Stupid Pictures

I am sorry to have to say this but is it necessary to have silly pictures when we log on of men with balloons in pink? As much as i know you need the money which is raised by events, i honestly think it would sicken me if i was recently Dx and looked at that.
Nearly 3 yrs since DX, but hardly able to walk and needing tests for possible bone mets i just cant get into the balloons and party spirit. Maybe i am a kill joy.

I love this site but i think it would be good if some of your staff had actually experienced BC and were coming from it from this end.


I usually log on straight to the forum pages so miss the home page. Have just checked it out…and so agree with Ruth…I am sick of pink balloons and silly party hats. Why? Why? Why?

I see this is all systems go for pink stinks October and can assure all that I have no intention of:

having a pink dress day at work where everyone pays £1 to wear it pink
organising a girls night in at home with pink food, pink drink, great movies and music
organising a pink quiz for the young or the young at heart.

And have you organised In the pink Day on October 24th specially for me BCC? A day late in marking my 5 years since diagnosis…would you like a special feature on getting into the wonderful 5 year survival stats? I could wear a pink t-shirt which says on the front:.Five years on…and on the back…death round the corner


I am so glad I am not the only one who feels this way.

I’m not working at the moment, but when I was, the whole pink thing used to turn my stomach.

My colleagues cavorting about in stupid pink clothes, skimpy pink tops and daft hats, me sitting with two lymphoedema sleeves, chemo headscarf and radiation burns, only at work because SSP doesn’t feed many hungry teenagers. At least no-one had the gall to ask me why I wasn’t ‘joining in’. If I possibly could, I’d arrange to not to be in the office that day.

As my husband remarked, he himself had already given quite a lot to breast cancer in terms of hospital car parking fees, annual leave and subsidising my lymphoedema treatment on an ongoing basis.

There has to be a better way to raise awareness, and much needed money, than making it all a bit of a laugh. I think the people who actually have it are the only ones entitled to joke about it - as and when WE want.

Despite Kylie, despite Trish, it ain’t glamorous, it ain’t fun. It stinks. The treatments are brutal - they have to be to stand any chance of being effective - and many do permanent, painful, damage. To wander off the point slightly, I’m tired of seeing, and reading about, perfectly coiffed women with lovely figures who have been given the ‘all-clear’ (how I hate that phrase - and it’s meaningless in cancer terms, too). I’ve had a right mastectomy followed by recon, a left WLE, an oopherectomy and a hysterectomy and I have lymphoedema in both arms. Undressed, I look like a road map. My future is uncertain (well, I suppose everyone’s is, but you’ll know what I mean).

Girls,I know where you’re coming from…

We don’t need a special day or month to think about bc as we think about it everyday (we wouldn’t be on here so often if we didn’t).

I don’t feel like it’s partytime. I feel mutilated, disfigured, deformed - choose what word you will, and I’ve had a reconstruction. My body doesn’t feel like ‘mine’

I’m going into hibernation in October

Marilyn x

Like Jane, I normally skip the Home page…and I tend to then just click on the Secondaries forum but this message caught my eye.
I’ve been using these forums on and off for several years now and have got so tired of the whole sparkly Pink thing. I have lost too many friends to this disease and along with Jane I too will be another ‘statistic’ one day…so not so ‘in the pink’ at all.
I don’t think it’s always us BCC are thinking of with their Pink October ideas, it’s more a way of raising funds from those who (mostly) don’t have the disease, the monies which I guess, hope, may be used to help some here. I used to get more annoyed by Pink October but have now resigned myself to thinking nothing will ever change in my lifetime. And I too have been bombarded with pink cakes and all things pink at work. Breast Cancer is not sparkly pink fairy wings though it’s a bl**dy awful disease.

Hi everyone

I don’t want to derail this discussion, but we are are working to ensure that people with breast cancer will get what they want from our website as soon as they come to the site. If you go to the forum feedback section and the thread ‘a new website’ you can see some prototypes of the new design.

All the best


Hello everyone,

Have to agree and disagree with some of you on this one.

The picture - this one didn’t annoy me as much as the lady trying on the wig who was smiling away quite happily - when I went to try my wig on I was in tears.

As for pink October - I am so grateful that this form of cancer does have a lot of publicity and raises a lot of money. My daughter died from a very rare brain tumour, only about 30 children in the UK will be dx with it every year. The numbers dx with it are so small, there is no money for research and I doubt there will ever be a cure for it.

I don’t take part in any of these fundraising activities as I feel ‘cancered out’ but I do donate to several cancer charities by direct debit with no pomp and ceremony, no fuss and I am happy to do it in this way.

