Proud to be Part of a Movement
Executive Director, Look Good Feel Better
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While it has become a familiar part of our lives, it wasn’t always that way. Launched in 1985, the annual campaign set out to promote awareness and support for women with breast cancer while championing access to prevention strategies, including mammography, at a time when people simply didn’t talk about breast cancer. Thirty-four years later, you would be hard-pressed to find an adult woman who had not been exposed to – and thus benefited from – this important effort.
I am proud to say that the cosmetics and personal care industry was a leader in the breast cancer awareness movement almost from the beginning. Thirty years ago, the industry launched a ground-breaking program, Look Good Feel Better. It was the first organized, charitable program to assist female cancer patients – free of charge – with appearance side effects from cancer treatment. From our start in 1989, we quickly learned that in addition to improving appearance and body image, Look Good Feel Better also improved morale, confidence, hope, and provided a vision of the light at the end of the treatment tunnel.
Today, we take for granted that companies engage in Corporate Social Responsibility. But 30 years ago, it was just taking root as a concept. Little did we know at the time that we were at the forefront of this sweeping change in corporate and consumer mindset, and that we were starting something very special. Dare I say, we were starting a movement?
Look Good Feel Better has proven to be a bold demonstration of the good that can happen when industry unites behind a larger purpose. The personal care industry and beauty professionals across the country generously donate millions of dollars’ worth of beauty products and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours to women undergoing cancer treatment, restoring confidence and boosting self-esteem. It has come to represent our industry at its best and exemplifies what our products can do to support wellbeing.
Since those early days, more than 2 million people in 27 countries around the world have experienced the personal and transformative power of our industry’s products to reignite their self-confidence in the midst of their most challenging moments.
And it works. We know from research that the program helps women face cancer with confidence – 96% say the program improved their self-image and 98% would recommend it to other women with cancer.
We have been building this movement for 30 years but, in some ways, we are just getting started.
Today, we are stretching to reach a bold and ambitious future. Look Good Feel Better now offers free support for cancer patients through live, hospital-based group workshops; new virtual livestreaming programs; through community partnerships such as our collaboration with Walgreens; and by offering robust online education and support. We are delivering the Look Good Feel Better message and expertise when and where the information is needed, thereby reaching and serving more women in need.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a time to rededicate our efforts toward prevention, education, patient and survivor support and, ultimately, finding a cure for this cruel disease that strikes 1 in 8 women in their lifetime. In fact, more than half (60%) of the women Look Good Feel Better serves are breast cancer patients and nearly a third of new cancer diagnoses among women in 2019 are expected to be breast cancer diagnoses. We are helping women at a critical time, in a real and tangible way, to find their way through and beyond breast cancer.
I am proud of what we have accomplished in the past 30 years, and honored to have been a part of it. And I am energized knowing that Look Good Feel Better is well-positioned to be a powerful resource for the next 30 years.
So, before October comes to an end, let’s celebrate how far we’ve come – and together, commit ourselves to the future of Look Good Feel Better and the people we serve.