I saw a Ted Talk the other day of a woman from Australia. I believe she is a TV personality or newscaster there. Truthfully I do not even know what her name is. She got attention by removing her makeup and her dress on stage during her talk. She was expressing her concern about how much time women take for personal grooming and why. She mentioned all the products and processes she went through in order to get ready just to do the Ted Talk. She mentioned how she slathers herself with makeup, moisturizer and other petroleum based and chemically laden ingredients to be softer and look “better.” She also mentioned her concern about having a 7 year old daughter who consistently asks her why women wear makeup Her reply was- honey, I don’t like it, but this is what society expects, and I am doing my best to change it.
My question is, how is she really changing it? OK she did a Ted Talk and took off her dress in front of everyone; I commend her! Is she still wearing makeup? Is she still using half her morning to put on all those petroleum based products she says we know are bad? Is she still telling her daughter, this is what society expects? What does SHE expect?
I think, if we are really to make a change, we need to go by how we really feel, and do it even when society is sending another message. I have not worn makeup for most of my life. I have tried it here and there and really I thought it was more of a nusense than an addition. I had to get up early to apply it, and before bed when I was too tired to even walk, I had to remove it. It made my skin feel uncomfortable and tight. It felt like my skin was choking; it couldn’t breathe. Sometimes I even got really bad reactions from having these products on my face, my eyes were swollen shut the next day. I even tried the more expensive, “natural”, hypo-allergenic mascara. It didn’t make my eyes swell, but it felt like I had plastic on my eye lashes and face. Most of the ingredients of these products are toxic. Some companies are being more aware and taking out chemicals that are carcinogenic, but many are not. Constant research is done to reformulate to keep a certain balance of what is truly toxic with what they can get away with. Some companies still have the same toxic formulations they have been using for years.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body. It absorbs everything and releases most things. Since it does not release everything, this is the problem. Those toxic chemicals it does not release stay in our tissues, our organs, our breast tissue, our lymph nodes and in our fat cells. When I buy a body product, I scrutinize the label. I will not buy it if it has known toxins in it like parabens (methylparaben, n-propylparaben, n-butylparaben, ethylparaben and isobutylparaben.) These have all been found in breast tissue. I will also not buy a product if it has any ingredient I am unfamiliar with that I cannot find out about before I buy it. If the people in the store do not know, or cannot find out, I will check the Environmental Working Group website to see what information they have. I know there are several Apps now that check for GMOs and other ingredients. I do not buy something and put it on my body just because the store carries it or that society says it is good. THIS is how we change things. Not by taking our dresses off on stage, that brings attention to us, but by exposing corporations for their wrong doing. We make change by not allowing large corporations, and product manufacturers to sell us chemically laden toxic products.
Don’t trust them, trust yourself. Be informed. Get educated about what goes on your body and what goes in your body. If you cannot get an answer, don’t buy it anyway, contact the company, tell them you will not buy their product until they will disclose what all the ingredients are. Tell them you will also tell everyone you know to do the same. We are the ones in charge of our bodies NOT the Grocery Manufacturers Association, NOT Bayer, NOT society, NOT the FDA or the US Government, NOT Max Factor, Revlon or L’Oreal. We need to hold these companies accountable for keeping the planet and humanity healthy and we do this by keeping ourselves healthy and being informed about what we put into our bodies!
When we consistently do this, a lot of things will take care of themselves. When we govern ourselves, Mind, Body and Soul it carries over to our relationships, neighborhoods and government. It seems daunting! It is! But that does not mean to stop or give up, it means keep going, pursue what you know to be right for you. Clean air, clean water, fresh, local, chemical free food. Just like the bumper sticker says,
Think Globally, Act Locally!
Locally starts with you and your body. This is how we teach our children, this is how we heal ourselves, our relationships and the planet. Now is the time to no longer settle for less and to no longer allow our society to say this is how it “should” be.
Now is the time to be accountable to ourselves, to make our lives healthier, happier and sustainable.