August 16, 2010
At the start of this year, I embarked on a journey to live more consciously. I learned that most conventional body products contain harmful toxic chemicals, and I began researching and buying healthy alternatives. It has been an eye-opening and informative process. I have learned a lot, shared that information with friends and family, and so far the experience has been great. I feel better about the what I am putting on and in my body, and the choices that I am making for my family. But there has been another benefit from this journey. You know the saying “the truth will se you free”? Well I have found that to be the case. But not in a way that you would expect.
My aunt got me a subscription to O Magazine. It’s the only magazine I get at home. And when I’m at my girlfriend’s house I love flipping through her People and US Weekly mags. I know, I know – not really feeding my brain. Or my soul, for that matter. But what can I say? Sometimes it’s fun to catch up on mindless smut. Anyhow, the point of this was that when I used to flip through these magazines, I found the countless cosmetics to be overwhelming. They made me feel like everything I was using was old, outdated, and crappy. I will never get the skin I want unless I try this new moisturizer! My hair will never have that luster and sheen unless I buy that expensive product! All of my makeup is the wrong shade! My hair is the wrong color for this season! My nails are wrong! I need to exfoliate, buff, tone, and revitalize! These are the thoughts I used to have. I would even tear out ads for products I wanted to buy. At one point I even had a list going!
Well I will say this – it may not seem like a big thing, but I can not tell you how freeing my new knowledge has been. I no longer long for products I don’t have, because I know they contain toxic chemicals that aren’t good for me anyway! In fact, I don’t even stop to look at ads anymore. I just breeze right by those pages. Now occasionally I will see something advertised that still catches my eye. For example, I recently learned Origins is a natural product line, so I still look at their ads. But 99% of the ads are not for me anymore. It sounds silly, but it truly has been such a relief! Now that is a side-effect I was not expecting!
As for Gloria Steinem’s quote – I couldn’t agree more, at least in this case. I am glad that I have embarked on this journey. I am grateful to the information I have acquired through the various documentaries, books, and articles I’ve consumed. She is right though. Much of it made me angry. I have repeatedly been shocked and horrified by things I have learned about both the cosmetics industry and factory farming – two of the main areas in my life that I have been overhauling. So yes, while the truth has set me free, at first it did piss me off.
Image Source: “Gloria Steinem Quote.” Image. Ephemera-Inc.com 01 Jun. 2011. <http://www.ephemera-inc.com/wholesale/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=&product_id=28887&category_id=0&option=com_virtuemart>.