Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Women’s Health (paperback edition available for pre-order)
Oxford University Press, 2012.
Pink ribbon paraphernalia saturate shopping malls, billboards, magazines, television, and other venues, all in the name of breast cancer awareness. In this compelling and provocative work, Gayle A. Sulik shows that although “pink ribbon culture” has brought breast cancer advocacy much attention, it has not had the desired effect of improving women’s health. It may, in fact, have done the opposite. Based on eight years of research, analysis of advertisements and breast cancer awareness campaigns, and hundreds of interviews with those affected by the disease, Pink Ribbon Blues highlights the hidden costs of the pink ribbon as an industry, one in which breast cancer has become merely a brand name with a pink ribbon logo. Indeed, while survivors and supporters walk, run, and purchase pink products for a cure, cancer rates rise, the industry thrives, and breast cancer is stigmatized anew for those who reject the cheerful, pink ribbon model. Even as Sulik points out the flaws of this system, she outlines alternatives and presents a new agenda for the future.
The paperback edition includes a new Introduction on recent fundraising controversies and a new four-page color insert with images of, and reactions to, the pinking of breast cancer.