For months now I have been receiving pitches from beauty brands and PR firms far and wide about which beauty products will be donating some or all of their proceeds to breast cancer charities. Most beauty magazines and beauty blogs have already started posting about them. And sure last year I went to Estee Lauder’s office in Manhattan for the BCRF kickoff (and it was a great experience.) And I was a part of Total Beauty’s “Total Beauty Total Cure” last year as well. Here locally, I’ve even organized vendor fairs to raise money for the American Cancer Society (and proud to have raised $3K for them. Although I have since learned they are rated F in Charity Watch.)
But this year I thought to myself…if I want to support a breast cancer charity and research, why do I have to buy lipstick to do so?
Many of you may be familiar with the term “pink washing” which in a sense means that there is a feeling that brands are using this disease to promote their own products. Some brands give 10% of their profits, some give 100%, but the bottom line is the publicity and brand awareness of their own products…which in a sense means an exploitation of a disease that is killing so many women that it is not even funny.
I live in the Pocono Mountains. This area is known to be a cancer cluster. I cannot even tell you how many people I have known who have died from cancer since I moved here. So many people in my own family have battled cancer of one kind or another. This may lead you to ask why I won’t spotlight beauty products with the pink ribbon if it means money going to charity.
The real, true answer? Because I think you should just donate 100% of your money to the charity directly. Sure, if you are already in the market for a new shower gel or lipstick, go ahead and buy one that will be donating to the cause, but if you really and truly want to make a difference, then pop online and make a direct donation to the cancer charity of your choice who have an A rating. Then there are no worries about how much of your money is going to help a woman battling this disease because A rated charites have lower administrative costs with more of the donation going towards research and supporting local chapters.
And you know what? Cancer hits any time of year. Any day, any hour, any person, regardless of religion, creed, gender, age or social class. So please don’t only donate to one cancer-specific charity in October. Donate any time of the year and to whichever cancer charity has your heart.
That is all. Sorry for the rant, but I felt it needed to be said. Please share your thoughts.