Ah, October, resplendent with the presence of chrysanthemums, the outing of the comforter throws and the impending promise of winter.
It seems a bit contradictory that, in the color spectrum of fall and its auburns, golds and yellows, the most present October color is Pink.
It’s been this way since 1991, when the pink ribbon, symbolizing breast cancer awareness, made its debut at the New York City Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Race for the Cure.
Now, the pink ribbon is a standard for raising awareness for the disease and we see it everywhere – from the arm bands of football players to the lids of yogurt products.
So I got to wondering and investigating why pink was chosen to represent the disease that affects 1 in 8 women. Why not soft lavender or powder blue?
The word “pink”, I learned it draws its name from the Dianthus, a flowering pink plant which grows very nicely in our Southwest desert. So, it’s sturdy, hearty, and beautiful.
Pink has made its presence known in every artistic form like fashion and art since the dawn of time. Audrey Hepburn loved the color, quoting that “I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.”
In a high Renaissance painting the Madonna of the Pinks by Raphael, the Christ child is presenting a pink flower to the Virgin Mary. The pink was a symbol showing a spiritual bond and link between the mother and child. Pink, then, is parental.
Pink. It is simply a fun color. When you wear pink, you simply feel better. We see pink elephants when we over imbibe. But most of the time, its fun getting to that state?
Pink is the color of promise. If you are “in the pink”, you are in top form, in good health, in good condition. Provided you haven’t received a pink slip from your employer. Presumably for the pink elephant incident.
And if you have received good news about your breast cancer diagnosis, or your treatment end is in sight, then everyone who loves you is tickled pink!
In the almost twenty years of operation, the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation has been blessed and touched by the lives of many, many pink people who have come through our doors. Thank you for sharing your stories, your joys and your challenges with us.
October should serve as a reminder to you that you are sturdy, hearty, provocative, parental, poetic and beautiful women (and men). Wear your pink proudly. You’ve earned it.
Patty Tiscareño is the Executive Director of the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation, a local, non-profit organization which serves all the colors of cancer. www.rgcf.org