21 February 2017
More Than a Stamp
Successful means of raising awareness to a cause isn’t always easy. Sometimes individuals dedicate weeks, months, or even years trying to shed light upon certain issues without accomplishing anything. Contrary to this outcome, one cause received such triumphant results with something as simple as a stamp.
The Breast Cancer Research semi-postal Stamp has collected exponential support from the public ever since it was released in 1998. In total, it has raised over 8.2 million dollars for breast cancer research. With this money, experimenters have made quite a few wonderful advancements in the aid of breast cancer. Some of these include 3-D mammograms and a test that looks at the genetic makeup of the tumor and presumes if chemotherapy would be effective for the patient or not.
This stamp came from the ideas of Dr. Erie Bodai, a breast surgeon who has treated over 7,000 women with breast cancer. He teamed up with Betsy Mullen, a breast cancer survivor, and David Goodman, who lost his wife to breast cancer, to get the stamp approved by the government. Later, the stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler, who was also a breast cancer survivor, and illustrated by Witney Sherman.
The illustration of the stamp depicts a woman standing against a very vibrant background with hues of orange, yellow, blue, green, and violet. This gives a heartening and optimistic feeling to the viewer. Kessler decided to use Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, to symbolize the hunt or fight against cancer. Also, the ethnic background of the woman appears to be vague, appealing to more individuals. In the image, the woman appears to be reaching for an arrow with her right hand from behind her head by her shoulder. This has more than one meaning. Not only does it show that she is a protector of women, but this stance is also the position that women take when receiving a breast examination. Across the top of the stamp reads the words “Breast Cancer.” In relation, where the woman’s right breast should be but isn’t, the words “FUND THE FIGHT. FIND A CURE,” appear, revealing the overall cause that the stamp is advocating.
This semi-postal stamp uses pathos in a way to appeal to the emotions of the viewer. It makes a bold statement by showing the strength and courage of a powerful woman. There’s no wonder why it gets such widespread support, with more than 1 billion stamps that have already been sold. Breast cancer is a terrible disease that affects not only women, but a significant amount of men as well. With this, it appeals to not just females, but every individual. “We all need a stamp at one time or another, and the Breast Cancer Research Stamp is just one way to contribute to an important cause.” (Feinstein)
AP/ Wide World Photos/ U.S Postal Service. Stamp. The Aims of Argument: A Brief Guide. 7th Ed. By Timothy W. Crusius and Carolyn E. Channell. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Figure C-2. Print