Tattoo Ideas: Breast Cancer Pink Awareness Ribbons
When I was in elementary school in the early 1990s, I remember seeing neighbors tie yellow ribbons around the trees in their front yard. My grandparents told me it was in support of our troops, who were overseas fighting in Operation Desert Storm. In high school, I started noticing red ribbons pinned to the shirts of classmates and learned that they were a symbol of AIDS awareness, dyed red because that's the color of passion. The ribbon has been a symbol of awareness ever since.
In 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to participants at NYC's race for breast cancer survivors. Later, ribbons were distributed in various New York City department stores. According to Wikipedia, "Charlotte Hayley, who battled breast cancer, produced peach color ribbons. She sold them with a card saying, "The National Cancer Institute annual budget is 1.8 billion US Dollars, and only 5 percent goes for cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon." It was eventually decided that the permanent color of the ribbon would be pink. It quickly became an international symbol of breast cancer awareness.
Each year breast cancer kills more than 500,000 men and women worldwide, although breast cancer in men is 100 times less likely than breast cancer in women. It is the second most common type of cancer, and the fifth most common cause of death by cancer.
Early detection and prevention are key. The best thing a woman can do is to give herself a breast exam at least once a month to detect any lumps around the breast tissue, and to visit her OB/GYN once a year. Breast self exams should start being done as early as your 20s. It's easy to do, it takes five minutes, and noticing a lump early on could absolutely save your life. For detailed instructions on how to do a breast self exam, check out this
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and during this time, thousands of products are emblazoned with the pink ribbon symbol with the intention being that a small portion of the proceeds will be donated to breast cancer prevention or research. Particularly during this month, a pink ribbon is worn to recognize the struggle that breast cancer sufferers must face. For those who have lost a loved one to the disease, a year-round and lifelong tribute is to get a tattoo of the pink ribbon. The pink ribbon tattoo is equally applicable to those who have had a loved one suffer from the disease but survive, as well as those who have valiantly battled breast cancer themselves—and won.
Pink Ribbon tattoosClick thumbnail to view full-size
A simple, standard pink ribbon tattoo would get the point across perfectly, but I am always amazed at the other creative ways people find to express the sentiment. The tattoos below are beautiful. One twists the pink ribbon into the shape of a heart; another pink ribbon is surrounded by a tribal butterfly design accompanied by pink- and blackwork. My favorite is the angelic, winged pink ribbon with halo on top. There are endless ways of customizing the pink ribbon designs, and a quick Google search will lead you to websites brimming with ideas.