‘Because you’re worth it.’
‘Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe its Maybelline.’
Ring a bell? Make an impact? These are some beguiling slogans from the two of the leading cosmetic brands in the world.
Behind these appealing adverts and politically correct taglines, lies the ugly face of the world of cosmetics. Who says you need to conceal the blemishes on your skin? Why do you need voluminous hair? Why must you contour your face? Behind this seemingly innocent service that the cosmetic industry provides is an extensive effort to permeate beauty standards that all women must meet.
Clear skin, luscious hair, face cuts and a plethora of other beauty ideals are pervaded through treated images plastered all over fashion magazines, coaxing the consumers to purchase so and so brand to acquire the above. The United States has the largest market of cosmetics around the world, with estimated whopping revenue of around $62 billion!
From years on end, the beauty industry is known to capitalize on the insecurities of women. And who created these insecurities? Yours truly! With millions spent on marketing these products, the master minds have successfully established that wrinkles, acne and blemishes are unattractive. Their solution is a range of concoctions to smear all over your face. Every year, the beauty industry creates new ideals, from contouring to baking to strobing. Who invented these terms and what do they require?
The beauty industry is no less than a mafia that renders certain products necessary in achieving glowing skin, angled features and an air brushed finish. And do these products at least work? From employing editing skills on models to create unattainably perfect images, these brands lure customers through appealing visuals. The pressure to conform to these constricted standards is besting for the audiences, who end up making purchases in bulk!
The callousness of the beauty industry is exacerbated by the extensive use of harmful chemicals in the production of many of these products.
A mere 11% of chemicals in cosmetics in the US have been reviewed for meeting health and safety requirements, leaving a staggering 89% with unidentified results. From lead in lipsticks, coal tar in hair dyes to phthalates in skin care products, the beauty industry is rampant in spreading more harm than it entails good. Where is the accountability?
Men and women alike are bearing the adverse effects of this chemist’s brew. Products that claim to make you feel beautiful and healthy are the primary culprits in spreading a flood of diseases through unabashed use of hazardous chemicals.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accountable for monitoring these cosmetics and other beauty products that launch in the market but its scrutiny remains mostly inadequate.
The FDA sheds responsibility off itself stating that brands should be conscientious enough to ensure their products meet safety requirements by law. The cosmetic brands, despite minting money, do not allocate enough expenditure to product testing. Amidst this blame game, it is the consumers who bear the brunt.
Statistics reveal that The European Union has banned more than 1,100 chemicals from its cosmetics while the United States has banned just 10. With such alarming differences, there is a dire need for more authoritative regulation of the cosmetic industry.
Make America great again, where health trumps beauty!
Mayur Ramgir, author of "Evolve Like a Butterfly: A Metamorphic Approach to Leadership," is an award-winning author, speaker, innovator and entrepreneur. Educated at Georgia Tech, MIT, Oxford and the University of Sussex, he currently serves as president and CEO of Boston-based Zonopact Inc. Ramgir’s previous book, Unbarred Innovation: A Pathway to Greatest Discoveries, was published in 2016.
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