Can We Outspend Despair?
Deeply no, but we are trying the best we can.
I’ve been thinking a lot about reproductive justice lately, partially due to The Circumstances In Which We Live, but mostly because my IUD is stretching a year overdue from its intended original deadline and sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I imagine it whispering to me to rescue it from deep within me. But fear not - it’s approved for another year, technically, during which time I need to summon the patience to deal with the labyrinth that is the US Healthcare System when one has shit coverage. I did not have a queer-affirming visit with the last gynecologist I saw here in Los Angeles and I do not plan on seeing them again. So maybe I won’t see one for another few months, and I’ll just put it off until I absolutely cannot and am in danger. Who knows! So yes, I am preoccupied with the ineptitude of my options, options I am grateful for in the way a starving child in a Victorian novel is grateful for moldy bread. Reproductive freedom: it’s a dream.
Anyway. There’s a reproductive justice campaign with 35 brands that are raising money for SisterSong - Beauty Independent did reporting with the founders involved, you can read more there. 100% of proceeds of the specific products purchased through the retailers on the website go to SisterSong. Not through Sephora or other retail partners but the products from the brands themselves - brands that include E.L.F, Glow Recipe, The Inkey List, Prose, Necessaire, Topicals, Versed, and Youth to the People. Here’s a roundup of the products I’d personally go for, having tried the brands if not all the products themselves.
Saie founder and leader of the initiative, Laney Crowell, says this about Every Body: “When Roe was overturned, we connected with our community and felt this incredible sadness and injustice. I immediately went to, ‘What can we do?’” says Crowell. “I’d get on the phone with people and be like, ‘I have this crazy idea,’ and the response was like, ‘I’m in.’ I think that really speaks to what I feel about the beauty industry, which is that we are an industry started by, led by, run by and profiting from women. It is essential that we stand with them and all birthing people at this time.”
Love the phrasing: birthing people. Specific. Not all people impacted by conservative reproductive legislative witchhunts give birth, but I get the vibe. It is more inclusive than ‘woman’ so I understand the intentions. The website for The Every Body Campaign looks marvelous and none of these brands had to say something or do anything, but they are, even if it is only for a calculated minimum of $5,000 per brand.
I mean this all very earnestly. I do. Hopefully they raise the $175,000 minimum that those products pledge to do. But I want to provide context for this project and give us all a sense of scale of commitment to the future of bodily autonomy, too.