Let me start out by saying there are a lot of good people in the chemicals industry and in the cosmetics industry. But, as Annie Leonard points out in her newest eye-opener The Story of Cosmetics: the “system is broken”. Most people remain unaware just how broken the system is, trusting that the government will take care of their safety. Is Annie Leonard’s newest foray into battle the tipping point for change?
Like previous projects Leonard has undertaken, The Story of Cosmetics is simplistic; it suffers from portraying in black-and-white, literally and figuratively, a situation nuanced in grey. But simple is understandable. This short animated cartoon speaks in plain English, putting the burden of responsibility where it belongs: on the people who put the products on the shelf, not the people who take them off the shelf.
If the success of The Story of Stuff is any indicator, The Story of Cosmetics will reach millions of people. That is a lot of people who will take advantage of the fact-filled and well-footnoted FAQs over at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, such as: Low-dose Exposures or Toxins in Children’s Bathtubs. A lot of people who will be asking “why are the companies that campaign against breast cancer selling beauty products containing carcinogens?”
The Story of Cosmetics opens the door, inviting people to learn more about secret ingredient lists, responsible manufacturing, and better chemical regulations. Ultimately, people need to take action demanding a better system, a system where we can enjoy the simple pleasure of a bath and use our beauty products without fear of cancer, damaged sperm, or other diseases.