I’ve never taken the time to explain the symbolism behind my logo and how its integral to the overall mission of this blog. I would like to give my logo the attention it deserves.
“I’m not really sure what I want for a logo. All I know is I want a woman’s face, which could be really powerful but really difficult to pull off at the same time. I want a woman’s face because I want breast cancer to be humanized. I want it to feel real.”
That was what I told my friend, Michael Strahan, who designed the logo for this blog. You really should follow him on Instagram by the way @mstrahan7, he takes awesome photos and is just a generally cool dude (he didn’t tell me to say that, promise!). This experience was a first for both of us, because as a writer I’ve never had to dip my toes into graphic design, and as a graphic designer Michael has never had to incorporate a human figure into his art.
About a week or two after our initial conversation, he sent me the draft of the logo. It had the breast cancer ribbon, but with a woman’s face outlined in pink peeping from the top left side of it. We both felt like he was on to something, but there was still something off, and we didn’t know exactly what.
“Maybe the lines outlining the face should be gray,” I suggested. He agreed.
After making those adjustments, we both kept fixating on one of her facial features — her lips. No matter what he did, the lips just seemed out-of-place. After scrutinizing over it for a few minutes, all of a sudden it just clicked .
“Oh my god Michael, I got it. What if we put a breast cancer ribbon over where her lips should be?”
And in that moment, my logo was born.
The woman’s face is universal. She’s not bound to any age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion. She could be anyone. She has a story she’d like to tell, but she can’t. She can’t because she’s gagged and bounded by a pink ribbon. The pink ribbon tells a story for her. According to the pink ribbon, she’s hopeful, she’s optimistic, and she feels feminine. She feels like she has control over her life. But that might not be the truth. In fact, that might be as far from the truth as possible. She could feel hopeless, she could feel terrified, and she could feel like she’s lost her sense of feminity. She feels like she has no control over her life. Her face has become distant, it’s almost just an outline of her former self. Yet in spite of feeling down on herself, she knows she is still a human being. She knows she can’t be diminished to simply a pink ribbon.
I want my logo to be a reminder for not just all of you readers, but for myself, about how critical it is that we rise above this symbol for breast cancer awareness. The breast cancer ribbon never had any bad intentions. If anything, the ribbon was intended to be a progressive symbol with feminist roots, giving power to women to address this disease in a way it never had been addressed before. But as the ribbon has become increasingly central in the breast cancer awareness world, it’s overpowered the women it was supposed to represent. And now when we think of breast cancer awareness, all we think about it ribbons, not women. That’s wrong. That’s what I want to change with this blog.