10/25/2011 11:09 am ET Updated Dec 25, 2011

Why I Took a Pass On Pink

As someone who talks about all the stylish must-haves with great frequency, it's safe to say I am on the speed dial of thousands of people behind these products. Most of them know me fairly well and know that a mid-century couch or a Dior cross body bag are more me; Bed-In-A-Bag and Dooney & Bourke are markedly less me. One thing nobody seems to notice is that year after year I never speak about anything pink in October.

As October comes to a close, my office is still receiving a plethora of pitches on all things pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's not that it doesn't "fit into the Cachet brand" as one person put it, or that I have some aversion to pink or breast cancer. It is simply that I find it a little offensive. Yeah, offensive. For a couple of reasons. Let me explain.

First, while I admire how these "pink" marketing efforts have raised awareness and removed a little bit of the stigma that goes along with discussing cancer, I feel they have, to a certain degree, over simplified a very serious topic. Cancer is not all pink and girly, it is a horrible disease, and sometimes it kills people. Buying pink tennis balls, pink face cream, pink curling irons or Kentucky Fried Chicken in a tub (really?) will help cure breast cancer far less than if the money was just donated directly to an organization like The American Cancer Society. I am not here to advocate for one charity or diss another.

But, I would rather see people's money sent to an organization that focuses on research first and then screening. It seems kind of odd to me that most organizations have it the other way around. Screening has been found to be very effective in early detection, but wouldn't actually finding a cure be better? In these difficult times where charitable organizations are all vying for the same donations, it would seem a more coordinated cancer prevention effort would prove to be more beneficial for everyone. Especially the patients.

Every time I see something in a magazine or a commercial on TV all about "pink," I cannot help but think of the father sitting in a hospital bed battling colon cancer, the 12-year-old with leukemia, the young woman on her third round of chemo for ovarian cancer, the tycoon with pancreatic cancer, the surfer with skin cancer and the perfectly healthy young woman who never saw it coming. What kind of message does that send to them?

Breast cancer is more important than your cancer. That's what it says.

And I don't support that. I support the research, education, awareness and support of ALL types of cancer, not just ones that come in the color pink every October.

This October I won't buy the pink blow dryer, but I will quietly mark my seven year anniversary of overcoming thyroid cancer. Seven years of good luck, I'd like to think.

No ribbon, pink or otherwise. Just a clean bill of health, and that's all we really want anyway.


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