When I first got the idea of writing this post, it was going to be more of a complaint with a hint of jaded anger infused between the lines. The nausea was induced by another advertisement showing another bracelet representing another cause that needed to be brought to the attention of the public.
These days we've got so many worthy causes being thrown in our faces. The ad showed a semi-popular (but not so much cause she's getting old and is sort of if you look really quickly or see her in your peripheral vision but kinda not hot) actress wearing all black except for a bracelet on her wrist. The ad was for women's heart disease--like men don't get the disease. They wanted to make the public more aware about the prevalency of heart disease in women.
Anyway, the reason I was somewhat disturbed was because people end up buying these bracelets to wear more as a fashion statement rather than to bring to awareness the charity they were "supporting".
Take for example the yellow Livestrong bracelets. When they first came out, everyone wanted one. I think more because of the fact that Lance Armstrong was behind the design and the foundation, then for what it was actually representing or for which it was raising money. I remember seeing it on my young nephew's wrist (they come in children's sizes or small) and asking him what the bracelet meant. He "knowingly" replied "It's for Lance Armstrong".
I asked him why, what about Lance Armstrong. He replied, "He's the best bike racer ever". I again rephrased my question, "But why the yellow rubber bracelet?". He then informed me that yellow was Lance's color that he used whenever he raced. Okay, maybe I wasn't communicating well enough. I tried a different tact--"what do people like about the bracelet, why does Lance sell them?". He said the bracelets were only one dollar, Lance wore one when he won a race and that other movie stars also wore one.
With a last ditch effort to get an answer from his 10 year-old-mind (he's now 13 and bracelets are no longer cool, but a distraction while playing sports) I asked, "Who get's the dollar?". He replied "I don't know".
At that point, I could tell he was tired of my questioning and wanted to fling the bracelet at me, rubber band style---maybe hard enough to leave a mark. He was pulling on it uncomfortably, covering it with his sleeve in an attempt to direct my attention elsewhere (he was probably thinking, if he doesn't see it anymore he will leave me alone). I hugged him and said that Lance was trying to raise money for cancer that his dollar was being used for cancer research. I then went out and bought him another one to show him that I approved of his wearing it.
Anyway, we've got all these different bracelets out there now. People wear ribbons to bring to the awareness another disease which could possibly fly under the radar or is left unchecked unless certain procedures or labs are checked. And I've come to realize while pondering how to bash the makers of these bracelets that a lot of money has been raised for these causes--that more advertising has been done to raise awareness than ever before. And more than hundreds of afflicted patients have been saved because they/family members/friends have been made aware.
Instead of criticizing, I came to understand all the ribbon and bracelet wearing. And I commend many of these charities for making their plights known to everyone.