There's just something about having a symbol for something that makes people either relate to the concept or to keep a memory or event fresh in our minds. It kind of goes with the "a picture is worth a thousand words" idea.
Some common symbols include:
Cancer isn't pretty. It's not soft and cuddly and it most certainly isn't pink! Many products that sport the pink ribbon often contain cancer-causing products! (Gals, do we really know what's in our make-up?) I literally gasped out loud when I saw KFC's pink "Buckets for the Cure." Seriously? A huge bucket of fried chicken being used to support breast cancer research? What about the research that is going on for obesity related diseases? I would more likely use the bucket to barf into than to support breast cancer research by buying it. The money "donated" to breast cancer research is so miniscule compared to the amount of money made from sales of pink ribbon products.
(Side note . . . most women who die of breast cancer, die of its metastases . . . its spread to other organs. Most of the pink ribbon campaign is about early detection (which is very needed) and most of the research continues to be in the realm of early detection and treatment of early cancer. There needs to be a much larger infusion of money into research on how to cure already existing/reoccurring breast cancer. If you really want to support the research cause, do so by making a direct donation to a research facility (not a charity) working on the specific project. Additionally, if you know of someone who cannot afford a mammogram, then offer to pay for it for her! The money spent on such a thing will go a lot further than purchasing pink ribbon items.)
I never wanted to be a member of the cancer club. I didn't ask to join and I most certainly won't wear a membership pin! When people see me, I don't want them to see another pink ribbon. I would much rather people think of me as an individual. It is my hope and prayer that my journey be identified by my walk with Christ rather than by a marketing machine gone awry.
So, please . . . no matter what your desire and no matter how "cute" something is . . . please don't send me anything pink! No pink caps or hats; no pink pens, no pink tee-shirts, no pink sweats, no pink cups, no pink whatever. I'm not someone who wears a lot of pink to begin with (although, I do own two or three pink tops!) and I'm certainly not going to start wearing it now, just because I have breast cancer. I understand the need and desire for symbolism (as shown above) and I can't completely "bash" the pink ribbon. Breast cancer awareness has grown by leaps and bounds over the past twenty years and I'm most definitely benefiting from research that has gone on during that time. The pink ribbon gave a name to a disease that people were previously ashamed to talk about. However, I don't want anything to do with pink ribbons and all the broo-ha-ha accompanying them.