Each day many of us -- especially in the Western nations -- slather ourselves with shampoos, soaps, lotions, make up and other products. We want to look good, but we don't stop to think about the cost of all these cosmetics to ourselves, other people, animals, and the earth. Story of Stuff guru Annie Leonard and crew have created another short video to dissect the "toxics in, toxics out" merry-go-round of our personal care products. The Story of Cosmetics explores issues such as the toxic chemicals in our products, pinkwashing, the lack of safety testing, the self-policing by industry, the scarcity of safer products, the lack of legal protections for citizens, and more.
Check out the video:
As usual, Leonard's videos provide a great opportunity to explore important issues and spark critical thinking and discussion on a variety of topics. Students can verify the accuracy of the information presented in the video; pay attention to biases in the video (and compare those to biases in what the cosmetics industry says); do some of their own investigating of the impacts of product ingredients, such as in our free, downloadable activity, What Price Beauty?, for grades 8 & older. They can look at the advertising and marketing of personal care products to people of different ages, cultural backgrounds, socioeconomic status, etc. They can explore the many ways in which people, animals and the environment are helped or hurt by these products; they can research alternatives to buying such products (and even make their own personal care products), and more.
What are your ideas for using this video as a tool for humane education?
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