Passionately Pink

*Disclaimer – Upon rereading my previous post, I realize at one point I sounded as though the fact that Italian men paid me some attention was simply a matter of course, like my beauty is siren-like in its ability to garner unwanted approaches.  What I meant was I’d been warned before I left that my curly blonde hair would make me more noticable than my brunette counterparts, and also that Italian men are notoriously  forward.  I did not mean to say it is only natural men would pay attention to me. That’s not the case at all.  I was suffering some pretty severe jetlag when I wrote the previous post.

Tomorrow, at least in the United States, and if you work for a participating company, you may have the opportunity to donate five dollars towards breast cancer research, an in exchange you can, get this, wear pink.   Yes, that’s right.  Participating workplaces will hopefully be absolutely AWASH in the colors blush and bashful (remember? from the film “Steel Magnolias,” Shelby’s wedding colors? ‘The whole sanctuary will be covered with my two colors, blush and bashful?’)

I’m saving my longer post on breast cancer awareness month and the cult of pink kitsch (copywrite, Barbara Ehrenreich) for another day, for two reasons. First of all,  I am at home cooking dinner EVEN AS I WRITE THIS (are you just fanning yourself to keep from passing out, you’re so impressed ?) and turkey burgers don’t just grill themselves on the George Foreman alone, you know. Secondly, S. has still hasn’t heard whether he will be interning for the law firms he interviewed with two weeks ago, and it’s making both of us edgy and nervous and conflicted and confused, and one of us (I’ll let you guess which one) needs more attention than usual, and the other one of us (the benevolent, understanding, goddess-like (siren-like!) one has promised to talk about all the many possibilities that await us on the other side of law school this evening. So, for now, there’s this, a small, un-spell-checked, un-revised statement on October in general and tomorrow specifically:

There are one hundred million concerns I have with our (and by our, I mean women) willingness to wave the color pink around as a symbol of breast cancer awareness, not to mention the campaigns waged on our behalf – specifically, to shop for a cure.  In her thought-provoking and somewhat disturbing essay, Ehrenreich writes about our willingness to raise awareness and wear pink and join support groups in lieu of growing angry and vocal about the environmental factors causing breast cancer,  and she disdains the idea of waging battles against cancer and flaunting survivorship, as though it’s an elite sisterhood only a particular few get to join. I’m frustrated with the lack of attention ovarian cancer receives, and  I’m upset about the alarming racial disparities that exist in breast cancer treatment and breast cancer cure.

But that said.

But that said.

The notion of sisterhood is a beautiful one, and the idea of curing this insidious disease is even more precious.  Breast cancer, its causes and its potential cures, have united millions of women across the globe, and so much more work needs to be done.  Because sisterhood the rest of the year is difficult to come by, and because, like I’m sure EVERYONE else reading this blog, people I love very much have been effected by and treated for breast cancer, and because many of these people are heroes of mine, tomorrow I will pay five dollars and wear pink. With unbridled encouragement from the department to “be creative,” I will be donning stiletto pink heels and long, flowing pink scarf and enjoy the momentary freedom to dress like a movie star.

Wear pink tomorrow. Even if nobody is collecting money from you. Wear pink, and demonstrate your awareness and your commitment to a cure. Trust me, we are going to get into all this color and this month implies soon, but in the meantime, wear pink. It’s the conclusion we’re going to come to anyway. Wear pink, wear pink, wear pink.

A longer version of this Saturday morning.

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6 Responses to Passionately Pink

  1. Emily says:

    I’m definitely going to wear pink tomorrow (but it won’t anything bought from Abercrombie and Fitch — see my post. It must be sisterhood day, or something, out here in the blogosphere).

  2. bloglily says:

    Courtney, This really has me thinking. Just today I was trying to pull together what I really do feel about the very strong narrative that’s imposed on you when you’re treated for breast cancer. I’m not terribly coherent about it, and fear if I try I’m just likely to say something that comes out of my feeling generally irritated to be in the position where people keep staring at my chest and then I realize it’s not for the old reasons, but because they’re trying to figure out which one is the cancerous one. Still, your post inspires me to give it a try. (And I loved what you said about the Italian guys!)

    By the way, I hope all goes well with those law jobs. It’s hard waiting, and you’re lovely to whip up a nice meal, goddess-fashion.

  3. Pingback: Pink « BlogLily

  4. Amy says:

    Ha! I didn’t read this until Friday afternoon and had already been wearing my pink sweater all day. Just wore it because. . .

  5. Emily – i loved your post about A&F – feminists unite. I really don’t think there’s anything more annoying than the statement, “I’m not a feminist, but…” –

    Bloglily – you really have me thinking about how narrative comes into play with breast cancer awareness campaigns. And you are too kind when you call turkey burgers a ‘lovely’ meal, although they are one of our favorites…

    Amy – you mean you don’t have this blog fed via RSS into your cell phone? Ha! Just kidding. You look good in pink!

  6. Dorothy W. says:

    Looking forward to your further thoughts on the subject; I remember reading that Ehrenreich essay and I thought it was fascinating. I generally find her a fabulous writer.

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