I worked my ass off so I could spend this past weekend in Washington D.C. advocating for stronger regulation of our personal care industry. Does that sound like greek to you? It means I was talking to the people who represent us in our nation’s capital and encouraging them to get on board in creating or passing legislation that would make the products we are putting on our skin every single day safer. It’s been almost 80 years since a major federal law was passed. More than 80,000 chemicals have been introduced since WWII and less than 10% of them have been tested for health and human safety. Our country bans a whopping 30 ingredients… the EU bans 1400. We can’t afford to wait.
We were 100 women from 50 states representing our families, our clients, our friends and countless people we will never meet.
It was never about the lipstick.
I care because I am a mom. I care because I lost a grandma to breast cancer before I had a chance to meet her. I care because far too many people around me are getting sick due to unknown causes. I care because I want to leave this planet better for future generations. I care because unlike so many things, this is a change that is easy to make and within our control. I care because I know not everyone can or will buy the products I sell. I care because I have knowledge that, when shared, can change lives. I care because I love life and I want to live mine the best way I know how.
But, for me, it was never about the lipstick.
We were assigned teams for the day and we shared our stories, our “why.” I heard from one woman whose dad battled breast cancer yet who had no known genetic predisposition to acquire it. Another who due to a genetic mutation lacks the ability process toxins and goes through weeks when she is paralyzed on one side of her body. Her husband can’t breath in most synthetic fragrance without a severe reaction that causes scaring of his lungs. There were two health coaches on my team who work to help others lead healthier lives, but who had not considered their skincare as part of the equation for far too long. There was a scientist from Europe who pioneers safe and innovative solutions in skincare to bring the safest most high performing products to market in the US. Each of these stories was different, each important.
But nobody talked about the lipstick.
We spent our day running in and out of meetings on Capitol Hill. We met with Congressional leaders and State Representatives. We shared our passion, our stories, our mission and our hopes. We talked about being pro-business and pro-regulation and how innovation can spark growth for our economy. We talked about U.S. standards being miserably behind other countries and how exporting isn’t a possibility today given the quality of our products. When we met with a staffer who was 10 days from her due date we couldn’t help but shift the conversation to our most precious and vulnerable population, our babies – the ones who don’t have choices. We talked about how small amounts of products being applied each and every day add up. We talked about the average woman who puts 515 chemicals on her body every single day.
Still no mention of the lipstick.
We also spoke about men who can’t be left out of this equation. Far too many struggle with issues like infertility and 1 in 2 will be touched by cancer in his lifetime. We talked about the confusion in the marketplace, the lack of accountability and the inability for the FDA to recall products that cause harm. We talked about how Beautycounter is using commerce as an engine for change and how our products provide a solution to the problem we are fighting to solve. We talked about our desire to pull the industry along with us so that we can all do better together. We talked about the millions of people that we reach with our message who, regardless of political affiliation, race, age, or gender, all believe that we deserve better. We talked about the people who came before us who banned smoking on airplanes and who made seatbelts mandatory in cars. Common sense solutions. We talked about what we could do to help them and what they could do to help us. We walked away empowered, excited, full of hope and promise and pride.
And nobody, not even once, ever talked about the lipstick.
Some girls grow up yearning to wear a bold red lip, to spot the next beauty trend or to make products that allow people to look and feel more beautiful than they already are.
That wasn’t me.
I grew up hoping to make the world a better place… and now I am doing that one conversation and yes, sometimes even one lipstick, at a time.
If you didn’t already know – now you know:
It was NEVER and will NEVER be just about the lipstick.
Except today. Just for today… I am going to let it be about this lipstick.
Bold, vibrant and backed by an army of women who are as fiery as the color. Why? Because #ThisTimeItsPersonal
Join me in this mission to get safe products into the hands of everyone. Share with those you love. Text BETTERBEAUTY to #52886. Become a consultant. Heck, if you really, really want to you can even buy the lipstick.