Avoid the Pinkwash

October always brings out the “pink” in all of us. I have to admit that I'm guilty also. I realize it's what people expect hence the organization that I am working to build, Pink Ribbon Stilettos. I just want to make sure that your pinkwash is for a real purpose. 

Avoid the Pinkwash 1
Tomika Bryant | Life in Pumps Pink is Not a Cure!


  1. One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
  2. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
  3. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
  4. Each year it is estimated that over 250,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
  5. Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,400 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 460 will die each year.
  6. On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.
  7. Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today. 
  8. The warning signs vary from person to person but the most common sign is a change in the look or feel of the breast and/or nipple. 
  9. 20% to 30% of people initially diagnosed with early stage disease will develop metastatic breast cancer
  10. There is no cure for breast cancer!
Avoid the Pinkwash 2
Tomika Bryant | Life in Pumps National Breast Cancer Coalition lobby day 2018


A quick google search will inform you that October has been cloned as the month that brings awareness to breast cancer and pink is the chosen color. Almost everywhere you look, there will be someone adorning that infamous “pink ribbon” with hopes to increase awareness.  The American Cancer Society in conjunction with AstraZeneca introduced October as Breast Cancer awareness month in 1985. This declaration continues to come with mixed feelings within the breast cancer community.

This long-standing month of awareness means not only a celebration of hope, faith, strength and courage but a reminder of those whose lives were taken. Medical professionals and many others will dedicate time to educating communities about early detection and prevention; various areas will offer free mammography services to those who need them.  Advocacy efforts are increased as the public is ready to open its pockets to fund programs.

Many businesses are preparing for pinktober by adding the “pink ribbon” to their merchandise.  While I want to believe that their intentions are honorable, to state such would be extremely naive of me. Breast cancer has become a marketing tool and adorning the “pink ribbon” seems to guilt many into purchasing items they don't need while boosting sales.  You can find the “pink ribbon”  on everything from candy to toilet paper with the claims that a portion of the proceeds will benefit breast cancer.  Please do your research before making a purchase in support of breast cancer.

Avoid the Pinkwash 3
Tomika Bryant | Life in Pumps


  1. What organizations and/or programs will the money fund?
  2. What percentage actually goes to the organization?
  3. Is there a maximum donation and what happens with the extra funds once it has been met?
  4. Are there toxic and/or cancer causing ingredients in any of the products?
  5. Will any of these funds be used for cancer research purposes only?

For the rest of the month, I will highlight organizations that on the cutting edge of funding research while showing you thrivers who are the true faces of cancer.

Follow along and feel free to ask any questions!

Welcome to my home on the web... I’m Tomika, the thought leader behind Life in Pumps. I love all things fashion, fun & travel! I’m a wife and mother of two very active teenagers. I'm a social butterfly and passionate about advocating for breast cancer disparities and the benefits of organics. Follow along as I believe life is more fun when you actually live it!

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