Sunday, February 01, 2015

The cosmetics industry is using you to kill your friends, as an unpaid spokesperson. Be mad about it.

That's a clickbait-ey headline, I know.

In August of last year, I blogged this...

Please read it if you want to read this post, so I don't have to repeat myself.

I was having a great time watching the unfolding results of the Queensland election tonight, cheering every time the neo-cons lost another seat. It's my version of sports.

And then my twitter feed dropped the hashtag #SmearForSmear on me, and just like Robin Lawley in that last blog (did you read it or not?), I thought "Here we fucking go again!"

And I'm sick of being polite about it. I'm sick of acting like it's no big deal. I'm sick of otherwise-intelligent women (and a few men too), acting like it's ok to whore themselves out to cosmetics companies for free, and hurt other people in the process.

Remember smoking? Remember when people fell for that? (If you still smoke you're an embarrassment to  society- please fuck off and die away from the rest of us). Well this is like that.

'Lipstick' is a handy word to use when you can't remember all of this- 

Trimethylsiloxyphenyl Dimethicone (hair conditioning agent), 
Isododecane (solvent), 
Polypropylsilsesquioxane (Binding agent; Film-forming agent), 
Cyclopentasiloxane (solvent), 
Polyethylene (Abrasive; Adhesive; Emulsion Stabilizer; Film-forming agent; Thickener), 
Stearyl Heptanoate (Emollient), 
Ozokerite (wax), 
Hydrogenated Styrene/Methyl Styrene/Indene Copolymer (Film-forming agent), 
C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, 
Silica Dimethyl Silylate (Anti-caking agent), 
Alumina (Abrasive; Opacifying agent), 
Parfum / Fragrance (but no indication what's in that fragrance), 
Cyclomethicone (Solvent; Viscosity Controlling; Humectant), 
Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate (Bulking agent), 
Synthetic Fluorphlogopite (Hydrophilic Thickener), 
Calcium Sodium Borosilicate (glass flakes), 
Benzyl Alcohol (Synthetic preservative), 
Silica (Mineral rock), 
Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate (Antioxidant to counteract all the oxides in lipstick), 
Polyethylene Terephthalate (synthetic resin),
Tin Oxide (literally rusty tin), 
Aluminum Hydroxide (Antacid), 
Acrylates Copolymer (Adheisive: Acrylic acid and methacrylic acid building blocks)
Paraffin (Flammable wax), 
Dimethicone (Synthetic silicon oil). 

You eat that ^.

Glamorous people using social media (or traditional media) to sell a product for corporations that hate them and you. They want your money. That's all they want. They don't like you, or care about you. Everything they say is for one reason- to take money out of your bag and put it in their pockets.

The cosmetics industry has a long and illustrious history of blatantly lying to its customers, of inventing science-y sounding words for things like the fat in sheeps wool to sell you futuristic skin creams with(out any) magical youth-enhancing capabilities. If this is news to you, please put down the gossip rag and fucking read something useful.

In a lot of cases their products do nothing. In a few cases they do something (that natural and cheap/free products do just as well if not better). And in some cases they work excellently but can kill you.

But in this case (lipstick), it either contains cancer-causing chemicals and can harm you and your unborn children if you have those, or it can be glamourised to other people who can be harmed if you dodged a bullet. 

And that's ok. I mean, freedom of choice, right? I'm drinking a Pepsi right now (and that's basically cancer in a can), so I'm the last person to take away your right to hurt yourself. Hurting others, I don't agree with...

So to be clear, it's not that people can get cancer from lipstick that bothers me, a totally unfashionable white male in Australia. It's the blatant ignorance and denial.

I replied to tweets from a few big accounts on Twitter about this hashtag, like Stephen Fry, Cara Delvigne, Jo's Trust; as well as whoever was at the top of the feed.

Here's a reply:

 "It's a friendly marketing tool", she said, ignoring the evidence and blindly swearing alliegance to a celebrity-driven campaign to make money for cosmetics companies while using cancer as the cause. AND INCREASING THE RISK OF CANCER TO THOSE INVOLVED.

She blocked me after that. "La la laaaa, I can't hear the mean man so everything is fine now."

And that's what kills me.

Women actually fight for cosmetics. They think they empower them. They don't.

Normally when you get fat or oil on your lips, you wipe it off. You don't go around and carefully maintain it all day, let alone go buy more to do touch ups with. But that's what lipstick is. Fat/oil/chemicals.

Chances are, it was tested on animals.

Are you ok with that?

"Oh, but I wear vegan lipstick." Congratulations. Unless you make that clear to every soft-headed other girl out there, they may copy you and buy unsustainably sourced or animal-unfriendly products.

And if you don't care about destruction of habitat or animal testing or cancer or killing your own baby, then I don't really have anything to say to you anyway. Anyone like that is a fucking monster.

The hilarious thing is, women wear it because they think it's "glamorous".

Glamour is a marketing tool used to sell everything from cigarettes to diamonds, and also cosmetics. It's a man-made concept. It's simply an arbitrary and totally invented thing to part you with your money. And you simply believe it because someone told it to you (like religion or the claim that the sports team from your geographical location is far superior to the sports team from another geographical location).

If you were born into a different culture with different beauty norms, you'd act completely differently. Admit that.

Wearing lipstick is a way for you to fit in, and compete with other women. Men don't like it unless it's something they've fetishized (because men are as dumb as women, just in different ways). 

Of course what men like doesn't really matter when it comes to a woman's agency. But it's a consideration for those who have never stopped to think about any of this before.

All I'm trying to say here is this:

If you thought for yourself, if you shrugged off all the bullshit that is inherent to and with conforming, competing, staying ignorant (because it's not sexy to know things, apparently), and jumping on stupid hashtag causes without research (like #IllRideWithYou); then corporations couldn't manipulate you into buying things you have no need for, and only fight for because you've been conditioned to.

If you have 1000 pairs of sustainably sourced heels, and that makes you feel beautiful- more power to you.

But stop trying to justify something so stupid (and dangerous to you, the environment, and to animals) by simply closing your ears.

I have great faith in people. Prove me right.