campaigns and product purchasing to help the fight with cancer, to engage in the cheerfulness. We are expected to envision cancer as a cheerful woman, someone unaffected by a disease, a warrior, but what we are doing is simply masking cancer socially as we are individually against the women. We have become so unconscious to the products or strategies of large cooperation’s, some which are even part of the problem in cancerous environments. As a society, cancer is a celebration, a personal challenge that pegs the woman against herself and if she successful beats her body she is a cheerful survivor painted in pink. What we don’t see is the harm this masking does to women, we have to think about behind the cheerfulness, behind the pink and understand that cancer is a disease that doesn’t just go away when you get in touch with your feminine side or wear pink.


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