Pink Ribbons, Inc. | Chicago Reader

Pink Ribbons, Inc.

According to this 2011 documentary by Lea Pool, a woman's likelihood of contracting breast cancer has almost tripled since 1940, which has prompted private organizations like Susan G. Koman for the Cure to take an active role in funding cancer research. But the film raises the question of whether branding the disease has taken precedence over preventing it. Doctors, writers (including Barbara Ehrenreich, whose 2001 Harper's story related her own experience with cancer), and a support group of terminal patients plainly and coherently critique survivor-centric marketing campaigns as insensitive toward those won't make it and myopic in stressing cure over prevention. In one striking image, actress Elizabeth Hurley pouts at cameras in a skimpy pink dress as an Estee Lauder vice president announces that the Empire State Building will be lit up pink (the company, Pool later reveals, uses suspected carcinogens in some of its products).

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