Paint with all the colors of the…whatever.

I can’t imagine how optically displeasing this month is for folks who dislike the color pink. Myself, I love it. I think everything should be pink, the color of love and settled stomachs.

And while I think it’s great – absolutely awesome – how the awareness of breast cancer research and early detection seems to increase with each year, I can’t help but think that maybe the boobies are kind of stealing the show.

I know, it’s horrible to say, but there’s so many other types of horrible cancers. I can’t help but wonder how left out they might feel, and the pressure their advocates (dis-advocates?) are under to brand and sell themselves.

“We call this meeting of the osteosarcoma marketing committee to order. First item of business: we need to choose a color. I know, I know. We jumped on this bandwagon a little late, folks. Most of the good colors are taken. Last week, we discussed adopting a kind of plaid or stripe thing. Thoughts?”

In the spirit of sharing awareness, I decided to do some cursory research on other colors that have been chosen as a symbol of awareness and/or support of other diseases or causes. I thought that I’d have to wade through a lot of contradicting information, but it seems others have taken on this task before I. Click here for a pretty comprehensive site.

And for those of you who aren’t real big into the link-clicking, let me summarize.

(But first, I disclaimerize: Am I about to make fun of this stuff? You betcha. Do I mean any disrespect? Of course not! Do I admit that I’m a big ol’ hypocrite, as I wear a LiveSTRONG bracelet 14 hours a day, 7 days a week? That’s a big ol’ duppity-duh).

Onward.

The good folks of Crafts n’ Scraps seem to have really done their homework here. Of particular note are the explanations of each cause. For example, red signifies support for awareness of alcohol and drug abuse. Shirley – I’m gonna call her Shirley, everyone okay with that? Great) takes care to add that this includes inhalants. Perhaps someone close to Shirley, or Shirley herself, has taken a snort or two (rest in peace, Uncle Gluey), because personally I just make the assumption that abuse is abuse. Maybe I’ve watched too much Celebrity Rehab,* but I’d just automatically group that in with the rest. Unless each separate drug gets its own color.

…and why not? If orange is the color of feral cats (not 100% sure why they get their own color and stray dogs or dog-wolf hybrids are left out of the fold), why not differentiate between one’s drug abuse of choice? I mean, while we’re at it, shouldn’t the alcoholics be categorizing among themselves? Maybe an amber color for the beer drunks, and clear for the G & T set.

Oh, hey, Aforementioned Fictional Osteosarcoma Marketing Committee! You’ve actually already got yellow. My bad for assuming this particular form of bone cancer was too specialized to warrant its own piece of the rainbow. Unfortunately, you’ve got to share yellow with myxoid liposarcoma and adoptive parents, both of which are known to really hog the spotlight.

It’s not easy being green, and nor is it easy to remember all 34938 causes that have appropriated this color for their own respective agendas. Mitochondrial Disease, Neurofibromatosis (Oooh, I think I’ve heard that one on House!), worker and driving safety and Medical Marijuana (shouldn’t it be a hemp band?) are among the dozens sharing this color.

So as not to be confused with these causes, Support for Adoptees’ Rights To Unseal Adoption Records picked up lime green, as has lymphoma and Sandhoff Disease (which I’ve never heard of, but is probably something truly horrible).

Others joining the green spectrum: light green for chronic pelvic pain (isn’t that also known as being a woman?), Mint for polycystic kidney disease (will never eat a bowl of mint chip again, thanks PKD!), Jade for (and I’m copy-and-pasting here) Asian and Pacific Islander Campaign by ALC to raise liver cancer and Hepatitis B awareness.

Blue is anther big one: everything from second hand smoke (unclear if this is in support of or against: “Mmmm, exhale that cigarette in my face please – I’ve got my blue bracelet on!”) to short bowel syndrome (my, that sounds quite unpleasant) join together under this color. I’m not sure what Cri du Chat syndrome and Hurricane Support (I do not think this means what they think it means) have in common, but I guess that’s not really the point.

And, as with green, the blues have divided and conquered: light blue for men’s health, periwinkle for stomach cancer. There’s also teal for Dissociative Identity Disorder (I guess the doubters can’t claim it doesn’t exist if there’s promotional literature and rubber jewelry in its support!), but I guess that’s more of a green-blue than a blue-green.

Don’t worry, the list goes on. And on. Purple, White and Black each claim legions of devotees (though Pink really does seem to have been monopolized by Breast Cancer – who knew it had so much in common with Microsoft?), and this is not to mention the two- and three-color combination bands out there. It’s enough to make one’s head spin, or at least cheapen the effect of each one.

My proposal: With the possible exception of the medical marijuana one, are any of these “causes” that controversial? I mean, would someone be offended by my peach-colored Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency band? (“That bracelet is offensive to me! I support Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency’s right to exist!”). I mean, seriously: why don’t we all just wear multi-colored, tye-dyed bands symbolizing our support for, you know, people not being sick?

*This is a plain lie. I’ve never seen that show. It’s exploitative horse shit. (/soap box).

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