How A Melanoma Warrior Slayed An Iconic Goldfish And Schooled Pepperidge Farm In Sun Safety

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PeppFarm_GF_Bag
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By Timna Understein – There are times when a series of events creates an unexpected trajectory and such. It’s in these moments that the reality of the WE being stronger than the ME, is so apparent. And sometimes, the WE is formed via social media, and involves colossal companies, and surprising results.

Recently, I experienced one of these serendipitous WE moments involving my organization, Respect the Rays, which promotes melanoma awareness. Here’s how it went…


FIRST, a Respect the Rays follower contacts me with this and a picture (see above) of what she found:

Timna_noteI was shocked by what I saw… a bag of Color Goldfish with the words, “Nothing beats playing outside in the sunshine and getting a little color.”

THIS is not a sun-safe message being delivered to children, but rather the opposite! As a melanoma warrior, I frown upon huge corporations putting massive amounts of money into marketing campaigns that send wrong, and downright BAD, messages about sun safety (or lack there of, really).


SECOND, I turn her picture into an image modified… one that states “wrong message” and “bad marketing”, and Tweet it to Pepperidge Farm (owned by Campbell Soup Company). I also post this image and to the Respect the Rays Facebook page, causing a stir amongst the melanoma community:

Pepp_Farm_RTR


THIRD, Pepperidge Farm responds to my Tweet, basically saying they will formally respond the following day. Some followers thought this was an auto-reply. I was not sure. And so we all waited:

RTR_PeppFarm_Tweet


FOURTH, the next day comes and so does this:

RTR_2


AND BEHOLD, a response arrives:

RTR_3


So there you have it – a follower reaching out, an organization speaking out, a community speaking up, and a mammoth company hearing OUR voice. THAT is how change takes place!


Timna Understein is a melanoma warrior, who has bravely battled this disease twice since 2008 along with a Primary Acquired Melanosis of her left eye in 2012. She is also the WYSK behind Respect The Rays, a melanoma education and awareness movement that targets young people. Read her inspiring story here.

Timna Understein Melanoma Warrior

  • Farley

    Timna, BRAVO, Babe.. You are awesome and I agree. That was a horrible message on the packaging. MIss Representaton does a similar thing when they find sexism alfoat by tweeting the company #notbuyingit

    • Respect the Rays

      Thank you! Gotta do what WE can do! #lifeisaweprogram

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  • Jimmy

    Bravo on the part of the manufacturer. Kids need to get outside for some moderate Sun exposure and vitamin D. Do they need to get tanned? No, but the over-reaction is another example of Sunscare out of control.

    • Respect the Rays

      Thank you for posting. Yes, it is great that big manufacturers listen (sometimes). And yes, kids..well, actually all humans for the most part, need to be outside enjoying life. That can be done with sun safety as top priority. Vitamin D is needed, but can be found in safe forms, such as vitamin supplements. There is no such thing as an over-reaction to melanoma, but rather, there seems to be an under-reaction to knowing the facts about sun safety.

      • Jimmy

        Vitamin D is actually a hormone and getting it from pills is not the best way to do it and you cannot eat enough in your diet to get sufficient amounts. It’s akin to making your own hormones in your body or going on hormone therapy. The Sun is nature’s way. Sun safety is important as to never over-expose but complete abstinence is dangerous and un-natural.

      • Jimmy

        To each their own. You can use hormone therapy (vitamin D pills) or get it the way nature intended from the Sun, safely without overexposure. Not to mention you can’t overdoes on the D from UV but you can on pills. That says enough for me.

    • Margot

      “over-reaction”? nice choice of words for an author “who has bravely battled this disease twice since 2008 along with a Primary Acquired Melanosis of her left eye in 2012.”

      • Jimmy

        It’s a bag of crackers.

        • Respect the Rays

          To you, a bag of crackers….
          To the melanoma community, a bad message being sent to children.

          • Sol

            To the melanoma community perhaps. To people that benefit from safe sun exposure it’s a positive message.

      • Respect the Rays

        Thank you! 🙂

  • Amazing… Social Media actually got used for something positive for humanity for once, and not for Self-Promotion or Approval-Seeking! Seriously – that is awesome!

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