Kourtney Kardashian – The Hero You Never Knew You Needed
Kourtney Kardashian’s recent visit to Washington D.C. received some buzz but for the most part the story flew under the radar in both Kardashian gossip circles and with the political bees buzzing about the hill. In a normal world (pre 2016) I would expect a story like a Kardashian meeting with members of congress to discuss beauty products to spark 1000 think pieces, with at least 50 of those coming from BuzzFeed alone. But no, this pop culture congressional mashup passed us quickly and quietly because we are living in this ridiculous timeline where everyday is a circus in Washington D.C., which is fine but don’t be fooled here, this is a BFD.
Why is this a BFD? Because the cosmetic industry has largely been left behind and ignored by the United States government when it comes to regulating anything at all. We have caps on Tylenol bottles and Spaghettios have much less sugar in them now than they did in he 90s but it’s like time has stood still when it comes to doing anything to make cosmetics just a little less toxic for the general population. The FDA’s most recently updated their guidelines for cosmetics in 1938. Don’t worry if the year 1938 doesn’t immediately ring a bell in your mind because it was a long f*cking time ago. But just for the sake of putting things in perspective, FDR was president, Hitler was Chancellor of Germany, and the first animated full length film premiered (Walt Disney’s Snow White). Disney has since made 58 more animated films and we’ve gone through 13 Presidents, yet still American cosmetic companies remained unmoved and continue to play by 1938’s rules.
I could probably write all day about why congress hasn’t done anything to regulate this industry but instead I will focus on why Kourtney Kardashian could truly be the one to save us and future generations from a cosmetic industry that frequently and freely uses toxic chemicals in everyday product formulas simply because there are no rules stopping these companies.
There’s so much work to be done when it comes to getting with congress to make sure that the cosmetic industry catches up to 21st century safety standards and Kourtney is in a powerful position to really kickstart this movement and raise awareness about an issue that is rarely discussed outside of the blogosphere of natural beauty gurus and vegan YouTube. Though the clean beauty movement has gained popularity through grassroots activism recently especially in like-minded internet circles, it has yet to fully break through into mainstream conversation, where it belongs. If there’s anything that is main stream pop culture in this country, it’s the Kardashians.
So besides being a celebrity, what makes exactly makes Kourtney Kardashian a BFD? Well, every move she’s making here looks like someone taking it all very seriously with the intention to make congress change the laws. Her main meeting on capital hill last week was behind closed doors, which is what activists do when they are looking to influence policies and change laws. She wasn’t posing for excessive photos or talking about herself. She made an appearance and was part of a brief public discussion. Looks to me like someone who is going to Washington to try and get something done. Kourtney addressed the issues most important to her cause and she fearlessly spoke about harmful chemicals in beauty products and how a virtually unregulated cosmetic industry is the root of these issues. She also spoke about what inspired her to act and how much she works to keep harmful chemicals out of Kylie’s makeup line. While I can appreciate Kylie’s honor system, many companies do not have as much consideration when it comes to what they expose their customers to. At the end of the day, the best way to protect consumers against dangerous chemicals in cosmetics is for lawmakers to take action, like the European Union already has.
It’s time for American consumers to come together and demand the same protections for ourselves, our mothers, sons, daughters, and everyone else. Kourtney Kardashian has teamed up with Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) (who have been working together already for years in Congress on bipartisan legislation ) to write legislation and push congress into action to get better protection for consumers of personal care products.
Kourtney acknowledged that becoming a mother was a turning point for her and an eye opening education into what a disaster the US personal care and cosmetic industry was.
“When I had my first son, I started really learning so much about the foods that I was feeding him and it just kind of all snowballed. As a mom, you really take so much interest in the products… and it’s so crazy. I was thinking about it this morning. I would get so many baby gifts and a lot of it were products, skincare products for my kids,” Kardashian said at the briefing.
“And I would use the things that people sent me just assuming these are baby products and that they should be safe. I remember learning from my mom friends that these were not healthy at all.”
It’s a similar story with many new parents as they suddenly have an interest in reading up on every single ingredient in whatever baby products they’re using. Often this leads to a bit of a consumer awakening that extends beyond the newborn. Just like with Kourtney, once you start learning about what’s really in your cosmetics or personal care products, it’s hard to look back. The realization that you have been washing your hair with chemicals that are also known carcinogens or that your nail polish contains a dash of formaldehyde isn’t the best feeling. That’s why I am so here for Kourtney Kardashian’s #BeautyMadeBetter campaign and the work that she’s doing right now. New parents have enough to worry about and some simple common sense regulations within the cosmetics industry are LONG overdue. I imagine that Kourtney and the Environmental Working Group have an uphill battle ahead of them when the goal is to inspire change within congress, especially when it comes to regulations and the Republican leadership in Congress at the moment but I believe Kourtney is determined to make a difference. Anyone who thinks or says that this is a publicity stunt probably hasn’t looked too much into the situation. Senators Diane Feinstein and Susan Collins are a legislative dream team. Seeking their guidance signals that Kourtney Kardashian’s mission to take on the cosmetics industry is a BFD. She wants to change the law.
You can watch Kourtney talk about cosmetics reform in a congressional briefing over on YouTube. I recommend watching this for yourself rather than reading someone else’s summary or a snarky reporter’s Twitter account of what Kourtney said. Kourtney Kardashian attends a briefing on cosmetics safety reform
(shoutout to the j*ckass “reporter” who’s Tweets were included in the people.com article linked above. Suggesting that KK went all the way to DC to meet with members of congress privately and is willing to work on legislation with 2 powerhouse senators just so she can drop in a line about Kylie’s makeup brand is some real sexist b*llshit. Her job and expertise in the cosmetics industry is relevant when discussing her opinions about reform within the cosmetics industry. But of course it’s a girl talking about makeup and she’s a Kardashian, so of course she can’t possibly be taken seriously. Silly me)