Here at Sticky Fingers Design studio we're pulling out our festive fall colors of burnt oranges, deep reds and rich browns to celebrate Autumn and while you may be doing the same why not consider adorning yourself with a pink ribbon to show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness month. After all who doesn't look cool in pink?
As just about everybody knows, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities to increase awareness and to raise funds for research. It also reminds women to be "breast cancer aware" for early detection.
But what is the history of this international event, which is so major that even pro football players wear pink on four or five Sundays each year?
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) was founded in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries, maker of several anti-breast cancer drugs. The aim of NBCAM at the start was to promote mammography as the most effective weapon against breast cancer.
What about the pink ribbon? Where did that, what is now a ubiquitous symbol of NBCAM and breast cancer awareness in general, come from?
In the fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors. The ribbon was derived from the popular red ribbon of AIDS awareness.
Then, in 1993, Alexandra Penney, editor-in-chief of the women's health magazine Self, and Evelyn Lauder, breast cancer survivor and Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estée Lauder Companies, founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as its symbol. The ribbon was distributed it in stores throughout New York City, on the strength of the Estée Lauder brand, and its status as the symbol of support for breast cancer awareness was cemented.
The proliferation of the pink ribbon can be explained, in part, by its power as a marketing tool. Because the color pink is considered feminine in western countries, the ribbon has come to be a symbol and a proxy of goodwill towards women in general. Buying, wearing, displaying, and sponsoring pink ribbons can signal that a person or business cares about women.
Though NBCAM is closely associated with Race for the Cure, the first Race for the Cure was held back in 1983. It was in Dallas, Texas (yeah Dallas!) and all of 800 people participated. By 2002 the event was held in over 100 cities and the number of participants reached 1.3 million. By 2010 the event had expanded to over fifty countries outside the U.S.
In addition to NFL players, buildings and landmarks across the world clothe themselves in pink light as a "shout out" to NBCAM. Past pink landmarks include the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, Niagara Falls, the Harbour Bridge in Sidney, Constantine's Arch in Rome, and nearly all of downtown Atlanta.
We're in the pink spirit here. Stay tuned to see something special that SFD studios is working on in conjunction with one of our partners.