Take Action! Tell the Original Pinkwasher to Stop the Betrayal! (reposted from BCACTION.ORG)

BREAST CANCER ACTION’S KNOT MY PINK RIBBON(!) CAMPAIGN!

I wanted to re-post the campaign directly from the BCACTION.ORG site – it’s impressive & rare to see an organization really put it to a big brand. Guys, BCACTION.ORG is SUCH a tremendous place I’ve been recommending for over a decade now, geez i hate to count! lol They are by FAR & away the best source for the honesty, such a diverse source of information not just @ breast cancer, treatments, prevention…in any case…they are grassroots & that means it takes the passion & commitment & energy of underpaid people to make it happen. That also means they need our help! And, EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS I SWEAR! Running my own biz i promise you, every little bit truly does matter…

So, the thought occurred to me…I wonder how many of y’all, or even me, knows just how many companies Estee Lauder owns (not that that is a bad thing at all, it’s CHANGING the great companies once they own them) & how many are actually NOT laden with carcinogenic ingredients. i often say to friends this or that brand (one of many veritably STEEPED in typical natural design & marketing esthetic), & they are surprised. Even they & many of my clients, the more educated folks out there re; all this, have no idea who really owns many brands (like those labels with the nice grandma on the label? owned by a major corporation? lol). It now occurs to me i may have a problem, but seriously, it’s usually just right there on the label, sometimes finding out that Coca Cola owns Lays it’s just a known fact, you know? I have no idea how i know that! Being in the industry though lends me some insight into who owns who & Estee Lauder owns a huge share of the entirety of the skin care market. Think about that sentence. There are other major players, of course!

Ok now for the actual BLOG! Finally right?

IT’S OCTOBER!!! IT’S TIME TO THINK ABOUT BREASTS AND BUYING A WHOLE LOT OF PINK STUFF RIGHT?? (boy this has always pissed me off…)

On the 25th anniversary of the pink ribbon, we’re not celebrating. We’re angry. Angry that a quarter of a million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Angry that more than 40,000 women die each and every year. And angry that women of color and underserved communities are disproportionately burdened.

There is too little to show for 25 years of pink ribbon awareness and billions of dollars spent on pink ribbon products.

The pink ribbon is one of the most widely recognized symbols…ballooned into a multibillion-dollar industry.

This October, we’re calling out The Estée Lauder Companies…for their role in launching the first pink ribbon. Twenty-five years later, we are telling Estée Lauder it’s “Knot Our Pink Ribbon” — and we’re putting a knot in theirs.

TAKE ACTION: TELL ESTÉE LAUDER TO STOP THE BETRAYAL

  • Send your letter to Estée Lauder and tell them that after 25 years, it’s time to stop the betrayal and be honest tha
  •      Empty awareness and publicity stunts are a distraction and cannot “create a breast cancer-free world”
  •      No amount of positive thinking will prevent women from being diagnosed with or dying from breast cancer.
  •      The chemicals in their products may increase the risk of breast cancer & even interfere with treatment. Tell them to clean up their products and stop pinkwashing!

So guys, i know, we are all busy…but it’s a simple note! Nothing to it! and i gotta tell ya, writing feels SO much better than typing after typing constantly! 🙂 However, you jam out a short but DIRECT and demanding letter? ALL SET! This would take all of about 10 minutes TOTAL. NOT AT ALL A BIG DEAL AND CAN YOU IMAGINE? DOING SOMETHING?! 🙂

PINK RIBBON HISTORY

DID YOU KNOW? Twenty-five years ago, there was no pink ribbon. But there was a peach one, started by grassroots activist Charlotte Haley that focused on prevention and political action. Estée Lauder’s pink ribbon began with a stolen idea—and when they turned the peach ribbon pink, they shifted the focus to marketing, awareness, and corporate gain. Pink ribbons have hijacked the movement and erased the real work and meaningful action needed to address and end the breast cancer epidemic.

