In the 8 years since I was unwillingly immersed into the world of breast cancer, I have seen a lot of silly crap. Pink ribbon liquid propane trucks. Pink ribbon garbage cans. Pink ribbon bottles of booze. Pink ribbon handguns.
This one is high on my facepalm list. I saw it in August at a certain bookstore that rhymes with Farms and Global. I knew I had to take pictures.
It’s a 2017 calendar.
It’s sporting a Komen sticker.
It’s fancy pigs!
Pigs walking dogs, pigs putting on makeup, pigs doing yoga. I’ll let calendar description take it from here:
Here’s the thing, folks. If flouncy pigs with pedicures and cupcakes float your boat, more power to you. But we live in this world where branding is king. You see a little talking lizard, you think Geico. You see a swoosh, you think Nike.
You see pigs in fashionable shoes, you think breast cancer???
You want some real branding for breast cancer?
Head on over to twitter and search for the hashtag #BreastCancerRealityCheck. Talk to the families of people who’ve died. Talk to my friend Chris who just marked her 14th year of living with mets. Come see the scars on my chest where my breasts used to be. Talk to my doctor about how nerve damage from the removal of lymph nodes from my arm pit have combined with skin changes from radiation therapy to begin to limit the range of motion in my right shoulder.
I don’t appreciate a calendar that sounds like it could have been ripped from the pages of My Little Pony to be associated with something this serious. Something that deserves to be taken seriously.
What other disease gets this sort of fluffy, childish treatment? Imagine how weird it would seem if there were something comparable for colon cancer, heart disease, brain tumors, diabetes, zika, or for the love of all things holy, prostate cancer??
I can hear it now. Someone out there is thinking…
HEY DEBBIE DOWNER! IT’S CUTE! IT’S HARMLESS! LIGHTEN UP!
I’ve heard that a lot since 2008.
No, it’s not harmless.
When given the choice between breast cancer portrayed as frilly and breast cancer portrayed as a disfiguring, deadly, and still largely mysterious disease, which story do you think most people are going to listen to?
Which one is going to cast a flouncy pink shadow over the other?
And of course, which one will sell more calendars?
Speaking of which, check out this disclaimer on the back and bottom of the calendar. Right below the pig walking a photograph of a puppy.
That’s a kicker, huh? The calendar pigfolk have already paid Komen and whether or not you buy their flouncy pig calendar doesn’t matter.
In other words, this company paid $10,000 for the right to market a calendar with Komen’s breast cancer brand.
BREAST CANCER BRAND.
Contemplate that marketing strategy during your next cupcake-y bubble bath.