Saturday, October 1, 2011

On awareness

This is a swatch-free post, so if that bores you, go ahead and skip it. If you're still with me, hi! I'd like to take a minute to talk about October. Everyone knows it's breast cancer awareness month, right? There's a deluge of pink products that come out this time of year and I'd just like to take a second to talk about them and the cause as a whole. I think the idea of products that contribute to funds supporting care for those with breast cancer or research for cures is great.. HOWEVER. A lot of companies only donate a small amount of the purchase price, and that kinda rubs me the wrong way. The idea seems to be 'let's make this thing in pink/slap some pink ribbons on the box, tell people we'll donate money, and watch the cash roll in!'. My advice is to do your research and see just how much is going to be donated and, even more importantly, where it's going. If you really want to support breast cancer related causes, you'd be better off researching reputable organizations and just donating directly. You can even find cancer treatment centers near you and see if they need donations of any items. Temptalia has a great post covering beauty brands that are making significant donations as well as charities you can check out, so please go have a look.

Now that we've covered donations, let's talk about breast cancer itself. If you're reading this and are thinking 'Meh, I'm too young to worry about that', you're wroooong! While it's rare, it can definitely happen in your 20s and 30s. It's super important for you to check yourself on a regular basis just to know what your normal breast tissue feels like so that if anything changes, you can be aware. Thanks to my regular self-checks and awareness of my normal tissue, I was able to catch a benign growth early and have it removed in early September. Even benign growths can be harmful; they can grow large enough to disfigure the breast or take over healthy mammary glands. So please, check yourself and stay healthy. We don't have cyborg bodies available yet so you've got to take care of the one you have right now.

Finally, I'm going to switch gears and discuss another condition that, unlike breast cancer, doesn't get a lot of recognition. October is also depression awareness month. Depression is a very, very tough condition and one that can vary widely in its presentation. You may have a friend with depression and not even know it. The best thing you can do is to simply listen and care. It can mean the world to get a friendly text or call from someone. And if you're starting to feel like you've got more than just the blues, please don't hesitate to reach out. If you're a student, your campus will likely have a mental health or students of concern center that can help you deal with what's going on. A lot of people have the idea that it's something you can just shake off yourself, but it's not true. Reaching out to a therapist or other mental health professional is the key to managing successfully, just like with any other medical condition. You wouldn't sit at home with pneumonia and try to psych yourself out of it, would you? Depression awareness is signified by the color green so I'm going to try and post at least one green polish per week for the rest of the month.

Thanks for reading all this. I know this is 'just a nail polish blog' but there's a real person who writes it, one with feelings and concerns and who wants people to be healthy, happy, and loved.

P.S. Don't forget to get your flu shot! CVS is doing them for $30 if you don't have insurance, and most insurance plans will cover it for free. It'll keep you from getting sick and making people you know sick, which is especially important if you're around little kids or the elderly a lot as the flu can be fatal for them. If you're afraid of needles, there's a nasal spray version available too, so no excuses!


4 comments:

  1. I agree whole heartedly! I'm very wary of buying pink things in October for the same reason.

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  2. Every time I despair about the state of our nation, and the character of the young people who will be the leaders of our country in the future, along comes a post like this one that proves me wrong.

    There are caring and considerate young people with a good head on their sholders.

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  3. Excellently said! ...and solid advice.

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