Can Celebs in Red Dresses Really Save Women From Heart Disease?
In 2003, after a groundbreaking study revealed that heart disease was by far the No. 1 killer of women, the American Heart Association launched Go Red for Women, a campaign focused on promoting awareness, detection, and prevention. For the last 10 years, the campaign has also included something called National Wear Red Day, marked on the first Friday of February every year with the Red Dress Collection fashion show at New York Fashion Week, featuring celebs strutting their stuff in the heart-themed hue.
While the show may attract media attention (like this!), does it actually do anything to help women learn more about their heart disease risks? Probably not. “I think that [Go Red has] been more focused on awareness, and they’ve done a great job with that, but how do you implement those changes that you can make in your life for prevention and detection? That’s the harder thing. It’s a missed opportunity,” Lisa Gualtieri, an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, tells Yahoo Shine. In addition to the show, Go Red asks women to wear red for the day and post pics of their outfits on social media. But those strategies – fun as they are – don’t necessarily translate into women following up with doctors or kicking unhealthy habits.
But big-name celebs speaking out about their personal battles with a particular disease can be beneficial. Take, for example, Angelina Jolie's admission of her mastectomy and high risk of breast cancer. Her story prompted thousands of women to go in for mammographies, women who otherwise might not have. Whether or not it's saving lives, the campaign is trying, at least. Check out some of the famous females who participated in Wear Red Day and get some facts about heart disease while you're at it. — Lauren Tuck, Shine Staff
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