Exploitation Is Not Awareness

In October, companies give themselves a pat on the back for "spreading awareness," but all the while they are really just profiting off of breast cancer.
09/25/2014 10:49 am ET Updated Nov 25, 2014

When I was a child and thought about the month of October, I would think of ghosts, pumpkins, costumes and trick or treating. The two colors that I would associate with the month were always orange and black.

Now, the month of October makes me think of one color, pink. It's still my favorite month! It always has been and always will be, mainly because I have a love for all things dark and creepy.

What I do not have a love for is pink washing. Breast cancer has become more of a business opportunity than a disease. Campbell's Soup, 5 Hour Energy, hell even Trojan probably gets into the pink more ways than one in October. These companies all give themselves a pat on the back for "spreading awareness," but all the while they are really just profiting off of breast cancer.

Last time I checked exploitation is not awareness.

Want to spread awareness? Show the REAL face of breast cancer.

Show the scars.
Show the tears.
Show the pain it inflicts both mentally and physically.
Show the stress it puts on caregivers.
Show the grieving child who lost their mother or father to it.
Show men! Men get it too! Yet you never see them on any pink washing propaganda.

It seems as though it is only breast cancer that truly gets cashed in on. The reason behind that I am not 100 percent sure, but to those looking to cash in on cancer of any kind I leave you with this:

There is nothing cheery or happy about cancer. It sucks. It is not a means to make a profit. Cancer is a horrible disease that kills men, women and children of all races and age. We are human beings and we weren't born with price tags attached. Human life is invaluable.

As a cancer survivor, I find exploiting cancer absolutely despicable and doing so will make me avoid your products at all costs. If I want to make a difference in cancer research or awareness I'll make a donation to a legit cancer organization, not buy an energy shot. I prefer Cuban coffee anyway.