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Lipstick and Sodapop

April 27, 2013


The other day I was riding a city bus watching three young ladies “ooo” and “ahh” over their new cosmetics purchases.

By their conversations they had to be either seniors in high school or freshmen in college. Joyfully they passed lipsticks and glosses back and forth remarking how good a particular color would look with a certain outfit or who owned a similar color product…etc. Each of the three peeled open the cellophane safety seals with the fervor 4th graders rip open parent approved Halloween candy.

It was a cute girlie moment, except for one thing, for me at least. Every single beauty product each girl opened bore the Revlon brand. YUCK! I haven’t purchased a Revlon brand anything since their refusal to divest from 1980’s apartheid South Africa. Oh, don’t get it twisted; I’ve forgiven them – radically. But forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to have dinner with your rapist or financially support a company that openly ignored the human rights of an entire population.

Even though now fast forward into the future with the lovely Halle Berry as the Revlon spokes model I still choose not to purchase the brand. If only they knew what a major market they lost in me. I own and purchase more cosmetics than most people (seriously, way more – it’s not what you think I have good reason and I can expense them) nevertheless some 20 plus years later I don’t have one iota of Revlon in my wheelie-bag arsenal. Never will. That’s just how I roll.

The young ladies on the bus with the lipsticks were not even born during the South African apartheid boycotts and demonstrations, but I wonder if anyone in their young lives ever explained to them what the movement was all about, why it was important and why some crotchety AARP toting woman would never EVER purchase a Revlon brand for any reason. I wondered do they know anything about Nelson Mandela and his 27 year sacrifice or has he been reduced to a sickly old man with a respiratory ailment that makes the news now and then and the reality show “Being Mandela” where his granddaughters squabble over trivial BS that wouldn’t have even been an option for them during the years I was trying to get my friends to stop straightening their hair with that fuggin Cream of Nature relaxer! Or shit do they even know about the respiratory ailment and the reality show with his daughters (((sigh))).

I wondered about it for the whole bus ride then I let it go…until walking to board the same bus again today I had to walk through a pack of protesters in front of a major retailer passing out flyers, holding signs, blowing bubbles with a bubble machine and asking shoppers to boycott SodaStream.

SodaStream, you know the quirky at home carbonation system that lets you make your own soda beverages.

Their reason: SodaStream’s main manufacturing facility is located in an illegal Israeli settlement, employing Palestinian workers who don’t enjoy the same labor rights as their Israeli counterparts; Meanwhile having just launched a multi-million dollar advertising campaign claiming to be an “eco-friendly” and “socially responsible” corporation.



I can’t help but wonder, assume and believe these protestor’s efforts (none of whom looked like me) will garner a different caliber of support and in a much shorter time frame than the 1980’s divestment efforts were able to do.

I also can’t help wondering, assuming and believing 20 plus years from now some little old Palestinian lady will pass a teenage summer employee demoing a new-fangled SodaStream machine in the mall and inadvertently mumble under her breath “fugg SodaStream” before she realizes what hit her…that is if SodaStream survives.

Personally I always thought home-made soda pop was a dumb idea with or without the Palestinian/Israeli brouhahas…but with it it’s an even dumber idea…burrrrrp!





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