February 10th, 2012
Detailing the problems of ‘breast cancer culture’
By Anna Holmes
In the early ’90s, a Simi Valley, Calif., woman named Charlotte Haley, appalled at the minuscule amount of money going to cancer research, created the first breast cancer ribbon. It was an orangey-pink — salmon-colored, really — and made of fabric. Haley, who was not only a breast cancer survivor but also had seen numerous friends and family members suffer from the disease, began attaching her ribbon to cards she sent out with the words “Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon. . . . Join this grassroots movement. Help us to wake up our Legislators and America by wearing this ribbon.”
Soon after she introduced her creation to the world, big business came calling — specifically, representatives of Conde Nast’s Self magazine and international cosmetics company Estee Lauder, who wanted to make Haley’s ribbon the official symbol of the disease. Haley, concerned about the commercialization of her creation, turned them down.
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