Thursday, July 22, 2010

cancer, neurotoxicity, and cosmetics

Remember The Story of Stuff? Well, Annie Leonard is at it again with The Story of Cosmetics.



From a gendered perspective, heteronormative women suffer the most from toxic cosmetics; it's difficult to reap the social "rewards" of sexism without some makeup, nail polish, and a good perfume.

If you're concerned about what you're rubbing on your face or buying for your family, check out the Environmental Working Group's cosmetic safety database, Skin Deep.

And yes, I realize that toxins in moderation may not be poisonous--but we're talking about using several products a day, every day, for a lifetime (while drinking contaminated water, breathing contaminated air, and eating contaminated food, no less).

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

but you wear a ton of make up. and use inhalers and all this other crap that hurt animals. get real

Vanessa said...

I did not claim that I do not wear makeup. In fact, because I do use makeup and always enjoy trying products that are eco- and animal-friendly, this information is particularly useful for me (especially the database).

I do not condemn makeup (although I have explored its gendered implications), and would like my readers to know about toxins they might be putting into their bodies.

I'm not going to address my inhaler, as I thoroughly described my thoughts in a post below.

As for "getting real," I am honest about what I do and try to open up discussion.

Thanks for visiting The Colonic.

Anonymous said...

posting daily news off other environment-related websites and make it your next thing to discuss = get real. no coincidence yesterday was the colossal cosmetics briefing. ure not environmentally friendly...you should look into how your diet actually hurt the environment. Including your over priced fashion choices. poor kids in third world countries being exploited by you. you're not at all an environmentalist. just a rich california kid who found a voice which other rich kids want to listen to. kick back on your air travel today, as you your plane blows toxins across the nation. don't chip the polish off your manicured nails

Anonymous said...

my point is... if you actually want to help then you should do it and not try to justify your otherwise guilt by being all over the map. you're actually making it worse, by setting a bad example. "eat vegan!" = take in other toxic chemicals in foods to make them mimmick their non-vegan properties. And to set the record straight, i only "visited" the colonic because it was about time someone said something... don't think that other people don't. bully's never have to hear it to their face. Some people dedicate their time, whether part-time/full-time, to protecting the environment. I.e. setting good examples. skip the bullshit. you're not who you want to be

Alex said...

Dear anonymous...

Glad to see others reading and posting!!
Hope you don't take offense, but I wonder... how old are you? Not sure what your intentions were/are, but the impact was not productive or fruitful. In fact, it lacked common sense and solid support for your opinions/thoughts. Thanks for posting and I don't want to deter you from reading and posting more in the future, yet next time, please, I'd prefer to read something with more weight, quality, and common sense. In addition, I don't appreciate the style of communication you resorted to, which is widely known as NOT being non-violent communication.

Question: why are you discouraging and personally insulting a smart and funny blogger who consistently explores social, cultural, economic, and health issues and dynamics in the States?
Where's your blog??? I'll read it if you have one!
Although, you seem either jealous of, angry at, or just plain ol' pessimistic about life in your initial and following threads to Vanessa.

"get real?" Vanessa is doing a great job! I, as well as many others support her 100% and enjoy being updated about news and their sources, which she diligently searches, researches, and checks for accuracy and to make it accessible to others. When I read something, I don't always take the time to check the facts and sources... Vanessa DOES!.

No one is perfect, including you and I, anonymous, so please don't try to dishearten others, we are all trying to do our best and to find the best information to trust.

Another question: Do you, anonymous, broaden your scope of information input? Or do you stick to just one or two sources on the web or the tube? Does it scare you that there is more than one source of information to be had? Do you wish it could all come from the same place? Well it could, but it's all never the Truth. Today, it is vital that we search for the Truth, because we all know about the dangerous biases and greedy hands that exist in many pockets and channels.

It's sad to see an individual discourage someone from being a Truth-seeker, especially one who seeks it through non-violent communication.

p.s. if you're new to the idea of non-violent communication, look it up. Since the civil rights movement, nearly every town has workshops. It's very important for us all to explore such teachings.

Cheers!

Alex said...
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Anonymous said...

ridiculous, and very defensive "alex" I'm a classmate...if that puts it in perspective. I chose to be anonymous as to not cause rifts within our social circles, as there is no need when us students are working so hard to build positive connections for future jobs. Not worth getting a bad name knowing vanessa causes drama about everything, including her own relationships.

support her 100% by her supporting one cause one day and another the next. Seems like something she was "passionate" about one week becomes forgotten the next. This isnt the way to be progressive.

And this is very "non-violent" and rather very civil. Critique should be well taken. Especially for a blogger.

