…or any other ideological or political spin on skincare.
Today, I and a couple members of the Snail Unit found out that we’d been mentioned in an article on a major online publication (which I’ll not be linking, because I don’t want to give them the traffic, but which I’ll screenshot below if you haven’t seen it yet).
As a blogger with a moderate following and some name recognition, you get used to your words being used by others. Shops use the glowingest parts of reviews you’ve written to sell their products or get attention. That’s mostly par for the course, and it’s generally totally fine with me unless my content has been copied and pasted wholesale or taken out of context.
(Though it is still expected, and considered good manners, for shops to ask bloggers’ permission before using their words to sell a product, of course!)
One thing that I don’t intend to get used to is seeing my work being used without my permission (or even my knowledge) to promote an agenda that I do not support and do not want associated with my name or this blog. My blogger friends feel the same. That’s why we were all dismayed to find ourselves named in an article pushing the concept of “radical feminist skincare.”
As Cat and Tracy have already made clear both to the publication and on social media, they weren’t interviewed for this piece. The writer employed slippery wording that implies that Cat and Tracy were among the people she spoke to, which in turn implies that Cat and Tracy endorse the “radical feminist skincare” this article promotes. Which goes beyond sloppy journalism into the realm of intentionally shady.
My part in the article is less egregious, and to be honest, were it in a different piece, I might not have minded being included at all. I might even be flattered to have been noticed and thought worthy of mentioning. But in an article like this, it gives the impression that I, too, belong to this supposed movement of so-called “radical feminist skincare.”
Come on. We’re all literate adults here. We know how to read between the lines, to catch the implications inherent in being referenced where others are not. And I don’t want to let those implications stand unaddressed.
It’s not about my personal political beliefs. I could be as radical as they come in my private life (I’m not) and I still wouldn’t be happy to see myself publicly aligned with the cause. I’ve made a point of not aligning myself with any cause except the cause of good skincare.
It’s about consent and choice. Agency, in the language of feminism. Taking our names and our words without our consent, without giving us the choice of whether we wanted to be associated with the agenda (both political and economical) being pushed in the article, violated our agency. Is that radical? Fuck if I know, but I know it isn’t my idea of feminist.
Even if the article is ultimately corrected—we’ve all made our feelings on our names being used in it known—the Internet, as everyone should know by now, never forgets. And the original article has been up for several hours now on a highly trafficked and widely shared site. That means that our names and our blogs have already become associated, in at least some readers’ minds, with an ideology that we never wanted to have anything to do with. It puts us in the sights of people whom we may not want to risk our own security in tangling with.
It’s very important to me to maintain control of my voice as a blogger and how it’s used. So here I’m going to use my voice and make my position clear.
I don’t support any kind of politicized skincare. I said it on my Twitter and I’ll say it again: Skincare is science not politics. Being able to construct an attention-getting argument for skincare has nothing to do with whether you know a damn thing about what makes good skincare. The only thing Fiddy Snails supports is good skincare. And I definitely do not support the idea of any skincare company using politics to get you to buy product. To me, that just suggests that maybe the product wouldn’t stand on its own.
(Final note: I also don’t support any radical ideology. Radicalization rejects reality, breeds narrow-minded views, and encourages a certain “the ends justify the means” ruthlessness and erosion of ethics that aren’t good for any cause, in my humble opinion.)
Thanks for listening to my rant, guys. And now back to the good stuff: creams and oils and serums and ampoules that we can all enjoy and use to brighten our faces and our days, regardless of where we fall on the political spectrum! I think I’ll calm my nerves with a routine made up entirely of holy grails and a My Scheming Provence Lavender Soothing Mask tonight. I got the idea from Tracy at Fanserviced-B, who’s just published her own thoughts on the article.