The downside to pink October for me is that I don’t feel that the message gets across that for a lot of us (me included) this disease is life threatening. Not everyone gets a good prognosis (even though I know of people who have had a good prognosis who are sadly no longer with us). Love xxx

If Pink October and other ways of raising awareness and funds to help research into breast cancer and it’s treatments (hopefully less barbaric and more effective ones than we have at present) then as far as I am concerned, although it may be unpalatable to the few, it can only be a good thing for the many.


I think Pink October may well raise awareness and funds, as justme has suggested (good point), but I think the spin-off is that it gets both trivialised and glamorised at the same time.

Swissmiss’s remark about the smiling lady and the wig is a good one. Head shots of (mostly) women looking vaguely perplexed doesn’t quite put the message across in my book, either. If the RSPCA can include shots of neglected, starved animals in their campaigns, perhaps a few pics of bald people with mastectomy scars, swollen arms and blistered feet (with perhaps a scratch’n’sniff card to put across what a person on chemo can actually smell like, too) and so on might do more to ram the realities home - and, who knows, raise even more money?

Just a thought…



Dear Interactive Services Manager

The issues I have raised are not simply a question of website design…they are about policy. Nor is it simply that us poor things who actually have breast cancer get ‘upset’ about jokey images of people prancing around in silly pink hats. Some of us believe it or not have brains as well as breasts and actually think that the corporate consumerism associated with breast cancer is harmful to that thing that we want most…prevention of and a cure for breast cancer.

What evidence do you have that promoting this infantilising kind of silly fundraising actually raises more than straightforwad giving? How much of each pound you raise at BCC is actually spent on services helping people with breast cancer rather than on the complex administration of organising all these pink events?

I know Pink Octobr does raise a lot of money and I know too that less wealthy cancer charities sometimes resent the overkill on breast cancer (while acknowledging that there can be a spin off for their own fund raising). I think the pink ribbon may have had its place 10/15 years ago but the razamattazz associated with it now is just sickening and counter productive.



I agree, I was to sad to try on wigs my daughters bought mine as gifts and I look a complete bugger in head scarves but wore then no choice couldnt stand the cold! This disease has tried to rob me of my beauty lobsided boobs fat arm in fact fat everything bald head no eyelashes grey skin. I know for most it lasts only a few months and then like ugly ducklins we become swans again! I know my beauty is from within but the stranger in the shop or bus stop doesnt.

Love Debsxxx

I’m glad that this thread has started. I have always felt niggled when I read the sample thread at the beginning on how to tie a headscarf. I mean how can something so trivial be used as a sampler for this forum. Of course it may be useful to know 101 ways to tie a headscarf…but honestly we are so much more.

well, I also agree but wonder what we can offer to replace those images. We are a very creative bunch of women; just see the Neverending Haiku thread. Very resilient.

So, instead of the pink campaign which is truly out of control, what ways would you implement to raise funds?
As for the website itself, it may be that they do not want to scare folks off who are just starting. The question may be that we need to ask who the audience is for this website. Obviously for folks with bc; but at what level? Newbies? Middlers? Elders of bc? The pics will change accordingly. Also, if it is not for us, then who is it for exactly?

Most website have controls as to what they can say and do; and most websites are team oriented. I did a bit of website creation years ago and was astounded at the way the websites were thrown together corporately – each person had a section of it with only one person looking at the whole. It makes for a very disjointed content in some cases.

Anyway, I digress. What are your thoughts that we can offer as a substitute? Any ideas???
Fire away…


I’ve just been on the home page of Ovarian Cancer Action. A simple serious home page and a single simple button to click: donate now. No links to ideas for pinkraising (have just read BCCs which include sponsoring a colleague to wear pink pants over their trousers…ha ha really funny.)


Jane, how I agree. I remember when I first came here 3 years ago the same ‘debate’ raging and being totally gobsmacked that it existed at all.

It does worry me that the whole thing is glamourised by the media and that people become ‘immune’ to the reality. That in turn, surely, will eventually mean that they donate elsewhere, as they assume there is enough being donated by everyone and they will donate elsewhere. (Hope that makes sense). I really do feel that it undermines the reality of what happens and people should see the truth.

Slightly off subject - just a couple of weeks ago I took the bull by the horns and did something about those emails I get of ‘walking women’ , ‘make sure you have a mammogram’ etc glossed over with cartoons and pink stuff generally - you know, ‘send this to 10 women’ etc.

It’s SO difficult to say to people who send me these things that I don’t want them. These are friends sending, who think they are doing it out of kindness etc. But I’m afraid after 3 years of them I flipped when the last lot came into my inbox (they seem to do the rounds every few months). I emailed everyone and told them not to - I was as nice as I could be and explained that I live with this every day and don’t need reminding by blooming email! I wish I’d done it ages ago.

