Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Red Ribbon was an iconic symbol of solidarity among supporters, sufferers, and sympathizers all touched by the AIDS epidemic. In honor of World AIDS Day I bring you a little history of the little scarlet accessory. It was created in 1991 by the New York-based Visual AIDS Artists Caucus. It's red color symbolizes the disease's mode of transmission--blood, as well as passion, love, and emphatic energy. It was inspired by the numerous yellow ribbons tied around trees to show support for Vietnam soldiers in ths '70s. The year of it's creation, actor Jeremy Irons was the first celebrity to wear the red ribbon on a red carpet. He pinned one onto his lapel for the 1991 Tony Awards and thus sparked a '90s cause celebre. No one (except Kramer when he walked in that race) was without a red ribbon at an awards show for the better part of the decade. It's lost prominence, but not iconic power. The ribbon still means what it set out to mean all those years ago, and AIDS is still a cause that should be in the spotlight. So, dust off your ribbons and pin them on. Better yet--volunteer at an AIDS based charity, so many of them need your support.