Do pink ribbons undermine the women’s health movement? Gayle Sulik, a medical sociologist, thinks so. In “Pink Ribbon Blues,” a 2010 book that was updated and re-released this month, Sulik says that the movement surrounding the breast cancer cause isn’t actually doing much to help eradicate the disease, and that some money for the “cure” effort comes from companies that add to a more carcinogenic environment. Sulik examines advertisements, walks “for the cure” and awareness campaigns, and includes interviews with those affected by the disease. “As the inner workings of pink culture and industry become more visible, largely through the misconduct of breast cancer charities and profit-driven industries, growing numbers are calling for transparency, accountability, and alternatives,” she writes. While Sulik criticizes the breast cancer industry — including its pub crawls and fashion shows — she highlights possible institutional fixes and some organizations that she believes can help to “recalibrate a system gone awry.”
Women’s magazines are riddled with diets promising weight loss. The latest issue of Glamour has a different idea: It’s promoting a diet to clear up acne. The Great Skin Diet claims to diminish the appearance of pimples by as much as 62 percent “just by changing what you eat.” Glamour readers who tried the diet were encouraged to give up processed foods, dairy and alcohol, and to eat a dermatologist-designed menu of vegetables, fish, lean meats, whole grains and healthy fats. While the American Academy of Dermatology doesn’t support the idea of a connection between food and acne, Glamour found that “of the seven women who tried our diet for the full seven weeks (most of whom had severe, persistent acne), six saw noticeably better complexions.” For those who doubt the food-pimple connection — or who don’t want to wait more than a month to see if the diet works for them — Glamour shares tips on how to fake perfect skin with makeup.