Beauty is pain.
Who else grew up hearing this message? Heck, I’ll confess I’ve said it in recent months to my baby girl as we’ve gotten dolled up for dance competitions and I’ve pulled her hair or jabbed her in the eyeball with a mascara wand.
Where did this saying come from, guys?! How can beauty and pain even be in the same sentence with one another? The words are complete opposites! How many centuries has this idea been perpetuated for women?
This past weekend I had the absolute pleasure of participating in a weekend of learning with the disruptive beauty brand, Beautycounter, where this idea and concept of beauty as painful got turned upside down for me. And I wanted to share my little revelation with all of you today.
It was one powerful statement:
“Beauty should be good for you”
I was kind of like the little emoji slapping herself in the forehead. DUH! Here we’ve been telling ourselves, and our children, “beauty is pain” for generations upon generations and I’d never paused to truly consider what a sad story we’ve been perpetuating. And then I really started to contemplate what that has meant for us as women.
I started to wonder,
“what are the uncomfortable, painful, and inconvenient positions we’ve put ourselves in for the sake of beauty?”
When I was a teenager and I struggled with horrible acne, the more “painful” I made my skin, the more I thought it was working. Ugh! If only I’d known then what I know now! We have been willingly doing things that HURT us in the name of beauty. What is that ladies? Seriously! Are any of you going “OMG, I’ve never thought of it that way!” alongside me?
Well then I went another layer deeper and started wondering about the cumulative effect of this “beauty is pain” story we’ve been telling. We often think it’s a one day “suck it up” kind of thing.
But what if the longterm effects are showing up 10, 20. even 40 years down the road? What if they’re called endometriosis, infertility, Hashimotos, or cancer?
What if while we thought we were promoting beauty, instead we were unintentionally, or unknowingly disempowering ourselves and the women, men, and children that we love? What if we have actually been perpetuating a story of longterm pain and suffering—women agonizing over another childless Mother’s Day, children grieving the first year they have no mother to celebrate.
Now maybe this is getting a little deep, friends, but if you’ve been around here any amount of time, you know I do fun and silly, but I can’t do “surface”. I’m a health and wellness educator working in advocacy, I am using my voice to fight for social injustice and a correction to what I believe is a human health crisis.
What many of us don’t know is that the beauty industry is actually highly unregulated.
We don’t know that the US has not seen a major piece of legislative reform to the beauty industry since the year 1938. Or that the piece of legislation regulating the $62 billion dollar a year beauty industry is about 1 page long. Or that big beauty brands are allowed to put any variety of over 20,000 chemical ingredients into our products and then sell those products without a single third party safety study. Yes, you read that right. There is no regulatory agency ensuring that the products that you bring into your home are safe for the health of you or your family. And even worse, the FDA who is technically responsible for overseeing the industry, has ZERO power to force a company to recall a product from market even if it’s proven un safe for consumer use.
And, at the same time we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the incidence of cancer, infertility, developmental delays and disabilities among our children. We’re the most advanced we’ve ever been as a society, and yet we’re seeing more incidence of non communicable disease than ever before.
Does this make you angry? Does it make you feel duped? Does it make you wonder “what harm has been or is being done in the name of beauty?” And what roll do each of us play in perpetuating this sad state of affairs for the people we love most? Ugh, it hurts my heart you guys!
Beauty is pain is officially a “has been” around here, friends! Because a major shift is happening in the market right now! And I have the privilege to be a part of that shift and movement:
A movement for safer beauty.
Beauty that is GOOD for you.
Beauty that is truly inspiring and empowering women.
Beauty that connects all of us in a collective suffering that’s been allowed for far too long.
I’m weary over the painful and tragic stories I had the privilege of hearing over this past weekend. Enough if enough. And let me be really clear that I’m not implying that by simply changing your products you’re going to avoid disease, but what I am implying is that small shifts in the way we think can have a big affect on the betterment of the whole. By beginning to view beauty as good for us, and seeking products that perpetuate that positive message, we all become a part of a movement toward greater empowerment.
I want to challenge each of you to today to ask yourself, how can I be a part of this movement? Do you want to know more? This can be a complex and overwhelming process, so if you need a little help, or maybe you don’t know where to start and what to avoid. This week only I am offering my list of the Top 8 Must Avoid Ingredients for FREE! It’s typically included as part of my online course Safer Simplified, but I’m fired up ladies, and in order to take back the power, we have to be educated and informed consumers. Make sure you click here to get the list delivered to your inbox.
There also might be some of you who are feeling equally fired up and inspired to start using your voice to speak up about this important issue. And if that’s you, I want you to send me a message right now. I am looking for a limited number of wellness minded women to equip, mentor, coach and guide in this hard but seriously rewarding process. I’m going to begin screening conversations in the coming weeks, so if this is you or you know someone who might be a great fit, get in touch with me ASAP.
Beauty should be good for you. No more pain. Not for the men and women I love! Thanks for letting me share my heart with you all today. I hope you have a beautiful rest of your day and look forward to connecting again soon.