Vanessa said...

Your personal attack does not change ingredients in the majority of cosmetics or the fact that I think consumers should know about them. It also doesn't change the reality of many things I have posted about.

I generally do not respond to personal attacks, but perhaps it would be useful for readers who do not know me or who are new to my blog.

In any event, I'm really not quite sure what you think you have unearthed here. Yes, I was born into a wealthy family, and I don't see how that should discredit me as a blogger. In fact, this is something my consistent readers know. I have blogged candidly about intersections of class privilege and environmentalism. I have written honestly that my closet is "abusive to the environment," explored my desire to over-consume, and blogged about the evolution of my lifestyle and shopping habits.

You can catch up on some of these posts here:

soy milk and manolos: reflecting on one year veganism http://thecolonic.blogspot.com/2008/11/soy-milk-and-manolos-reflecting-on-one.html

cashew cheese and stella mccartnies: reflecting on two years of veganism: http://thecolonic.blogspot.com/2009/11/cashew-cheese-and-stella-mccartnies_26.html

the pedicure predicament: http://thecolonic.blogspot.com/2009/08/pedicure-predicament.html

In any event, I do not claim to be an "eco-angel" or a minimalist. I claim to be a work in progress, and I enjoy sharing that journey with my readers.

As for veganism hurting the environment, I am assuming you are referring to mock meats, which you are right, are highly processed. I don't buy mock meats except for the occasional vegan chili dog from sticky fingers. I don't see a problem with that.

Regardless, The Colonic is about much more than environmentalism and veganism--although those posts have dominated in the last year b/c that has been what I've been thinking about more.

As for my "guilt," I don't feel guilty or "all over the map." I am proud of my journey, enjoy blogging, and am excited for adventures to come. I realized when I became a blogger that not all readers would enjoy my blog or me. I am okay with that.

Juli Bongiorno said...

Anonymous get real yourself. You're the bully. If you want to post something constructive- then you can call your insights a critique. Otherwise you're the one causing the drama by posting malicious comments about someone you very clearly don't know that well. I left the eight grade girls bathroom a long time ago maybe you should too.

Larry said...

Anonymous, First off... personal attacks and anonymity are signs of a weak mind or an indefensible position. As for your claims they are simply without merit.

You are not the sole dissent here. I have dissented quite adamantly on this blog and with Vanessa in person and in other forums. She has always been rational and respectful of my positions and while we differ greatly on many issues, I respect V a great deal. She is not in any sense like a bully when it comes to her views on issues like the environment or at least never when I have been present. On this blog my dissents have been met with openness and V and other posters have been respectful. Every post I have made in opposition to one of V's positions has been responded two with class and has yielded a healthy discussion of the issues.

Furthermore, As for "not being who you want to be" that is one of the things I admire most about V. I have never met someone who is who they want to be who is anyone worth knowing. People who do not set higher goals for themselves, impossible goals even, have no growth, no improvement and in most instances little value to anyone. Expressing ideas and striving to make yourself better doesn't make you a hypocrite if you fail and it doesn't mean you should stop striving. Healthy productive and meaningful people are never and will never be who they want to be because growth and improvement is always important.

If V was judgement that might be a separate point but in my experience I have never felt condemnation or judgement for holding different beliefs, ideas or lifestyles. In my experience V will open discussion that allows intelligent debate of the issues. Fair discussion of the issues is good for all parties because non of us are always 100% right. V lives by most of her ideas and strives to be consistent without looking down on those around her which is a far greater compliment than I can give to most people regardless of their politics or ideas. Flexibility and the understanding that unthinking application of rules or ideas is dangerous. cannot think of a principle or rule that can never be bent or compromised for the better in certain circumstances. The wisdom to know when to follow your ideas and when not to is almost as important as the ideas themselves. For example V understands things like sunk costs and prioritizes her actions to do the most good at the least cost which is very commendable. None of us can do everything we want. We have to change what we can and accept that we can't fix everything right now. Success in achieving any goal is usually found in your ability to see that distinction.

If honest debate or discussion of important issues offends you then you should probably avoid blogs and news and well a lot of things... but this blog is open for those who wish to read it and provides a forum for discussion which is healthy for both political and academic growth.

In my estimation you are either reading into V's actions things that aren't there because of your biases or in the alternative you haven't been fair in getting to know V well enough to make your judgement of her. You certainly haven't read this blog enough for the criticism you made of it.

Larry said...
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Larry said...
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Larry said...

oops sorry for the duplicative posts... not sure what happened

Anonymous said...

Vanessa, I am one of your fans. Please don't let idiots discourage you from writing.