Pink October’s Predecessor

Pink October’s Predecessor

Slate

As October gears up, it’s time to brace ourselves not only for the oranges and browns of Halloween and autumn, but for pink. A whole lot of it. That’s thanks to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a monthlong fundraising effort that has been met with increasing skepticism since its founding in 1985. The sheer commercialization of the cause can come off as crass: Susan G. Komen for the Cure has come under fire for corporate partnerships that critics say allow companies to buy public goodwill despite engaging in business practices linked to cancer. (Think of the pink soup cans, pink bits for oil drilling, and pink buckets of fried chicken.) Even more damningly, it’s unclear whether the marketing barrage is even working to actually move the needle in any meaningful way: Sure, breast cancer may now be the best-funded cancer in the United States, but many experts argue that all that extra cash has only resulted in minimal gains.

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