Fashion Targets Breast Cancer … And Misses The Black Spot
So the Council of Fashion Designers of America CFDA has again banded together several fashion retailers to raise awareness and funds to support medical research, screening, education and patient care. Ac.Stet likes the fact that it is a noble effort, which began in 1994, on the part of CFDA in lending its gloss to philantrophic do’s to the less fortunate.
Although, as all fashion media goes, Ac.Stet is acutely aware the repercussions of putting out such a print ad. The image composition is magnificent, all long-limbed nymphs in bikini bottoms. And in limited color blocks.
Ac.Stet’s not just talking about the color of their baby-tees. There are whites (model Sasha, Daria Werbowy, Lily C, Lily D), and er, yellow/olive (Chinese import Du Juan).
So … where’s the black rep? Or a Hispanic rep?
Ac.Stet is not being nitpicky here.
Come on, in FTBC’s case, if Fashion REALLY targets breast cancer, they would have done due diligence on the medical condition that accounts for 2% of all deaths nationwide and would have known that:
African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic whites are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stages of breast cancer tumors than non-Hispanic whites and Asian/Pacific Islanders.
Japanese and Chinese females have better breast cancer survival rates while Hawaiian and Mexican women had 30% poorer survival rates when compared to non-Hispanic whites.
African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanic whites faced a 10-70% greater risk of death after a breast cancer diagnosis as compared to non-Hispanic whites.
The figures are taken from a 2003 study undertaken by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Data from 125,000 women representing all major racial, and ethnic populations and subpopulations, in the US were evaluated. Data for the study came from 11 tumor registries that are a part of the National Cancer Institute’s SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) program.
A more recent study, published this year in the Sep 15, 2007 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, echoes similar results mentioned in the 2003 study. (Please visit website: “Racial Disparities In Breast Cancer Survival Persist” , http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/79638.php)
So, for this FTBC campaign – and others before it – why are white and almost white fashion models used to represent the fight against breast cancer, when the very women they are trying to help are of skin tones distinctly remote from theirs?
This is surely a gross misrepresentation of reality. Has the campaign overlooked substance for style? … … Perhaps, just perhaps …. the campaign’s press agency, KCD, must be screwing up again.
And oh, for those of you interested, if you visit the main website for this cause, www fashiontargetsbreastcancer dot com, you will spot another HUGE boo-boo. Right at the bottom of the homepage reads: “©2005 FASAHION TARGETS BRESAT CANCER, CFDA FOUNDATION”.
Er, what’s this new medical condition called bresat cancer?