Photo: Richard Corkery for the New York Daily News
The passing of Evelyn Lauder is a heartbreaking blow to the beauty industry and to the Breast Cancer awareness campaigns she was so passionate about.
Her commitment to womens’ issues was inspiring, and in her honor today I would like to post a previous article she did in regards to her Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. May her beauty, grace, and generosity be an inspiration to us all.
Q&A WITH EVELYN H. LAUDER
SENIOR CORPORATE VICE PRESIDENT, THE ESTÉE LAUDER COMPANIES INC.
FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, THE BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION®
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INVOLVED WITH RAISING AWARENESS AND FUNDS TO HELP FIGHT BREAST CANCER?
In the 1980’s, I was initially inspired by a video produced by Look Good…Feel Better, an organization that helps women undergoing cancer treatments by improving their self-image and appearance through self-help beauty sessions that create a sense of support, confidence, courage and community. At the time, AIDS was being widely recognized as an epidemic and much of the world’s attention was focused on this disease; however tens of thousands of women were dying from breast cancer and much less attention was being paid to this cause. I realized that there was a need to help women become better informed about breast health.
Women of the world needed a voice and much more needed to be done to raise awareness. Look at us now!
Knowledge is power and the purpose of The Estée Lauder Companies’ BCA Campaign is to reduce fear in the minds of women all over the world through increased awareness about the importance of breast health and early detection. The more a woman knows about her body, the more she knows about her health, the more proactive she is, the more in control she is, the less frightened she is.
If you reduce fear, women are far better able to cope with any kind of diagnosis. They take control. Today, each and every survivor inspires me to get out there and do more. Everywhere I travel, I meet people who are aware of breast cancer because of receiving a Pink Ribbon, or because of something someone at an Estée Lauder Companies’ brand counter said to them, or they saw an illumination and decided to get a mammogram. I am also inspired and energized when I meet our customers around the world and see firsthand what they are doing to save lives. The actions on the part of so many people inspire all of us to keep fighting. There’s an old saying I truly believe: “If you save the life of one person, you save the entire world.”
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PINK AS THE SYMBOLIC COLOR FOR THE BCA CAMPAIGN AND THE PINK RIBBON?
When a baby is born, boys are associated with the color light blue and girls with the color light pink. Because pink is the color that represents femininity, it was a natural choice to represent awareness of breast cancer, which affects women so predominantly. Eventually, I turned the color of our Pink Ribbon to hot pink to symbolize my drive to turn up the heat on breast cancer and raise awareness with ferocity. Making the color so brilliant stressed how important it is to find a cure.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL WOMEN WHO HAVE JUST DISCOVERED THEY HAVE CANCER TO GIVE THEM HOPE AND COMFORT? WHAT ABOUT WOMEN WHO HAVE LOVED ONES SUFFERING FROM THE DISEASE?
The good news is that more people are surviving every single year so, firstly, never give up. Go to a breast specialist or a teaching hospital if possible. Following the advice of your oncologist and surgeon is very important. Many of today’s treatments are more tolerable than in the past, and there are excellent targeted treatments which affect the tumor only (rather than the entire body) that have been, and continue to be, developed. Additionally, there are many effective drugs that now control the side effects of chemotherapy. Many women are living with the cancer as a chronic illness.
Don’t be afraid of breast cancer. Don’t be afraid to do breast self-examinations or to have a clinical breast exam as part of a regular doctor’s visit. Don’t be afraid to have regular mammograms if you’re over the age of 40. Don’t be afraid – or wait – to go to your doctor if you find a lump or suspect something.
*For more information on Evelyn Lauder and the Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness, please visit www.esteelauder.com