Saturday, March 9, 2013

Can't We All Just Make Up?

Beauty has been heavy on my mind lately. Well, to be honest, beauty has always been heavy on my mind. I am the oldest of five children, the first four of us girls, and I am the shortest, and the only one who grew to be morbidly obese. Not the only one in my family, there is much obesity in my family. But of the four sisters (what I jokingly call "The Fourse" when we get together) I am the only one who grew up short and fat. I am not as fat as I used to be, but I will always be extremely short, and chunky. My sisters, on the other hand, are beautiful. I remember hanging out at discos with one of them, my behavior becoming louder and louder because all the guys were enchanted by her exotic beauty. I remember one early morning when she and I went to the HEB grocery store, and the sack boys crashed carts into each other because they couldn't stop staring at her. But this post is not (exactly) about sibling rivalry except circuitously. Because I was was unfavorably compared to my sisters, to whom I was close in age, and therefore we were easily forced into competition, and I was naturally not as pretty, I have spent many, meany years working very hard to "look good," whatever that means. For American women, I guess it means trying to be sure my hair is well cut, my makeup is applied well, etc; anything short of surgery, which I used to hate the notion of, but could never afford anyway. This has led to a horrible crisis of conscience for me, which continues to get worse as I grow older. One would think it would get easier since there are so many companies out there making makeup and cosmetic products for various problems that we experience as we age. As a life-long tree hugger, I cannot not wrap my brain or conscience around the notion of bunnies sacrificing their eyesight for my eye shadow. I have received lists and cards of companies that are "cruelty free" from both PETA and Leaping Bunny. I occasionally recognize the names of some of the companies that are certified "Cruelty Free," and many times they are companies whose prices I cannot afford. But most of the companies that are on their bad lists are companies that sell their products everywhere. Everywhere that I can afford to shop, anyway. I've been shocked by the names on these lists because the companies are household names, or they are ultimately, down the line, owned by a company that does animal testing. I see models and spokespersons who lend their names to these lines, and they are people who on another side of their advocacy, are pro-animal. How is it okay then that they lend their names to companies who blind animals with mascara ingredients that would never, ever choose to wear that mascara? This is not okay with me-but I am not sure how to get around it. The matter is about to be complicated by the fact that in China cosmetic products are required by law to be tested on animals, while the EU (European Union) is about to make it illegal to sell products that are tested on animals. So if any of our cosmetics are diverted through China, there is no way to guarantee that we are buying cruelty free products. But since we live in a global economy, the whole circle becomes more complicated. Low prices are important to anyone on a budget, so either way, how can someone who can't afford to pay $30 for a lipstick be expected to wear cruelty free cosmetics? It is so frustrating that I really don't know how to approach an answer to these questions.

Next, I need some shoes. I need to retire some shoes that have seen WAY too many seasons. So I've been looking online for some replacements, and talk about cruelty free!!! There are some shoes out there that I can't imagine any human being able to walk in safely. The prices are almost as shocking, but seriously-do we really wear these things?

I guess that's all my questions for today. Are their any answers? 

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