More

A Bunch Of Gross Facts About A Really Pretty Color Are Going To Make You Flip. Yuck.

Even though men can get it, I am not likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer in my lifetime. Regardless, I am dubious of the sea of pink ribbons, products, and promotional tie-ins that inundate our society. That's not to say anyone who wants to wear pink and try their hardest to raise awareness is doing anything wrong — to the contrary! But I do think there's room for criticism. In other words, check out this funny video about pinkwashing.

A Bunch Of Gross Facts About A Really Pretty Color Are Going To Make You Flip. Yuck.

If you've watched this and find yourself aimless and flustered (welcome to my every day) by these crass tactics but still want to contribute to the fight against breast cancer, I suggest finding an organization that's focused on more than just a cure. You could start with this list, and ask yourself some of these questions before purchasing pink products. Heck, I'm going to link to that last page one more time because it contains some really important examples of pinkwashing at its worst. (I'm looking at you, Reebok.)

HOLLA! IT'S TIME FOR A FACT CHECK!


  • Indeed, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer.
  • The Susan G. Komen foundation donated about 17% of its net revenue to research in fiscal 2012. Same goes for 2011. It was 19% in 2010 and 21% in 2009. So, the figure of 21% is actually a bit forgiving.
  • Technically, Susan G. Komen trademarked their slogan, rather than patented it. But same idea.
  • When it comes to the NFL, the percentage cited in the video (.1% of revenue to breast cancer awareness) is actually 1 percentage point too generous. The actual figure is 1/100 of a percent (.01%)! Now, the NFL has actually updated its figures to reflect that the money donated has risen from $4.5 million to $7 million, but we're still talking about a tiny, tiny sliver of its revenue.

The difference between a politician and a public servant may be a matter of semantics, but when it comes to getting legislation passed that actually helps people, the contrast is stark.

Texas Representative James Talarico is on a mission to get his constituents the life-saving medicine they need. The 31-year-old lawmaker has just introduced legislation that would cap the price of insulin—a medicine people with type 1 diabetes need to live, which has become unaffordable for many—at $50 a month.

The mission is personal for Talarico, as he nearly died three years ago when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

He shared his story on Twitter:

"In May 2018, I was a healthy 28-year-old running for the Texas House. I decided to walk the entire length of my district and hold town halls along the way. I hike Big Bend every year, so I wasn't concerned about a 25 mile walk...

But halfway through the walk, I began feeling nauseous and fatigued. Before the town hall in Hutto, I vomited in the bathroom."

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less