Last week I went to an Arbonne party. We did facials, snacked on healthy grub, and discussed my recent obsession with tiny houses. It was super fun.
However, I couldn't quite figure out why I had been invited. Not only am I flat broke, I avoid packaged and/or superfluous beauty products on principle. Maybe it was just my charming personality?
The entire evening got me thinking about nature and science and how the two relate to us as consumers. Perhaps my friends thought this product line would appeal to me because it was "safe, natural, and beneficial" I don't doubt the quality of the products, but I began to wonder if I was the only one picking up on the looming irony.
Oftentimes companies (and Arbonne is not alone in this) will market how "natural" their products are as a way to entice us and earn our trust as consumers. So, if we are looking at beauty products as part of a hierarchy (where certain products are better than others) rather than a spectrum (where they are all equal though different), it is safe to say that cosmetics closely derived from nature are the best of the best. At least we as consumers believe that....right?
Apparently not. I find it strange - ironic even - that women (self-proclaimed frugal women) are willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for cosmetics based on how safe and natural they are, when nature has already provided them with some of these very same products, most of which cost close to nothing! If Arbonne is selling something that is so close to nature (with the implication that their products are near the top of the hierarchy), then shouldn't these women be tripping all over themselves to scoop up some coconut oil...at $20 a gallon no less? Isn't coconut oil at the apex of the "safe, natural, beneficial" pyramid?
My theory is that the answer is just too obvious. We have been conditioned as consumers to believe that the solution must come in the form technical innovation. If we search long and hard enough there will be some miracle cream or powerful potion that will alleviate our anxiety. The idea that we already have all we need to keep our skin, hair and nails healthy (and its most likely already sitting in our kitchen) is just too simple. So simple, in fact, that it becomes difficult to accept as true.
It's time to take the mystery out of our daily lives. There's nothing so magical about lotion, toothpaste, exfoliating stuff, etc. Hell, simply drinking more water everyday will go miles toward improving the state of your superficial self! I, for one, refuse to be tricked into thinking that I need a lab coat to formulate a high quality and effective beauty routine.