Breast Cancer Awareness: Why Pink?

Alie-Jean B., Editor/Contributor

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Breast Cancer Awareness: Why Pink?

How did pink become the national color for breast cancer awareness? During the month of October, we see everyone wearing pink including football players, celebrities, and even first ladies! This all started with a wife placing yellow ribbons around her trees to signify that she wanted her husband, who had been taken hostage in Iran, to come home. The next ribbon sighting was 11 years later when AIDS activists saw the yellow ribbons and turned them red. They also made the iconic loop that we are accustomed to seeing on cancer ribbons. Late in 1990 pink was used as the color to promote awareness for the Komen National Race that occurred earlier that year. Pink ribbons were distributed to all the survivors and participants of the race. In 1992, Alexandra Penney, editor in chief of Self magazine, wanted to put the magazines second breast cancer awareness issue over the top. She began by creating the ribbon and enlisting cosmetic companies to issue them throughout New York. After this, donations started flooding in to the Komen for the Cure organization. In the last year they have raised over 420 million dollars. An estimated 6 billion is raised ever year in the name of breast cancer. None of this would be possible without a logo to spread their message. Whether it be buying breast cancer t-shirts to football players wearing pink cleats, pink has become known as the biggest representative for breast cancer awareness. That is how the pink ribbon became the national symbol for breast cancer awareness!

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