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Why do we recognize Breast Cancer Awareness with a Pink Ribbon?
The pink ribbon is an international symbol of Breast Cancer Awareness and the color pink, in general, identifies the wearer or promoter as someone that is offering moral support for women with breast cancer.
Pink is a color of femininity in modern Western countries. It is considered an evocation of traditional feminine gender roles, caring for other people, being beautiful, being good, and being cooperative.
The color pink represents hope for the future, fear of breast cancer and the overall charitable goodness of people that support bringing awareness to breast cancer. It is also used to encourage solidarity with woman that have breast cancer.
While the color pink specifically represents breast cancer awareness, it is also a symbol/proxy of goodwill towards women in general. When someone wears, buys, displays a pink ribbon they are showing a caring for women.
According to reported history, things began with Charlotte Hayley. Mrs. Hayley a survivor of breast cancer introduced the concept of bringing awareness to breast cancer using peach colored ribbon. She attached them to cards that had the message “The National Cancer Institute’s annual budget is 1.8 billion US dollars, and only 5 percent goes to cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.”
She handed-out thousand of cards out at local businesses and wrote letters to prominent individuals, mostly women.
One of those ribbons got the attention of the editor-in-chief of Self Magazine, Alexandra Penney. Mrs. Penney was working on the magazine’s issue on Breast Cancer Awareness in 1992. She attempted to adapt/incorporate Mrs. Hayley’s idea into the issue but, Mrs. Hayley felt the magazine’s desires were too commercial.
As an alternative, due to legal reasons, Self Magazine incorporated the original idea using the color pink instead of peach and, the rest is history.