World’s Worst Breast Cancer Merchandise

It’s October! And you know what that means – pumpkin spice lattes are in hand, crisp leaves are falling to the ground, children are clamoring over Halloween costumes …. oh yeah, and everything is fucking pink. In fact, the U.S. Breast Cancer Foundation* has officially trademarked the phrase “Everything Is Fucking Pink,” so seriously, just get used to it.

  • *Not a real thing

I can’t believe I’m writing this disclaimer, but I don’t like cancer. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to buy every thing a company slaps a pink ribbon on. If I’m going to buy some Bic pens or M&Ms anyway, then maybe I’ll pick up the ones that float some money to charity. The problem is, some of the pinkwashing is just terrible, or at best, tone-deaf. Here is some of the worst breast cancer merch out there, along with the amount that is donated to charity. So, if you feel extra guilty for not buying a pink ribbon dog costume, you could send a $0.00 check to Susan G. Komen instead* — because that’s all the company that makes it is donating, anyway.

  • * Not necessarily a great charity.
Construction Equipment

This rental construction equipment is supposed to “raise awareness.” I think I speak for all of us when I say that actually, I’m pretty damn aware. But it’s the thought that counts, so on behalf of all the ladies out there, thank you Volvo Rents for this giant piece of pink construction equipment that helps us know that we might get cancer.

  • Amount given to cancer foundations: “A portion”; there are several companies that do this but this particular one also did a big comedy benefit, which is probably more my speed.
Smith and Wesson Handgun

Buy this gun. Because too many people are dying.

  • Amount given to cancer charities: It looks like this was discontinued (bummer!), but S&W made quarterly donations to Susan B. Komen
Pink Ribbon Cowbellcowbell

We have found the cure – and it actually is more cowbell.

  • Amount given to cancer charities: None. Oriental Trading Co. donates 15% of sales of Susan G. Komen “running ribbon” merchandise to the foundation. This trademarked symbol does not appear on all Oriental Trading Co. pink shit, and doesn’t seem to appear on this one: this ribbon is less running, and more wilting.
Pink Ribbon Pet Costumepoordog

For the world’s most depressing Halloween costume, why not dress your dog like cancer? Like the bulldozer, I think this is supposed to be an “awareness technique” because broads are juuust ignorant enough about health stuff that we need someone’s dog to tell us.

  • Amount given to cancer charities: This is another Oriental Trading Co. product. See comment for breast cancer cowbell, above (file under: phrases I didn’t expect I’d ever write).
Pink Ribbon Water Bottle Labels

Now you can dress those BPA plastic watter bottles that give you breast cancer in pink ribbon! I think it’s like in old Looney Toons cartoons where the bottle of poison has the big skull and crossbones in it. These labels just let you know what you’re getting into.

  • Amount given to cancer charities: See Oriental Trading Co comments, above.
Pink Ribbon Shutter Shades

Know what everyone loves? Breast cancer, and looking like a 2010-vintage Kanye West. With these shades, who says you can’t have it all?

  • Amount given to cancer charities: This is a bulk company. Let’s say you’re buying fewer than 12 pairs of these (but really, why stop there?). Each pair of glasses is 1.59, 5% is donated, so about 8 cents per pair. If you’re buying 120+ pairs (now THAT’S more like it, gals!), these cost $.60 each – so 3 cents to the dames with cancer!
Pink Ribbon Camouflage Tattoos

These hideous tats are so ashamed of themselves that they are trying to hide themselves by blending in with all the other breast cancer merch.

  • Amount given to cancer charities: 13 to 25 cents per pack, depending on how many you buy.
Bic White Out

Who the hell still uses white out? Does Bic have an exclusive contract with secretaries from 1988? If you don’t own a computer, but hate breast cancer, this is the product for you!

  • Amount given to cancer charities: Bic is giving $200,000 to Susan G. Komen this year… whether you buy this or not.
BRCA1 Time Bombs Shirt

Want to tell people that you have an extensive family history of breast cancer, but not sure how to slip it into everyday conversation? Well here you go.

  • Amount given to cancer charities: None, I think, but it does “add an extra element of style for a casual night out” according to the website copy, which is pretty priceless.
‘Real Men Wear Pink’ Buttons

The men who wear this instead of regular ol’ breast cancer merch are probably the same ones who support marriage equality, but always preface it with “Dude, I’m not gay or anything, but…”

  • Amount given to cancer charities: $0.00
This Maternity Shirt

This t-shirt, sold in maternity sizes, reads “my stepdaughter may not have dog tags and wear boots, but she fights like hell every day.” This is THE shirt for the woman who is young enough to be pregnant, but old enough to have a stepdaughter who has breast cancer. Apologies to the expectant mothers whose breast cancer-having stepdaughters are in the military – you should find another, even more specific t-shirt.

On second thought, there are pink ribbons all over, but it never actually SAYS the stepdaughter has cancer. Maybe you could buy this for the pregnant woman in your life whose stepdaughter is a real bitch.

  • Amount given to cancer charities: None, but if you’re just buying this to tell everyone that your stepdaughter fights a lot, that’s fine.
Pink Ribbon Tanning Tattoos

While getting yourself one form of cancer, you can show your support for another!

  • Amount given to cancer charities: none. But think about how much this is giving to cancer!

A note: if you want to celebrate Everything Is Fucking Pink, but want to make sure your money goes to the right place, please visit Think Before You Pink, or watch Pink Ribbons Inc on Netflix. Also note that since a lot of the vendors above are donating nothing, they’re profiting off of your All-American desires to do a good deed and buy tacky crap.


One thought on “World’s Worst Breast Cancer Merchandise

  1. Pingback: Saturday Spotlight: You Take The Good, You Take The Bad… | cookies + sangria

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