October 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A quarter century ago, pink ribbons were first introduced into the cultural consciousness as educators, health practitioners and cancer survivors worked to bring a previously touchy and taboo subject into a space of public discussion for the purposes of raising awareness, increasing prevention, improving treatment and decreasing death rates. Twenty-five years later, those actions are now seen in massive education campaigns, specialized product promotions, diversified fundraisers... and tattooing.
Women of all ages and all walks of life can be stricken with breast cancer so it's no surprise that since tattooing has shed it's image as only for "bad girls" and become a strong emblem of female empowerment, now embraced by teens to seniors, that it's also become something that women have chosen to do to show their support for this cause. If you'd like to show your life-long support for breast cancer awareness, you can now make your statement with more than a ribbon that is just pinned on.
As part of the Run for the Cure event in Victoria, Canada, the Empire Tattoo shop staged their own Ink'd Pink for the Cure event the first weekend of October. With artists from their own shop and some who volunteered their time from others, the tattooists catered to a crowd that lined up for hours, inking in hundreds of ribbons on willing supporters.
Dark Cherry Tattoo, located in Odessa, Texas, is offering clients who get a cancer ribbon tattoo a discount. Get your ribbon tattoo and 100% of the tattoo cost will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
In Heckmondwike, England, tattooist Kim Walsh of The Ink Station is doing a two-day tattoo marathon to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. Over the last weekend in October, she will be doing special pink ribbon tattoos on clients, with 80% of the proceeds going to the charity.
And for cancer survivors who had to be tattooed as part of radiation treatments and who find the ink marks to be emotionally uncomfortable or aesthetically undesirable reminders, there are medical offices who are donating laser services to remove the tattooing that had to be done to ensure accurate treatment. DermFX in Redondo Beach and Sunset Beach in California is donating laser removal treatments during October for cancer survivors who would like to be rid of the tattooed remnants of their medical experiences.