There’s an awareness ribbon for that

February 7th, 2013

The swatch of fabric forms a loop at the top and leaves two tails hanging down, becoming a symbol for a cause or remembrance. We are referring to the awareness ribbons that so many of us see every day. They come in the form of a sticker on a car window or a patch worn on the breast of a jacket. We see them on purses, apparel, store windows, and at sponsored events. The awareness ribbon has become the universal symbol for something that demands attention.


Here is a breakdown on the some of the most popular ribbons and their meanings, though we’re sure there are some out there we don’t know about!


The most famous of them all is the pink ribbon, made famous by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is dedicated to education and research about causes, treatment, and the search for a cure for breast cancer. This ribbon has become more than a symbol. For some, it has become a way of life. Both men and women have joined together to raise awareness and funds through runs, races and rallies to find a cure for cancer. The pink ribbon also represents another form of cancer awareness – childhood cancer.


The yellow ribbon is also seen a lot as bumper stickers and it represents our troops. It is also a symbol for POW/MIA soldiers, suicide prevention, Amber Alerts, as well as a general symbol of hope. Coupled with a heart, the yellow ribbon represents those affected by suicide.


Another popular ribbon color is red. Because red is a color that conjures deep power and understanding, red is a bold choice to represent such life altering illnesses as AIDS and HIV as well as heart disease, various forms of cancer, MAD/DARE and more. Red’s ribbon’s cousin, burgundy, represents brain aneurysms, headaches, hospice care, adults with disabilities and a host of diseases. Grey and silver often represent some form of cancer awareness as well.


The purple ribbon, and its variations, often symbolizes general cancer awareness, though it can also represent domestic violence, religious tolerance, animal abuse, victims of 9/11, ADD awareness, eating disorders and various diseases. The flag ribbon is a popular ribbon for 9/11 victims and heroes, patriotism and troop support.


Other ribbons out there include blue for Hurricane Katrina victims as well as music awareness; dark blue for arthritis, child abuse prevention, victim’s rights, free speech, water quality, and water safety; Green for childhood depression, missing children, the environment and organ/tissue donation; orange represents leukemia, cultural diversity, and self-injury awareness; white stands for innocence, victims of terrorism, violence against women, bone cancer and adoptees.


Two more recent awareness ribbons are puzzle piece ribbons that represent autism and conditions within the autism spectrum; and the rainbow ribbon, representing gay pride and support for the LGBT community.


In a world of imperfections, it’s nice to see that some people take the time to sport a ribbon that shows they care. So, the next time you see a ribbon, even if you’re not sure what it represents, give pause. There is someone out there hurting and the ribbon you see offers hope.

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One Comment on “There’s an awareness ribbon for that”

  1. 1 Eating Disorder Awareness Ribbon said at 2:33 pm on April 27th, 2013:

    […] global symbol to raise eating disorders awareness. Many diseases are signified by ribbons or by . There's an awareness ribbon for that – Silver Charms Inc The purple ribbon, and its variations, often symbolizes general cancer awareness, though it can […]

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