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS INDUSTRY MONTH

Breast cancer has become the darling of corporate America. Companies use the pink ribbon to sell their products and boost their image with consumers as they boost their bottom line. Major multimillion-dollar cancer charities that do nothing to address the root causes of cancer often join with these companies. Meanwhile, breast cancer rates continue to rise every year. It’s why we call October “Breast Cancer Industry Month.”

WHY ESTÉE LAUDER?

Estée Lauder has built their brand around their self-proclaimed “commitment” to breast cancer. As part of their Breast Cancer Campaign, each October Estée Lauder distributes pink ribbons at cosmetic counters, sells a variety of pink ribbon products, spearheads large events to illuminate international landmarks, hosts star-laden galas, and more. None of these will “create a breast cancer-free world.”

…Positive thinking is not prevention…!!!

Estée Lauder tells women facing breast cancer to “choose happy,” “laugh often,” and “smile.”

Their website and social media platforms are filled with pink flowers and soothing tips suggesting that with the right attitude and beauty products, we can all become better, more beautiful breast cancer patients. (FROM SUKI: ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME??) Estée Lauder says “Having gratitude and a positive attitude can always help.“ But we know that no amount of positive thinking will prevent women from being diagnosed with and dying from breast cancer.

It’s time to stop blaming women for their breast cancer, or telling them the “right” way to go through cancer, and instead honor the diversity of women’s lived experiences. End pinkwashing!

Estée Lauder tells us to buy their products because they care about breast cancer.(FROM SUKI: AND THIS IS WHAT HAS ALWAYS KILLED ME ABOUT THIS PINK RIBBON STUFF- THOUGH BCA SAYS MANY I HONESTLY CANNOT THINK OF A SINGLE ESTEE LAUDER OWNED BRAND THAT IS FREE FROM SYNTHETICS OR CARCINOGENS!): many of their cosmetics contain chemicals of concern such as hormone disruptors that may increase the risk of breast cancer and might even interfere with treatment. We call this pinkwashing. And it’s time for companies that care about breast cancer to stop pinkwashing.

ISN’T THERE ANYTHING GOOD TO SHOW FOR THE PINK RIBBON?

Estée Lauder is proud that in the past 25 years they have donated $70 million for global breast cancer awareness, research, and education. Some might argue that’s a lot of money, but last year’s donation was just half of 1 percent of annual earnings! Join us in putting a knot in Estée Lauder’s pink ribbon. 

For more information, read BCACTION.ORG’S campaign brief by clicking below or download the PDF by clicking here.

THE IRONY OF: “LOOK GOOD, FEEL BETTER”

(this post was originally featured  on Breast Cancer Action’s blog…check it out for more info about the shocking pinkwashing that happens every October!)

It’s fair to say I’ve taken the long route to becoming a skincare biz owner—because unlike most, I am a formulator and a manufacturer, not just a CEO. Thanks to two decades of experience, I know every ingredient and potentially hidden ingredient a vendor might be trying to slide by me.

I started my company out of a deep personal need to solve my own skin problems and health issues that had kept me sick, weak and covered in what looked a little like leprosy (seriously) for most of my childhood. Being bullied added another layer of hurt to how I already felt about my body, making me want to bury myself as far under my clothes as possible.

My primary motivator in starting my company was to share the cure I’d developed with others and help them find long-term freedom from skin issues of all kinds—to “Look Great and Feel Amazing”, you might say! So when I checked out “Look Good, Feel Better”, which purports to dole out compassion and support to breast cancer survivors—an issue close to my heart—I saw immediately that this site was entirely the American Cancer Society and the Personal Care Products Council pushing sponsored products on a vulnerable and unaware population.

bca1

“Look Good, Feel Better” is an organization with more than 14,000 volunteers that offers groups for people struggling with cancer and a website filled with beauty tips. Their mission statement says, “improving the self-esteem and quality of life of people undergoing treatment for cancer”. However, the free kits they offer to survivors include tons of parabens, formaldehyde releasers and Teflon, just to name a few ingredients that have themselves been linked to cancer! These additives also irritate skin that’s already incredibly sensitive from treatment, placing people in jeopardy for an ongoing skin crisis.

