Enough With the Pink, Let’s Think

By Mary Duggan

Just when I thought the Pink Campaign couldn’t get any worse, it has. Here in Chicago, Advocate Health Care has created a 16-foot tall, 1500 pound, hot pink underwire bra sculpture and they are taking it, and their “Stories of the Girls” campaign, on the road for the month of October. Brace yourself, it may be coming soon to a neighborhood near you. If it comes to my neighborhood I will be there to take a selfie with THE BRA and then I will share it with you. I will be in the forefront making a negative hand gesture (no, not that finger) – a thumbs down actually – and posting it to my facebook page. Thumbs down Advocate. I refuse to take the bait. You are not warming my heart; but you are most certainly making my blood boil.

bra chicago

The “Get a Mammogram Every Year” squad will be there to counsel you when you go to see the bra.

Here it is October and like so many women I have my hands full what with getting out the mums and the pumpkins and the hay bale and the corn stalks. But I love it: all the decorating and all the hassle of swapping summer clothes for winter ones; and the leaf-raking and the gutter cleaning and the days shortening; and the temps dropping and the kids in their costumes. I only hate, and I mean hate the Pink part. And I am not alone. But please, before you fire off a note about how much you hate me, give me a minute to explain where I’m coming from. Does anyone still say that – where I’m coming from?

pumpkin boxes

How did this happen to me? I used to be mums and a pumpkin. Now I’m this person – and I’m not alone. How did we all get so busy?

I know all sorts of good and sincere people participate in the culture of Pink. I know they desperately want a cure for cancer, especially breast cancer. And I know that many if not most of them have lost someone to breast cancer, or have survived it themselves, or God forbid are dealing with it right now. I have no bone to pick with those folks. Except to say that I think they deserve better. They deserve the truth. Why? Because cancer is a terrifying, bone-chilling and painful ordeal and anyone who has ever watched it destroy someone they love can attest to that. I have seen enough to last two lifetimes. It inspires all the work I do. So please do not write me to yell at me.

Here’s why I can’t stand the Pink Campaign; and why I am not alone. Lots of us aren’t interested in a campaign run by AstraZeneca – a world class chemical polluter and the producer of a cancer drug called tamoxifen. Lots of us have made the connection between a chemically poisoned planet and the role it plays in the development of cancer in our bodies – breast or elsewhere. For that company to then make money off a chemically caused health crisis by selling us a chemically-derived pharmaceutical – tamoxifen – for our cancer is just too evil for words.

The Duggan Sisters support of all sorts of charities; it feels good and it is the right thing to do. But Health Care in the US is a FOR-PROFIT enterprise. So when we are asked to walk and run and collect money and make donations to a huge FOR-PROFIT industry it doesn’t feel good. And when we separate ourselves from all the noise and fake emotion and pressure and manipulation we can identify what these tactics always make us feel – which is angry. And that, Advocate, is not cool.  Or helpful, when we are very busy working at not geting cancer and sharing what we know to help others do the same.

blog therm green

If you see a smart and progressive physician, she/he can provide you with a brochure like this. Research Thermal Imaging as an option that makes so much sense.

Lots of us are also made crazy by an industry that: can’t get its act together about whether or not we should have mammograms; and at what age; and how often; and whether or not they might create lots of false positives; or frequently cause women to seek treatment who probably don’t need to; or hey, is it even safe to be radiating breasts; or compressing tissue that might in fact contain cancerous cells? So we just don’t place much faith in these FOR-PROFIT folks who stand outside with 1500 pound bras referring to both breasts and women as “Girls” and urging us on to our mammograms.

Why? Because we have done our research, and opted for the safer and more accurate test – Thermal Imaging – aka thermography. Mammograms are already obsolete, very likely dangerous and at the very least wildly incomplete. And so Advocate, we don’t care how much money you have spent on your mammogram machines and staff. We have leap-frogged over your sluggish mammogram recommendations. Sorry to have left you in the dust with your FOR-PROFIT misallocation of funds in primarily mammograms. But, we’re trying to not have cancer. We are concerned with prevention first and early detection as a not very close second. And we have no time to waste.

blog dressed to kill

My own well-loved copy. A trusted resource since my days in Naturopathic College. I have come to know Syd and Soma professionally and as soon as I can figure out the technology we will do a podcast with them. They have much wisdom to share.

And about the bra, dudes, not smart. Medical Anthropologists used double blind studies years ago to establish the link between bras and breast cancer. Yep, they posed a theory that you keep calling nonsense. Meanwhile researchers at Harvard University (and researchers in China and researchers in Spain and on and on) keep concurring with their findings. And the thing about science is this, until someone proves otherwise, their theory stands. So how insulting and stupid is it to build a 1500 pound underwire bra to connect with women about breast cancer? Oh yeah, very stupid and very insulting.

Those of us who can’t stand the whole Pink  Campaign are smart. We eat anti-inflammatory diets, dress in wire and chemical free clothing, use careful supplementation guided by skillful practitioners of functional medicine to support our immune system. We are fastidious about personal care products, household cleaners, toxic furnishings and unsafe water. We do our seasonal cleanses while we tend to our grief and wrap-up toxic relationships because we know their power to suppress immune function. We are doing our absolute best to not fall victim to cancer. And if despite doing our best cancer wins, at least we will know in a timely and safe and accurate fashion because of thermal imaging. Oh and one more thing Advocate “Health Care” we don’t follow Oprah guidelines when we talk about our bodies. We have breasts and vaginas – not girls and va-jay-jays. And we have brains – and we know how to use ’em.

