Senior Paper

Submitted By brandidbf
Words: 1708
Pages: 7

Brandi Coleman
Mrs. Mitchell
Playwriting and Performance
17 Nov 2014
Skin Deep: What’s Really in Cosmetics? Yves Saint-Laurent once said, “The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.” My project was to do makeup, whether it be for special events, such as this year’s Noel Ball or prom, or for more causal things, such as job interviews or a party. But here are a few things to consider: do you ever think about what goes into those cosmetics when you’re purchasing them? Do you ever wonder if it was tested on an animal? Do you ever consider what people will think? Makeup, something that has been around as early as Ancient Egyptian times, is a major part of today’s society and is still building only getting stronger. Over time, like many other things, it has evolved. What lipsticks were made of in the 1920’s may be different from what it was made of in the 1980’s or now, even. What was once assumed to be safe may not be safe now, for both humans and animals. What wasn’t considered socially acceptable in makeup trends could be acceptable now. What might have been tested on an animal could or could not be tested on them now. Makeup will always be controversial, whether it is the societal impact, animal testing, or what goes in and out of makeup. There is only one way to changing these things, and it starts with changing ourselves. In the 19th century, “Beauty was supposed to be a manifestation of goodness, not artifice” (“People & Events: America's Beauty Culture” 1). In the 1500’s, “Queen Elizabeth I popularized the fashion of stark white faces and painted lips. Sadly, their white paint contained toxic ingredients that could cause serious illnesses.” (“Timeline of Cosmetics” 1). In 1984, according to Jane Brody, there are 60,000 cosmetic-related injuries each year (1), yet “between September 1979 and September 1980, when cosmetic hazards were in the news as the subject of congressional hearings, only 353 reports of cosmetic-related injures reached the food and drug agency” (1). In America, however, “Cosmetics implied “skin-improving” substances, while paint denoted “skin-masking”” (“People & Events: America's Beauty Culture” 1). As time moved forward, this opinion was clearly changed and new things began to be included in this list. The FDA “periodically buys cosmetics to analyze them, especially if we’re aware of a potential problem.” They use this information to “alert customers, support regulatory actions, and issue guidance for industry” (“U.S. Food and Drug Administration” 1). This was more than likely not done when cosmetics and makeup first came to, which is why so many products contained “lead, mercury and arsenic, which could cause illness – or sometimes death” (“People & Events: America's Beauty Culture” 1). In Mark Bittman’s opinion article, he states that “…the FDA doesn’t regulate cosmetics before they come to the market,” (The Cosmetics Wars 1). Citing a quote directly from the FDA site that states, “Cosmetic firms are responsible for substantiating the safety of their products...” However, in the response opinion article, Halyna Breslawec disagrees with Bittman, saying “…they remain one of the safest categories regulated by the FDA. Any suggestion of serious health problems related to their use without any basis in sound scientific research or medical reality” (Testing Cosmetics for Safety 1). In 189 BC, the Roman Empire’s female population “becomes totally enchanted with expensive foreign cosmetics, to the point Senate managed to bring the law that forbids its use. This law was only active for 6 years…” (“Timeline of Cosmetics”1). From 200 to 1000 AD, “Catholic churches openly discouraged [the use of cosmetics because], “cosmetic products are items of heretics and devil worshipers, especially red lipstick” (“Timeline of Cosmetics” 1). Between 1890 and 1924, “Makeup was now perceived as a part of a woman’s expression of individuality,” further proving that as society moves