I’m not one to mince words guys, and I am one to try like heck to get people to take their health into their own hands. I myself have been at the mercy of modern medicine and all-knowing physicians who are dictated to by insurance company, doctors who are no longer the medical detectives they used to be. Say, for example, you have an autoimmune disease—this is life-altering, but a “normal” doc will only do the one test the insurance company typically allows (this is true of many diseases). If you don’t test positive, your M.D. will not disclose that there are actually other tests that can give you the full picture. Only a naturopathic doctor or other alternative practitioner will actually work to get to the heart of what’s going on with your body.

Once you understand this, a whole world of “wow, I need to take my health into my own hands because no one else will” opens up. And think about it: never before have we had so much information at our fingertips. But who do we trust? We must become our own detectives in a world where anyone can create a slick website filled with medical advice, and our doctor’s knowledge might be outdated or a product of Big Pharma propaganda.

bca2

Twenty years ago, I started formulating my products in my own kitchen and investigating the skincare and cosmetic industry. I was truly shocked at how despicable its practices are, so I made it my mission to share the “ugly truths” I had uncovered. Along the way, I found the group Breast Cancer Action—still a small grassroots organization not talked about on E! or in Vogue, etc. Why? Money, of course! I’ve spoken to editor upon editor, year after year, trying to get this organization in the press—but no can do. It’s all Susan G and the rest who are doing nada to truly educate us and teach us to help ourselves like BCAction.org.

bca3

BCAction is so unique in their campaigns, like “Think Before You Pink”, which exposes all the devious ways that big corporations are making money from breast cancer. Where would these companies be without their “pinkwashed” products, of which they might give 1% of profits to a real charity?  Basically, all that pink is about making money from our empathy, not about actually curing breast cancer. It upsets me greatly, because I give 100% (or more) of proceeds for a whole month each year to BCAction and I’m proud to do it. Their advocacy makes such a difference in people’s lives. For example, in 2008 they got Yoplait to stop using rGBH treated dairy in their yogurt. And while they still aren’t perfect, it’s a step.

bca4

We all know that breast cancer is a devastating disease, and even the money donated by “pinkwashed” organizations hopefully gets to a useful place. But when most of this money goes into the founder’s pockets, it speaks to a larger problem—no oversight, no one preventing powerful corporations from using known carcinogens, irritants and synthetics. BCAction and I strongly oppose this, of course, and they take a stand publicly with who can become a pink ribbon sponsor.

Even with so many organizations doing their own campaigns, we are no closer to a cure than ever.  How can that be? Because breast cancer is largely about environmental influencers, and perhaps the biggest of these are the toxins we absorb through our skin. For companies to keep using toxins and synthetics we know cause systemic imbalances and disease—it should be criminal!

I’ve personally received hundreds of letters of thanks from survivors and those in treatment who say mainstream products seriously irritate their skin, which is already so sensitive from drugs and treatment. “Look Good, Feel Better” could truly help people if they used organic and natural products, and they are surely aware of the research on toxic skincare additives—but their first priority is clearly their corporate sponsors and not what’s truly best for breast cancer survivors.

bca5

What if companies became committed, not to capitalizing on natural through marketing, but to providing REAL natural products in formulas that actually work and cause no side effects? The science is there. The problem, as usual, is the cost. Companies could still make a profit, just not as massive a profit.

What if every CEO, like me, refused to allow a single synthetic, nanoparticle, GMO or other questionable ingredient in their products? What if they instead made education and health empowerment their priority instead of slapping a pink ribbon on the problem? Perhaps that, in itself, would lower breast cancer rates in future generations.

Then they’d actually be helping people “Look Good and Feel F*ing Fantastic”, and it would be amazing!

xo

– Suki