Ugh, April—and May a little bit too—resembles October in my area. Like, spring is here, time to run and walk in a marathon and let’s do it for breast cancer and wear lots of pink while doing it. I just ran across a notification that the annual walk at one of the beach towns in my area is to commence in an hour or so. There is another walk in another beach town next Sunday.
I was very upset last year after the walk that is to take place today happened and the pictures popped up on a friend’s page. Interestingly, this particular walk does NOT benefit Komen, but rather a local breast cancer organization and the money stays in the state to help local women. While I applaud that, it does not stop the organization and the walk from draping itself in Pink and feather boas and looking like a big party. The pictures that upset me so much last year showed a woman in her athletic walking gear, wearing hot pink bras and panties over the gear, with dollar bills stuffed in the waistband of the panties and in the bra cups, stripper style. I guess it was all in the name of fun, but I was disgusted anyway. To me is was just another example of how breast cancer is sexy fun times to so many, even women that I suspect are usually much more rational and likely even old-school feminists (I slightly knew one of the subjects in the photos, one NOT wearing the awful attire). I wanted to rant about it back then, but I was far too angry. I mentioned it in a general rant last October. I casually mentioned how it looked like a sick bachelorette party, and I still think that way.
I notice this year the event has added a subtitle to its name: “a fun event for a serious cause”. I find this interesting. I’ve noticed a shift in discussions/comments on social media, and in even professional articles in regular news publications. There is a bit of defensiveness, and I’m seeing phrases like: “I don’t hate pink” or “it’s not popular, but I like boas….” or things of that nature. It has begun to cross my mind that all the bloggers and/or advocates criticizing Pink and the party atmosphere actually had an impact. Perhaps the average person is starting to understand that those of us who’ve pointed out that chemo and disfiguring surgeries are no party are tired of seeing our ongoing awful experience glamorized.
I know I cannot hide—I will see many ads for the upcoming race (which IS an official Komen event). I hope I do not see the same nonsense that happened last year as a repeat on my feed. I get it, people want to have a good time, and just because I’m offended does not make me right. Maybe the women behaving this way even “get” the gravity of breast cancer—hell, they may be patients their own selves. I’m being judgmental, I know. It’s just that I know that when the average person sees pictures of breast cancer as sexy fun times, they will look at me and others who share my point of view and wonder why we’re not having a sexy fun time with our cancer too.
I am looking forward to June.