Love Caz xxx

Scare folks off? By telling and showing a true picture? So, then, better to present a false image and seduce people into bcworld by blandishments and false reassurance? And pictures of smiling ladies… If we showed a picture of a scarred bald pasty woman with a lymphoedema sleeve in tears - someone like us - we are going to scare people? That seems to be what follows from what you are saying. It would hardly be the wrong impression. And what then? People might decide not to have their treatment? That would be their right, we are in life and death territory here. But I dare say what would happen is, women would be better informed thereby, more in control of their own treatment and less shocked by it when they have it, for those who choose the horrible treatment in preference to almost certain death.

That being said, I’m not up for a photo session myself. And homepage may not be the place for it, though I think there is a place for truthful images on here, rather than the “hey ho breast cancer is doable” message - yes, it’s doable, like life, and like life, it’s tough and it stinks. However if they want to do their fundraising - and I am still not sure about all the money that, it seems, goes into cancer in general and bc in particular, I’m not sure we shouldn’t be putting all this energy into mental health provision, say, after all, at least we can die of our illness, people with serious mental disorders have to live with theirs - but if they want to do their fundraising, and BCC have helped me a lot to cope I have to say, then I suppose they need something a bit cheery, so it’s a tough one. Maybe - I don’t know - there is a way of celebrating life, and the bit of extra life we have gained at a huge price - without making it look trivial, but I can’t actually think of one.

In all honesty until it became a discussion topic I didn’t even notice the offending picture - it blurred into the usual clutter I always ignore on home pages.
Am I upset by images of blokes in party hats? Personally no - it’s just marketing. A way of wrestling a few £££ from the Nuts magazine fraternity who normally wouldn’t give a monkeys about bald mastectomised old women in their lymphoedema supports.

The problem is - is this primarily a website for people directly affected by breast cancer or is it for fundraising?
I’m not sure it can do both adequately without upsetting some people.
So, yes, I think the Interactive Services Manager (very Orwellian!) is partially right - in simple terms this is about web design.

The deeper issue is however - when a charity’s fundraising techniques are at odds with the people they are working on behalf of then is it time to stop and reassess? And do the opinions expressed here accurately represent the majority of women with breast cancer?

I personally detest the corporate pink bandwagon hopping by the likes of Avon etc. The whole pink thing has never floated my boat and has no resonance with me at all and I have griped on other threads how the pinkyness of it all is, as Jane has said, utterly infantalising - not to mention alienating.

Given that some users of this site who have breast cancer do find the home page image inappropriate and upsetting, I hope that BCC take steps to remedy the situation with some swift re-designing.
On the bigger issue of the pinkyfication of breast cancer - a hopeless task I fear. The pink ribbon is a remarkably successful internationally recognised and hugely exploitable symbol.
Trouble is, in effectively exploiting the symbolism of breast cancer are they failing the women who actually have it?


snowwhite - you took me a bit literally re scaring away folks, but I get your point. It is a fine balance between attracting folks who will donate and satisfying the women of the day. It hasn’t stopped us from coming here, though; and I suspect that is because the BCC is flexible enough to allow this type of conversation at all.

LIke most of you, I also come into the forum and skip the homepage enitrely. So I took some time to look about. The moderator mentioned the new website for a good reason. The new website promises photos of folks who have dealt with breast cancer – the following is an excerpt from the new website description.

In the last year we have received a lot of feedback from our users, telling us that they find a lot of the images on our website are not genuine reflections of who they are.

A lot of charities use stock photography for their imagery without considering that this might appear very insensitive to their users, something that we were guilty of too!

To put this right, we recently organised a photoshoot for which we recruited fourteen ‘models’, all of whom have had a direct experience of breast cancer.

So management is aware and has done something about it. The new website launches in the Fall, most officially though in March.

Since the complaints were heard and addressed for the realistic photos; the next step is to ask if we can not place the inappropriate images of office parties in pink on the front page but perhaps level those types of things down a few levels. As Jane has noted, it is entirely possible to have a decent photo up front with a button to the fund-raising page.

does anyone informed on the percentages of the fund-raising to administration vs cancer research for any of the pink ribbon thrusts? I will try to see what I can find, but all of us together will be much more effective.


I too do not like this’pinkiness’ of bc and as another bcc user has said’fwuffy wuffyness’ of bc. It is a stinking disease and does not make me want to party in pink !!!


I think along the same lines as most of you guys . I feel all this pink business trivialises the sh8t we go through . But the aussie health minister who said that Prostate cancer does not same coverage as BC is the best insult yet, he states that BC is more sexy than Prostate cancer…YES very sexy >>>one boob cut off sometimes two… scars from lumpectomies…sickness and vomiting thru chemo. pus leaking from rads burns need I go on. (Read last thread on news of Christina Applegate)