International Day Against Breast Cancer | Tutto Piccolo

International Breast Cancer Day: Why is a pink ribbon used?

Today we remember the origin of the iconic bow that seeks to raise awareness about breast cancer, which actually did not begin with the color pink. When its creator, the American Charlotte Haley , introduced it in 1991, she opted for the peach color.

Charlotte Haley, a brave breast cancer survivor, had a strong desire to contribute to the cause. She decided to make these bows with a distinctive tone, choosing the color peach. She meticulously created them in her own dining room and distributed them to local supermarkets and stores in her community, as well as sending them to notable women.
Haley accompanied each handful of five bows with a note that warned: “The annual budget of the National Cancer Institute is $1.8 billion, of which only 5% is allocated to cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America using this bond.”

Charlotte Haley managed to distribute thousands of these ribbons , and her call to increase investment in the prevention of this disease began to gain notoriety by word of mouth. In just over a year, her idea captured the attention of prominent businesswomen.

The editor of Self magazine, Alexandra Penney, and the vice president of the cosmetics company Estée Lauder, Evelyn Lauder, glimpsed the potential of Haley's ties as a symbol associated with a brand. She was offered to include her peach bow in Self magazine to raise awareness about breast cancer. However, Haley rejected the offer, considering it "too corporate and commercial."

That's when the magazine changed the color of the bow to pink, allowing them to publish it without Haley's permission. Thus, in the October 1992 issue, the iconic pink ribbon that we know today made its first appearance in a major medium. That same year, The New York Times called it "the year of ties."

The Estée Lauder brand distributed around 1.5 million pink bows in its stores that year and established its Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The following year, Penney and Lauder delivered nearly 250,000 petitions to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton requesting increased funding for cancer research . The ribbons were first distributed at the "Race for the Cure" organized by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in New York. The Avon brand also began distributing them, raising around $10 million in the first two years.

Since then, the pink ribbon and the color itself have become a global symbol of this cause, jointly supported by the numerous campaigns carried out every October 19 by foundations, associations, entities and organizations that work tirelessly to raise awareness. about breast cancer.