I went to pick up my mail the other day and there was a package for one of my neighbors in a cute box with nice lettering - BIRCHBOX. I'm a sucker for packaging design. Yes, I'm one of those people - I love Apple boxes, so I was curious what this company was selling and what might be in that cute brown box.
Not that I need to buy anything, of course, but I was thinking it might be some kind of food. I always like to buy food. What I discovered was disappointing. It wasn't food.
It was makeup! I'm sorry, not just makeup, but "high-end beauty, grooming, and lifestyle samples once a month, customized just for you." WTF is a lifestyle sample?
Why is this so disappointing?
1. Tiny plastic makeup containers are almost never recyclable. The ocean is full of tiny pieces of plastic from our love affair with cosmetics (and water bottles, and disposable pens, and balloons, and, and, and...).
2. Excess consumerism, that is buying things you don't need, is causing us crippling debt, a host of environmental woes and a pervasive sense of low self esteem because we don't ever seem to have "enough".
3. Beauty comes from being healthy and taking care of your body. Women are sold a myth that we need to wear makeup to be socially acceptable. I was recently with some boating friends for a low-key weekend at a little resort town. One woman kept pointing out the fact that she didn't have her "face" on and it evidently made her uncomfortable to be without her makeup. She looked fine to me. How much emotional energy do women spend, feeling that their faces aren't adequate? When was the last time you saw a man put on his "face" before heading off to work in the morning?
I so wish BIRCHBOX sold food. I like food. I love their box design. I really, really don't like makeup.