Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Too much pink? October 27, 2012


Northeastern Minnesota writer Ada Igoe, who blogs at “Of Woods and Words,” writes this week about all the pink out there during this, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

While I don’t agree with everything she says in her “Rage Against the Pink” post, I agree that this whole “pink” thing is being overdone and has become too commercialized. Just like the right amount of salt can flavor a dish, too much salt can ruin it.

In a row of green and yellow Olivers, I spotted this pink one at the Rice County Steam & Gas Engines Show earlier this fall. I have no reason to doubt the genuineness of this tractor owner in calling attention to the fight against breast cancer.

How do we separate those who truly are genuine in their pinkness as opposed to those simply out to perhaps earn a buck or get some media attention for whatever they are selling or promoting?

Ada raises issues like that in her thoughtful piece. I’m not going to steal and repeat all this blogger wrote. Rather, I will point you directly to the source, so click here.

And just for the record:

  • My mother is a breast cancer survivor.
  • My uncle, Dr. Robert M. Bowman, created Femara, a hormone therapy drug used to treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
  • A dear friend is currently being treated for breast cancer.
  • Last evening I waited in line for one hour and 15 minutes to comfort friends and their daughter who lost their youngest daughter/sister to colon cancer after two courageous years of battling the disease. Stacey was only 39.
  • Sometimes it’s genuinely easy to separate those who mean well by emphasizing pink from those who have other than the best intentions. Absolutely, this pink tractor showcases one family’s personal story and does not seek to commercialize or gain anything financially from using the color pink.

    WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS on the use of pink to promote breast cancer awareness? Overkill? Just right? Let’s hear.


14 Responses to “Too much pink?”

  1. Allan Landman Says:

    I understand that congress may require all automobiles in the United States to be painted Pink!!!!!!!! Their reason is they want a Pink CARnation!!!! I know, I’ll go to my room.

  2. My son expressed a similar thought last weekend as we were watching college football. Many of the players had pink socks or armbands, etc. Son said he thought it was overkill. I pointed out that it’s just for a month, but I do wonder if it really accomplishes all that much. I think most people are already pretty aware.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Observant son, because it was football players wearing pink that got me, too. Ada made some excellent points in her post.

  3. Hotly Spiced Says:

    It does seem like everywhere you look these days there’s a lot of pink and you would hope that those spreading pink would be genuine in their agenda xx

  4. Dr. McGann Says:

    I recently blogged about “painting the town pink” and as always, I end up with the same rhetoric … can we ever do enough? I hope one day to see the town paint Blue for Prostate Cancer, and Black for Melanoma/Skin Cancer, etc., Heightened awareness I think is a good thing. Maybe we can use Pink/Breast Cancer Awareness as a template for other diseases also, not just cancer. Thanks for insightful post!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Can we ever do enough? No, not until a cure is found for cancer, any cancer. Today our friends buried their 39-year-old daughter, who died of colon cancer.

  5. treadlemusic Says:

    I think we all can come up with a personal story of a family member or friend who has fought the battle but eventually succumbed. As long as the focus, and the $$$$, is getting to the correct place I don’t have a problem with it…..it is only one month out of 12, really!!!!! Very good post. It is about “awareness” and this all helps that along;-D

  6. i vaguely had this same thought recently. How does asking an entire school to wear pink help the cause? Awareness, I suppose, is the point – to do self-exams – but is that really necessary in a middle school? hmmm…

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Alright then, did a middle school in Worthington require students to wear pink for a day? That would be so wrong, to require that.

      • They didn’t require it, but they strongly encouraged it. My kids forgot…and my son claims that other kids gave him a hard time. But that might just be his perception!

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        Trust your son. If he says other kids gave him a hard time, they did. Middle school students can be so mean. Even “strongly encouraging” students to wear pink seems wrong to me. The school is just asking for bullying incidents if even a single student fails to conform.

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