The True + The Good + The Beautiful
Not incompatible: rather, perfectly compatible, and a beautification product can only be perfect if it possesses all three attributes. See also: the golden mean.
Beauty we all know and love, the ineffable.
Truth: does what it says on the tin: see also, greenwashing and consumer rights.
The Good: see here
I’m always delighted to see ethics in beauty being mentioned at all; even if discussion isn’t always very informed or intelligent. Just raising questions is a marvellous start. Drawing attention to the
leaping bunny elephant in the room. Getting people to think once, let alone twice, maybe even go off and do some research and think a third time, with further thoughts coming through discussion, the exchange of ideas, opening of minds, consideration of other points of view, and so on and so forth.
The result isn’t always very sophisticated (or rational), and alas often leads me to swearing, facepalms, and table-thumping. Some standard moves/positions that drive me up the wall:
- this is personal, it’s my right, I can do what I want
(nope, you’re being selfish; no man is an island; individual liberty ends when it harms others)
- I’m being feminine, expressing my femininity
(nope, you’re setting the feminist revolution back by a good generation or two)
- testing is good, it leads to new cures for terrible diseases
(yes: but this misses the point about the crucial difference between testing for COSMETIC purposes and testing for MEDICAL (and indeed veterinary-medical) ones)
- chemicals are evil
(*headdesk* oh, the idiocy. Don’t people learn anything at school any more? Like, upper-level primary school to lower secondary/high-school? Ya know, compulsory education in most of the world, see the OECD for further details?)
- all big business is bad, and all small businesses are good
(nope: see link on “fallacies” down the side for further details…)
- it’s confusing, it’s complicated, it’s not an easy area
(this is where rights end and responsibility begins: that’s no excuse for inaction. Do your research–it’s a free online world, all the information is there at your finger-tips, go forth and READ and THINK. There’s libraries too. “Use it or lose it” applies to libraries, online democracy, freedom of access to knowledge, and indeed to one’s own brain. See further: research.)
- that’s just an opinion
(opinion ≠ argument ≠ fact)
See, for a recent example of the virtue of asking questions about beauty and ethics, and for ensuing discussion (including the points above, and then some): “Ethics and Beauty: What’s Important to You?” (Beaut.ie, 2011-07-12). The old adage remains true (and beautiful, and good): “there’s no such thing as a stupid question, only a stupid answer.” All questions, and questioning, are good. And the only way to lead to truth. For more on that, see here; on its venerable history, here; and here.
Image at top: LA Asians