As the saying goes, I like my products like I like my people. Non-toxic, for sure…and also colorFUL. Colorful both on the inside and on the outside. To me beauty is color and diversity. I remember being in high school and learning about people of color bleaching their skin in various ways (some very dangerous) throughout the years, because that was the set ideal. Meanwhile, here I was...on the first slightly warm day of the year I would slather myself in baby oil and lay out with my tinfoil reflectors, attempting to get as dark as possible. All Winter I loathed how pale I would get (due to my Swiss/Irish/English genes from my mother’s side), longing to be in the hot sun, where I felt my best, spending all Summer looking like a true Sicilian (thanks, Dad).
Once my eyes were opened…mostly by my Women’s Sociology class in college…to the fact that our idea of beauty comes from brainwashing I was so pissed off. I felt the pain of generations of women’s self-hatred…how we have suffered from what I thought were our own broken thoughts, when in reality we were tricked into thinking these things…so someone else could benefit and control us. Then add the layers of how dangerous it has been…both to bleach and to darken ourselves OR to stand out and look different than the “ideal”…obviously more so for some than others. It is almost unbearable.
I really can’t imagine a world where we all look or act the same…just like I never could have imagined a pandemic coming along and isolating all of us in our homes in this “advanced” day and age. Yet, here we are. Never think that something is impossible…positively or negatively. We have to be really careful, thoughtful, and intentional about what we do as the veil is painfully being lifted a little bit further on racism. This is a major healing opportunity. I feel blessed to live in a time when we have seen progress in the “faces of beauty” we are presented, but it has become clearer to me over the last few weeks just how far we have to go.
We can’t deny that different skin and hair types, textures, and colors need different products. I have loved seeing all of the lists of Black-owned wellness...