I am loathe to admit it, but I used to be envious of the publicity given to breast cancer awareness – the girly sponsored walks, the dizzying range of pink goods flooding the shops every October and the endless celebrity endorsements. By comparison, multiple sclerosis seems a very poor cousin indeed.
Would it be easier for me, and society as a whole, to accept my multiple sclerosis if it was dressed up in loving, pink fluffiness? Or if I knew that thousands and thousands of strangers were doing their bit for a charity that would benefit me?
Yet, people are now starting to question the dubious ways in which very tenuously-linked items are being marketed to raise money for breast cancer. Recent examples include a Pink Ribbon Barbie, pink hair straighteners and a pink Makita drill, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Are we now reaching pink overkill?
It is a contentious subject. If vast sums of money are generated and donated to search for a cure and fund services, who can grumble that it is all a bit too much and even a little tasteless.
Perhaps though, by thrusting such private, personal ‘battles’ with breast cancer into the glare of publicity, this somehow demeans and cheapens individual experiences of the illness. Would I want to be implored to stand up, fight back, remain positive and all the other mantras by people who have no idea what it’s really like – probably not.
There is a fascinating article in the Daily Mail about this subject – have a read, it’s eye-opening…