He asked me why I would write an article about mass incarceration on my skincare website. Organic skincare products are part of my mission but, if I’m doing it right, they are the smallest part.
My organic skincare products are not equally accessible to all. I preach about our oneness and caring for our one, collective planet and for our bodies—but I’m thinking of all the bodies of women and men in prison across the country that need nourishment and can’t afford—or, more realistically, are denied access—to the kind of nourishment that comes in the form of my skincare oils.
And I’m thinking too small if I’m just thinking of them. They are only a small portion of the disenfranchised when it comes to being able to purchase a $45 bottle of organic beauty oils.
My mission, consequentially, must be bigger than that. I must imagine the impact of my work beyond those who can afford it.
What I am, then, is an advocate for beauty—which means I am an advocate for social justice because human rights and equality and fairness are beauty. Which means I am an advocate for our earth because a sustainable, life-giving planet is beauty. Which means I am an advocate for intuition because beautiful things arise when we listen to our instincts. Which means I am an advocate for kindness and community and peace because that is beauty, too.
I believe articles about mass incarceration can exist alongside bottles of organic creams and, more importantly, that they should. Our products do not exist in a vacuum—they have impacts beyond themselves, impacts on the earth, on those who buy them, on those who can’t or don’t, on those who work to create them.
To deny this is to highlight our nearsightedness.
I am so grateful that I get to grace my skin with organic oils from the earth and that I get to share them with some of you, but I will not be so singularly focussed to believe that skincare products are my only responsibility.
Legacy is not just what they’ll write about us in books, but how we leave our communities and our planet. I hope that, together, we can leave it better.