Tuesday, August 9, 2011

(Not) tickled pink

As Mitchell mentioned yesterday, he's left The Three Stooges (Bobby, Steve and yours truly) in charge while he takes some well-deserved time off. Have a good time, chief, and come back refreshed!

A week or so ago I saw the following story over at Uni Watch, the go-to blog for sports fans obsessed with the aesthetic angle. The money line: "The Harvard Business Review has found that using the color pink in breast cancer awareness campaigns is actually counterproductive."


I always have suspected that the pink movement, started by the infamous Susan G. Komen outfit, was more about "Hey, look at me and how much I care!" than anything else. Now, before anyone objects, I'm sure that there are hundreds of thousands of well-meaning women and men out there who wear the pink with an abundance of sincerity. And yet, how much good does it really do? As much good as those red AIDS ribbons, or yellow or any other color ribbon that seems to pop up these days. We have become a nation of ribbons, it seems.

(And by the way, just so you don't think I'm picking only on liberals - I never could understand those red, white and blue ribbons that people wore after 9/11. We have a perfectly good symbol for that already - it's called The Flag.)

Anyway, according to this study we now see that the pink phenomenon doesn't even do much good as a symbol of awareness: "[T]hose who saw a pink ad about breast cancer were significantly less likely to say that they’d contract the disease than those who saw an ad with neutral colors." And "[w]hen the site was geared to women, 33% of women recalled the ads. When it was gender-neutral, 65% remembered."

This is so endemic of our Oprahfied culture - when emotion is the most important thing, when we asuage our guilt feelings with symbolic acts, along with that faintly smug air of superiority that hints that "We're better than you."

So maybe the pink campaign doesn't really raise breast cancer awareness. Maybe it doesn't really encourage women to check for cancer. But really, it's all about looking good, right? Because when it all comes down to it, the important thing is to let people know we care.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...