I have just finished watching The Human Experiment, a documentary focusing on the issue of chemicals and human exposure to thousands of chemicals every day. I stopped eating meat to focus on a more “basic” diet, where I’m not as exposed to antibiotics, steroids, or chemicals in meat and especially, mass produced meat from stores and restaurants. However, I didn’t take into account the dangers of everything else surrounding me…such as plastic cups, air freshener, the car I drive, and the mattress I sleep on. We’ve been introduced to chemicals since birth and it’s quite frightening and discouraging to think so, but how are we supposed to fix this issue? Is it too late for us? While publicized chemicals have made their exit from our beloved facial care, food, and containers, new chemicals are being introduced and just because the label reads, “Organic,” “Non-GMO,” “No parabens, sulfates, etc.” doesn’t mean that they don’t contain other harmful chemicals. It’s frustrating to know that other countries have one-upped us on this issue by regulating toxins/chemicals. I can only hope that there is near change (especially within our legislature), if not in our lifetime, for the next generation. Part of that change comes when people are informed about the threat chemicals pose to public safety every minute of every day. Hopefully, I’ve informed someone of the very real and present problem we are in!
I’ve often reflected on my return to my naturally curly hair. Some years ago, I would’ve been embarrassed to wear my hair in the way that it is now, but after years of breaking my hair off to a near bob with a flat-iron, I knew I couldn’t keep damaging my tresses. So, I started my curly care routine…which I didn’t exactly know how to start. I remember grabbing a good smelling Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner, washing my hair and then towel drying it and maybe fingering a dollop of conditioning cream in my damp hair afterwards. Needless to say, my hair was left limp, crunchy and crying for help.
After my sis told me my hair looked like the Quaker oatmeal man’s hair, I was completely mortified and didn’t even want to be seen with my hair like that so I would put it in ponytails or buns, which broke my hair off even more. Finally I decided to just leave my hair alone, gather tips from YouTube pros who also have curly hair, and figure out my own routine. My hair grew longer and stronger soon after that and although I still struggle with a surefire routine, it’s been much easier. Now thinking back, did I decide to have a natural “do” because I felt like my hair was brutally treated or because it’s been a trend? I’d hate to say media didn’t have anything to do with my switch. Stars have embraced their roots on TV (Look at a Lupita Nyong’o or Solange!) and many others before today. I think media at some point is pervasive even to the most unshakable person and I admire celebrities with natural hair. However, I believe natural hair has become a movement of embracing yourself. When I go into a job interview, sometimes I think that maybe I should have it straight and after the interview if I don’t get a callback I think, Am I not getting the job because of my hair?
Well, I think that’s a far shot from the truth (at least I hope so) and I wouldn’t want to work for a company that doesn’t accept me for me anyway. I know women who choose to have their hair straight and it’s still healthy and they like it that way. So maybe it’s the question of what makes you happy. I don’t choose to straighten or perm my hair like I used to because I know it’s not what’s best for my hair’s health–plus, I’ve grown fond of my crazy curls, but that doesn’t mean other women should be condemned for choosing another route. So, it seems that returning to natural hair is a personal thing. What makes you happy is all that matters!
This post is a bit different from previous posts since I’m planning to create a totally new blog from scratch (hopefully on Wix) if I can figure it out! In order to transition into a focus on “natural” and “detoxing”, I thought I’d do a little opinionated write-up on food! In my Environmental Sociology class, I found that food appears to be natural when indeed it is not, which is pretty well-known today. Take for instance, McDonald’s bionic fries that stay in the same non-deteriorating state for months. Or, consider that a lot of food we consider to be natural (like apples or corn) are genetically modified. Don’t even get me started on hot dogs and mystery meat in burgers (if it’s even meat)…or the plastic scandal with Tyson’s chicken nuggets…or Monsanto…or the yoga mat substance in Subway’s bread. It’s quite alarming enough to see Sonic’s sign advertise for “Real Ice-cream”, but to think that all of these things are changing just now, you have to wonder what the f*ck have I been eating for my entire life and what am I really eating today?
I mean, no matter how many items in fast food places can change to “real” and no matter how many products in the grocery store are labeled “Organic”, there is a secret behind everything we eat–from how long it can last in the fridge to why it’s able to be mass produced even in off-season. Mass production in itself lends to the second part of this title’s post: eating food like substances. My sis told me a very interesting quote that she heard once.. The problem is we are not eating food anymore, we are eating food like products (Dr. Alejandro Junger, Hungry for Change film). Coke, fries from Rally’s (I’m guilty), milkshakes, burgers, etc. The things we eat daily that are produced in huge quantities for the population (specifically fast food, grocery stores, and in some cases, even restaurants fall in this category) aren’t really necessary foods. We treat them like substances since we’ve become addicted to the taste and convenience. I feel sad and frustrated that it has taken this long to really confront the issue and sometimes it’s not confronted at all. I was one of the people to say, “Um, I’m glad you’re going on this juice cleanse, but I’mma stick to my Popeye’s shrimp basket!” I will admit, it’s difficult to change the way we eat, considering the high cost of quality food and the veil behind products that appears to be healthy and natural. Even “eating clean” is tricky since not all fruits and veggies and meats are 100% natural. However, small changes make a huge difference. Shopping at local farmer’s markets and searching for low cost alternatives (like goodeggs.com) are great starters. I’m not a vegan or vegetarian…I’m still a pescetarian, and I do have a fear of losing weight (which seems totally backwards, but it can be explained another time), but so far it’s been a change for the better! Hopefully we can get the world talking about the terrifying control that corporations have over our food, our health, and our future well-being!