Fifty Shades of Pink

For as long as I can remember, my favorite color has been a shade of red. In first grade, it was officially light pink, then evolved to a deeper magenta, or the ruby red of my car, a handbag, water bottle, and often my nails.  From a purplish wine color, to salmon or coral, I love shades of red and pink.

Therefore, even before breast cancer touched my boobs so I kicked it’s ass, I have a fair amount of pink in my wardrobe.  Colleagues were funny, a couple mentioning “OH, and you’re even wearing a pink dress” on the day I told them about the big C.  It wasn’t a new dress, just a favorite. Something that made me feel comfortable and feminine and pretty as I told them about the upcoming fight of my life.

So since I’m a fan of things that are pink, I’ve often picked up stuff for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  But my rule has always been, it’s either something I wanted anyway like my Specialized Ruby in Komen, no matter the “cause,” or it gives significantly to a charity I support.  Some of those charities are about awareness, early detection and action, like Bright Pink, others focus more on supporting survivors, like the Young Survival Coalition, and my favorites are those that do research towards ending the disease, or even the effects of the “cure” like the  Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and her Health of Women study, or even the Fred Hutch, which has full access to more of my tissue than they bargained for, thanks to my treatment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

But there’s a lot of “pink-washing” out there. And although I appreciate that the NFL has gotten a couple of extra women to check their ta-tas and realize they’ve got something to show their doctor, I actually kind of hate the whole thing.  I truly and honestly believe that the NFL should spend November focused on Domestic Violence Awareness Month instead.  That’s something that awareness CAN help to cure… and each and every one of us can be a part of stopping.  Anyone can report something that looks wrong, or offer a helping hand. Not everyone can find a better cure for cancer, no matter which part of the body it chooses to attack. {{stepping off soapbox}}

So that brings me to my little dilemma. A friend asked if my son’s football team is wearing pink socks, as her nephew’s team is doing, for BCAM.  First off, my son’s team wears head to toe red. They’d go from being the Mt. Si Wildcats to the Mt. Si Valentines. But second- why are we getting 8-10 year old boys to wear pink? Does it give me a tiny warm fuzzy, sure, but do the boys really need new socks, sweatbands, gloves… etc.? Probably not.

Last year, some of the other moms got some stickers, hats, and a few other pink things for the team during the last game of the season. A couple of the boys are still sporting the stickers, because they were kind of hard to get off.  I really appreciated it. It made me feel loved, and I’d think made my boys feel supported at a very hard time for us. I was 1/2 way through chemo. I was all the way bald.

But this year, I’m the team mom.  So even if I bought 17 pairs of pink socks, what good would that do anyone?  And wouldn’t that make things, again, about me?

But a couple of weeks ago, they started doing recognition/reward stickers on the boy’s helmets. And after searching high and low, I found a set that are little pink ribbons.  Not any bigger than the stars or footballs, and theoretically as easy to remove.  They’re supposed to arrive in the mail today or tomorrow.

My plan is to hand the sheet of stickers over to the coaches… and if they want me to explain anything to the boys, of course I would. But I still feel like it’s a little self serving.

After all, I’m the one whose favorite color is pink. 🙂

One thought on “Fifty Shades of Pink

  1. The best FIFTY SHADES I’ve read so far [disclosure: I didn’t dive into the grey shades and not planning to either]. Bravo and amen to this piece; it spoke right to my heart and shares my thinking especially re NFL cause suggestion! Wishing you many shades of pink to grace the sky wherever you hang your hat, kick a soccer ball or have the wind blow through your hair. Peace out 🙂

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