Celebrity chef Katie Lee,
Editor in chief of SELF, Lucy Danziger
Owner of Dylan's Candy Bar, Dylan Lauren
This months letter begins "Be Fearless. Great things happen when you do or say the thing that others won't." I know that I probably offend people with some of the crap I write. I get it. I can be a little too pushy, I might show things you really don't want to see (Wanna see my scars?!), and I might give you the look for those tan lines you're sporting. I'm harmless. I just don't want to see you--OR YOUR CHILDREN-- sitting next to me in the chemo suite. That's all.
No one downplays the seriousness of breast cancer. We know it, we support it, and we try like hell to prevent it. This is all thanks to folks who have put a great deal of time and support into raising awareness. While I am proud of societies acceptance of the seriousness of this horrible cancer, it ticks me off when people assume that my cancer is nothing to stress. No lie, I have lost track how many people have told my family and I, "At least it's just skin cancer!"
Bottom line: I support all cancers, and I am active about supporting breast cancer due to the people I love who have been touched by it.
However, I ran into a little issue the other week that just didn't settle well with me...
I attended a breast cancer event recently in honor of our family friend who has recently started her own battle. I enjoyed the event, I was touched by the survivors there, and I will more than likely run the race again next year.
What I didn't like was the basket promoting indoor and outdoor tanning that was a raffle item.
My mom and sister both warned me not to look at the basket. I knew right then what it was.
I know that the event coordinators cannot monitor every little item that folks donate, but a basket with tanning items, including sessions at a local tanning salon, just seems inappropriate since we are all there to raise money and awareness for cancer. Yes, the event was for breast cancer. Does that make it acceptable to raffle off items that are known carcinogenics?
Oh, it just makes me crazy.
Anyway, back to Lucy's letter. Lucy touches on how supporting breast cancer is the "in" thing for companies to do these days. She writes, "Companies have recently come under fire for 'pinkwashing'--using the ribbon to burnish their image while marketing products that endanger women's health..." Haven't we seen this lately?
I have heard from people all over the country who have become infuriated with local tanning salons who are offering discounted tanning sessions in honor of breast cancer awareness month. I know I am not the only one who sees the issue with this. Let's double check our boobies all while baking our skin--our largest organs-- in the coffin shaped bed. Brilliant.
Here's one great marketing campaign. "D-Feat Breast Cancer By Tanning."
I can't even write about this anymore.
Because I don't want another tanning bed basket to be raffled off--and even if it is, it won't be as awesome as mine--I have offered to donate a skin safety basket at the upcoming Party in Pink with Just Dance Roanoke event this coming Saturday, This basket will include sunscreens, high priced self-tanners, my favorite bronzer, and The Skin Cancer Foundation's Journal. I'll probably toss in other last minute goodies that promote skin cancer awareness as well. I haven't thought it through yet.
I just know that I can't sit back and stay quiet.
Skin cancer is cancer, too, damn it.