All of us here in the natural beauty community buy, create and promote such natural products for a reason. Common ones include health concerns, skin type, or just wanting to try something new. Any reason is valid, really – taking a step towards being greener is never a bad thing!
We also have different shades of green. Some of us tolerate more ingredients. Others only want to buy eco body care but don’t care about cosmetics. Stuff like that.
But some people take their decision to be natural way too far and try to rain their reign of terror on the rest of our parades. Nothing’s ever good enough. It’s not just them who has to go 200% natural, but so does everyone else. It becomes some wild obsession. These people take their crusade so far, they start to walk funny.
It’s no fun encountering those who insult your personal decisions when it comes to the stuff you put on YOUR body. It’s not enough that they police every damned ingredient in their own products, but now they have to go around and point out what they deem to be “wrong” with other people’s choices.
The term “organic snob” has been used for those who turn their noses up at anything they don’t deem pure, fresh and organic in their eyes. Their standards are so high, you wonder how the air is up there. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, it does become a problem when everyone else is forced to listen to them whine or belittle or – quite frankly, bitch about anything that doesn’t hold up to their personal standards. This form of extreme elitism has also applied to personal care products, clothes, and just about everything else.
Why the act, though? I get that they want to be safe, but to the point of acting like they have a stick up their butt for even being offered an impure gift or suggestion? Come on, now. Don’t be so pretentious.
If they don’t like what a company has for any reason? THEY DON’T HAVE TO BUY IT. Forcing a single company to deal with a snob’s harassment is such a waste of time – for both parties. Instead of convicing people NOT to buy from them, why don’t they advise who they SHOULD buy from? Be positive. Suggest businesses you like, and focus on them instead.
Don’t agree with the choices someone else made? IGNORE IT. Trying to throw massive crusades and convincing others to bend to your beliefs is not only annoying, but insulting. We have minds of our own, so let us decide what we consider to be suitable for our own tastes.
The problem with these snobs is that they don’t recognize those different shades of green within the natural beauty community. They believe everyone should rise to their shade and that their shade is the only one worth considering.
1. They turn their nose up at anything that isn’t paraben, phthalate, synthetic, or anything, even preservative free.
That includes anything that may even have trace amounts, no matter how harmless. Sounds extreme? Well, that’s how these people function. They decide that “Only things I can grow in Mother Nature’s dirt can touch my skin! EVER!” A safe, synthetic preservative? DENIED. Phthalate-free fragrance oil in your soap? BLASPHEMOUS. Encountering someone with such extreme standards is OK if they’re applied to themselves – but frankly, the rest of us don’t give a damn, and don’t care if you hole yourself up in your kitchen making DIY products all day because 0.000000000001% of GSE is unacceptable.
2. Their “blacklist” of ingredients is no longer a list, it’s an encyclopedia.
When you’re new to greener beauty, you not only have to watch what you buy, but you now have a slew of ingredients to look out for and research about. Why are pthalates bad for you? How come mineral oil’s so terrible for your skin? It’s a lot to learn. Modest lists of 10-15 ingredients to avoid on your watch list, especially when you’re starting out, is perfectly acceptable and isn’t overwhelming – especially if you’re a busy woman with way too much on your already burgeoning plate.
These snobs take it many steps too far, and start to rule out even perfectly fine ingredients based on an obscure study from 1968 in a lab, involving a single test on a rat and possibly falsified data. It gets so large that you wonder what DO they accept – water, aloe vera, and a banana?
3. They refer to all conventional beauty brands as blasphemy and the ultimate anathema.
Basically, any beauty and personal care company who isn’t up to their high standards – even the ones who are more greener than average. Most of us used to use that stuff. I used Revlon lipstick, MAC lip balm, Dove body washes, Neutrogena face wash, and Olay moisturizers for years. However, just because I’ve stopped doesn’t mean I consider them evil corporations out to kill us all. I just don’t use their goods. It’s a passive approach to the situation, but it works – they don’t get any endorsement, nor my money, and I get to focus my efforts on using what I deem to be safe to my standards.
Snobs, if they could, would bomb drugstores and actively boycott them for even daring to carry such goods. They’d sue companies for including an ingredient, and wrestle with consumers for signatures to shut them down.
Seriously, now? Is all that effort really worth it?
4. Is it 99% certified organic? PASS – 100% or go home!
Natural beauty snobs are not satisfied with anything not 100% organic. Nay – 110%. And it has to be CERTIFIED ORGANIC. There are smaller indie companies who can’t afford the official certification yet or don’t use all organic ingredients. Does it matter to these snobs? NO. They have to see all the labels, the paperwork and the receipts before even considering that company as righteous enough for their skin.
This is incredibly unfortunate. Whether their anal behavior is born out of extreme fear or just having too much time on their hands, it’s not worth getting panties in a bunch over. Going certified organic is best, but why turn down a perfectly transparent company because they couldn’t afford it?
5. They belittle others who aren’t as “pure” and righteous as they are.
This, to me, is the biggest problem with snobs. It’s bad enough that they have standards too high for 80% of companies to meet, but when they start to push their stringent beliefs on others, it’s gone too far. I avoid people like this for a reason – I don’t like them. Period. I don’t want to hear their spiel, or them trying to tell me that what I like and decide on using for MY OWN BODY is wrong, or that anyone else’s ideals and choices are questionable and deemed unsafe. Yeah, unsafe for you maybe, but if I’m ok with it, why the hell should you care?
This applies to almost every controversial situation, really. Smoking is generally considered bad for you. However, do you see me going up to every smoker and telling them to stop because it’s not up to MY standards? No – because it’s none of my business. Or even better, if I smoked too, but only used a specific brand, I’m not going to walk up to a stranger puffing up and insult their choice of cigarettes. That’s rude and absurd.
Basically, it comes down to this – if you spot a snob, stay away. We’ll stay in our corner of the community, and they stay in theirs. And if any of us comes into their territory, website, or otherwise and insult their standards, then they can feel free to bitch.