Has the pink parade for health jumped the shark?

We’ve all seen those wristbands that say “I Love Boobies” and the shirts that say “Save Second Base;” but are these really being used as breast cancer awareness, or are they just an excuse for people to wear innuendo-filled merchandise?

It’s a given that breast cancer is bad, and that we need to put money into cancer research and cures, but does buying a ‘boobies’ wristband really achieve this? How much of the money is actually going towards funding?

There has been a lot of controversy to where the money goes when someone buys one of these bracelets.

The 2009 annual report for the Keep a Breast Foundation (the organization who sells these bracelets) said that only 4.44 percent of their total income went to giving out donations and grants.

It’s evident the Keep a Breast Foundation isn’t in it only for the cause; they’re in it for the profit.

One could say these bracelets raise awareness; but does this awareness do anything? Is there any purpose to awareness when the funds from the merchandise being bought hardly even go to the cause you think you’re supporting.

The slogans being used for this particular company are a little too lighthearted. Breast cancer is not something to be taken lightly; it’s a serious subject, and by saying things like “I love boobies” in support of breast cancer is objectifying and completely missing the point. None of these slogans talk about curing a person of breast cancer; they’re all about the boobs.

The slogans are popular with youth, but the true message of breast cancer awareness is really getting out there. We’re better off not even buying the bracelets, and instead donating directly to a legitimate organization.

There’s also the controversy surrounding the Susan G. Komen Foundation, an organization that raises money for breast cancer research.

In early 2012, the Komen Foundation pulled their funding for Planned Parenthood. Although the foundation claimed they were not targeting Planned Parenthood in specific, it was later discovered that they pulled funding due to a “Congressional investigation” of Planned Parenthood, which suggested public money was being inappropriately used to fund abortions.

Komen board member John Raffaelli told the New York Times the foundation did not want to work with Planned Parenthood any longer because of the investigation.

Komen Foundation’s Vice President of Public Policy, Karen Handel, ended up resigning quickly after the controversy started. It is said she was the main supporter for defunding Planned Parenthood.

This controversy caused many people to stop supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation and instead donate to Planned Parenthood.

Between these two breast cancer foundation controversies, it seems like we’re better off not giving our money to these foundations.

Oftentimes, these foundations get too greedy for the profit they make off of their merchandise. Especially in the Komen Foundation case, they get too caught up in politics, and the focus moves from preventative care and finding a cure to what other groups they should and should not be funding.

Giving these breast cancer research foundations money, in either donation form or from merchandise, is not a wise decision.

I suggest that before donating or purchasing something from a foundation, be it for breast cancer research or some other cause, do your research so you know exactly where the money is going.

If you are okay with having most of the money go to profits for the company or the manufacturing of the merchandise, then so be it; but I’d rather donate to a more legitimate foundation, such as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. They are actively doing research, and I’d much rather my money go to a direct source rather than an indirect source.