The Don't Buy List: Issue #51
By all means, please GO OFF on Martha Stewart. I was trying to explain to my sister and cousin this morning why her SI cover is not the flex she thinks it is. She and the systems she upholds are so problematic.
I know it's not the main point here but this has just reminded me how much I hate ads where people fling water into their face to clean it. Who does that?!
When I started using a cleanser that you have to put on and take off (rather than just wiping my face with a wipe) I actually had to ask a friend how to remove it if I'm not in the shower because all I could see in ads was people throwing water at themselves which doesn't do anything and just makes everything else wet 😂
Here for the 'YSE' puns
My new life’s mantra: Skip the skincare! Read a book! Feel bad! You’re alive!
Great edition this week! O’Connell’s NYT piece on microplastics is a MUST READ. This is something I first learned about in the 2000’s and am firmly convinced the generational increases in auto-immune diseases (RA, MG, IBS/Crohnes, Epstein-Barre, MS and the like) breast cancers and more could be squarely attributed to continual micro-poisoning like this, if only 😱there was a way to research these things. If you’re a human in your 50’s/60’s and younger you’ve been subject to this poisoning your entire life. And there’s no way to avoid it. There is an argument to be made that better testing might be why we’re finding these stealthy diseases, but in women especially, a decade or more can pass before getting that diagnosis, so, not sure that argument holds. If there was concrete proof would we ever be told? I’m not counting on our corporate overlords to be the ones coming down on the side of good health vs successful commerce. We could delve deeply into Pharmas ‘keep America sick’ campaign here, even join it with the beauty industry who keep us insecure. It’s a gnarly family tree writers have pondered time and again. I’m not expecting answers in MY lifetime. But read the piece, informed is armed.
As soon as I saw Martha on the cover of Sports Illustrated I figured you would say something about it. I was hoping you might mention the air brushing etc that seems so obvious, but you honed in on the real issue which was the overall message it was sending about her still being fuckable.
Sadly I’m sure there will be plenty of misogynists who will tear her apart and complain about her being on the cover of their precious magazine, instead of some hot, scantily clad young woman their daughter’s age.
OK, hear me out. What if a MAN started a celebrity skin care line and a WOMAN started a celebrity alcohol brand? Then everything would be equal, right?
Thank you for your words about the SI cover. I knew there was a reason I hated it and but couldn't find the words. It was the same when they had the "plus size" model on there. If it were a different publication it would be "representation" which is needed, but for this one it's just more objectification. Now we can drool after at "hot" larger bodies and "hot" older ones too. Now we can objectify more types of bodies as long as they are still "hot". Also, duh, she looks "good" because she has a life of luxury and started her career as a model.
I saw far too many people on Twitter calling Martha Stewart “inspiring” for that cover.
I was listening to "You Just Need to Lose Weight and 19 Other Myths About Fat People" last week and the parallel between fatphobia and ageism hit me with Myth #14; "I don't like gaining weight, but I don't treat fat people differently." How is "I don't mind seeing *other* people aging, *I* just don't want to age. Now if you poors (LOL) don't mind, I'll be heading out for my regularly-scheduled injectable session." not similarly feeding into ageism as well as classism? It drives me crazy.
Do I like that my 1970s Bain de Soleil Orange Gelee SPF 4, or sometimes just plain baby oil, has come back to bite me in the ass (more like my arms and legs, really, and a few facial spots)? Of course not, but when I see that the "solutions" can cause further damage it hardens my resolve to simply take my chances on continuing down my current aging path. I can't even camouflage the spots with sunless tanner because it doesn't like my body chemistry. Who wants to join me in (sort of) embracing my pale splotchiness? 😂
Thank you as always for the sanity "injectable" before I spend another demented day as I do every Tuesday, taking time off from paid work to manage my family's health care and insurance. I couldn't do it without this reminder that I'M not the one who is crazy....
What's the feng shui for Martha's altar to. Satan?
OMG! TALK ABOUT DIS-EASE! I am so glad you pointed this out. This has been an irritant for quite a while now. Sometimes I wonder why would Martha Stewart agree to it?? Is she blind to the fact that she looks terribly uncomfortable? She doesn't exude confidence and dignity, pride and how about JOY! I see her internal dis-connection with self.
Sort of also connected (for me) here, coming from a performer POV, Hollywood! What I mean it gets under the skin. Insidious, invisible energy telling us that we are nothing unless we ARE HERE TO PLEASE the eye/desire of another. Absolutely, nothing to do with the good work we do while we are here on planet Earth - fulfill our purpose- makes things better etc...NO. Not at all. It's almost telling us, "If you still want to belong, be loved, accepted, you MUST FIT INTO THIS very limited crack in the concrete. Even if it's a flower sweating it's way through. So what it is it? What do you think is Martha Stewart's reason for accepting? My only guess can be, is that somewhere inside of her, she still feels she is not enough just as she is, where she is, now!
I do think it's a little unfair to include the almost 80-year-old, genuine ramblings of a self-styled preacher who saw his family murdered in the holocaust with current problematic beauty marketing. Yeah, they're a brand, with what all that entails in capitalism, but if all brands invested in regenerative agriculture and social justice, founded and encouraged worker co-ops all along their supply chain, capped CEO salaries, paid a living wage (plus employer-paid healthcare, profit sharing, childcare assistance, and free food), completely opted out of beauty marketing, etc, etc... we'd live in a pretty different world. I've dug deep on a lot of companies having worked in the beauty industry, and typically the more I learn, the more I hate a company--Dr. Bronner's has been the only opposite experience.
I'm not sure I want whatever progress is Martha Stewart as swimsuit model. And I love the conversation about "good work" vs "bad work" and the entanglements of gender constructs. Thank you, as always.
Full confession: I listened to Molly Sims' podcast the way other people watch bad horror movies - as an oddly relaxing, freaky break from reality. I stopped in REAL horror, though, as soon as she proudly announced her own brand and started pushing that, instead of hundreds of other brands. I felt so silly!
I agree about Martha. But she is a complicated character who is forever pushing boundaries, and maybe this was something on her list she needed to check off? Or it coincided with a promotion she already planned and proved to be excellent marketing.