What’s so sexy about breast cancer? That’s what author Peggy Orenstein asks in “Think About Pink,” a recent essay she wrote for New York Times Magazine. Sparked by seeing a friend’s 12-year old daughter wearing an “I heart boobies” wristband, Orenstein explores breast cancer awareness campaigns from the 1970s to today. She argues that this latest trend, meant to be playful, actually sexualizes breast cancer, discourages understanding, and undermines the search for better detection, treatments, and cures for a disease that still afflicts 250,000 women annually. What do you think about pink? Is the real experience of having breast cancer getting lost among too many pink and perky teddy bears? Who benefits from pink ribbons and “I heart boobies” wristbands?
Peggy Orenstein is a contributing writer to New York Times Magazine; her newest book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, will be published in February 2011