I hope you will follow along this October as we explore why the Pink Campaign is not healthy for our children and why our focus needs to be elsewhere.

BONUS: For our blog readers. Purchase a can of our lifestinks deodorant – any flavor, any strength – and receive a matching 30-day Little Stinker for travel. Check out our lifestore at www.duggansisters.com/store to place your order. Offer expires, Monday, October 13, 2014 at 12 midnight CDT. 

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Mary DugganAbout the author: Mary Duggan is Co-Founder and President of the Duggan Sisters – makers of lifestinks®

The Duggan Sisters cracked the code and created a natural deodorant that actually works: lifestinks. We hope you will spend a few minutes exploring duggansisters.com to experience the sisters’ spirited approach to wellness through their Good Life Solutions natural products and their stories of victory against the odds. The spirit of the lifestinks brand shines through in the work they do, the products they make and the blog they share. Lifestinks is a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit- even when everything goes wrong. Given lemons, they have done their best to make lemonade and sometimes lemon fluff cake! They imagine you have done pretty much the same. Connect with the Duggan Sisters today!

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10 Responses to “Enough With the Pink, Let’s Think”

  1. Ginger Child says:

    i FEEL THE SAME WAY YOU DO! I guess it makes some think they are doing something, but we know it’s nothing. Breast cancer took my mother who lived in the jungle of Peru, was not eating breathing drinking pollution her last 20 years. Go figure. Oh, and not using antipesrperents. My sister died in July with beast and ovarian cancer. PINK JUST DOESN’T WORK!

    • Mary Duggan says:

      So sorry to hear about your double losses. Thanks for taking the time to follow along. Without a doubt the “causes” of cancers are myriad, complex and ever-changing. At least we can focus on some of the real ones we know about and make choices and commit ourselves to healthy disciplines. As long as we don’t get distracted by PINK nonsense.

  2. Mary Enright-Olson says:

    Well said, Mary. Write on and continue the dialogue.

    Too many are so “invested” in the PINK machine without understanding what it really means. e.g. How can Komen co-opt advertising with Kentucky Fried Chicken, design a perfume, and defund Planned Parenthood breast exams?

    This from a recent Breast Cancer Action post:
    “Pink ribbon culture distracts from meaningful progress on breast cancer in six fundamental ways. Take a stand and tell the Breast Cancer Industry to Stop the Distraction. – See more at: http://www.bcaction.org/#sthash.EBkML8so.dpuf

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Always love what you have to say, Mary. And oh yeah the dialogue will continue to pour from the “Cottage” this October – time permitting, two more essays. Will look forward to hearing what you think. Now I have to go click on your link.

  3. Dawn says:

    i like what you are saying here, Mary! That horrific bra was at Union Stn last week. I’ve been very tired of “the girls in pink” for the past number of years! there are many other parts of the body that can use funds proportionately (no pun intended – well maybe!) to actually help those that are in need.

    • Mary Duggan says:

      You poor dear. Hate that you actually had to see “the thing.” Though I do hope I get a chance to take my selfie. But either way, let’s stay focused on our whole bodies and their relationship to our whole planet – therein lies real health. Thanks for following along.

  4. Karen Ethier says:

    I am a trained x-ray tech and for a short while I performed mammograms. (I am no longer in the field and am very happy about that.) I thought back then that I was doing a good thing, helping women. Within the last year and a half I have made many changes for my health’s sake and one of them is to doubt the efficacy of mammograms with all the radiation the breast has to endure. I was very happy to read this post as I did not know there was a ‘movement,’ so-to-speak, against the pink campaign because I was coming to the same conclusions. I have given up underwire bras since I spoke with The Sisters (that is how I refer to you!) at the Chicago show a year ago. I do not trust anything to do with big pharma and am an opponent of Monsanto. I will, for sure, be asking my gynecologist about thermal imaging. Luckily, he has been on the holistic side of medicine way before I knew what that was. Thank you for this post and I look forward to upcoming ones. Keep enlightening us!! -A big fan of The Sisters

    • Karen Ethier says:

      BTW, do you have a ‘mission statement’ that sums up the reasons against the pink campaign? Let’s get this movement rolling!!

      • Mary Duggan says:

        Hi Karen, Thanks for your “insider story”. No, we do not have a mission statement against the pink campaign. I think the Internet is filled to the brim with that; especially in the aftermath of the Komen debacle with Planned Parenthood. Folks are pretty much in the know and fed up with the campaign. At least one can clearly hear the death rattle. Our Mission Statement, we call it our Manifesto has always been to focus on the many ways, both simple and complex, both physical and spiritual, that we can all each and every day create a less welcoming environment for cancer in our bodies and in our lives. That is what our ongoing lifescribe blog is all about – detoxification both physical (like this summer’s candida boot camp) and spiritually (with stories of joy and resilience and essays that challenge our cancer-addicted culture.) Please keep joining us on the journey. Hugs, the “Sisters”

  5. Candi Wolfe says:

    Yes! Great article! I am tired of the pink too, and I absolutely cringe at “Save the Ta-Tas” marketing. (SO aggravating!!!!)

    Instead of buying pink things and minimizing the illness, I like the approach of taking care of ourselves better with a more holistic lifestyle. We can share that message with others, like the Duggan sisters do with their products and information. That’s much more empowering than a giant pink bra that generates money for big business.

    Thank you again for the article. 🙂

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