Tag Archives: The Nation

Toxic Nail Polish: More Beauty Industry Lies

Slate xxFactor Toxic Nail Polish by Virginia Sole-Smith

You guys may have seen this news last week: California toxicologists tested a bunch of those supposedly “toxin-free” nail polishes… and found out that they’re actually toxin-full, as I’m reporting on Slate’s xxFactor blog today.

Hmm, what does this remind us of? If you said Brazilian Blowout (or lead in lipstick or carcinogens in baby shampoo or…) give yourself a high five.

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Filed under Beauty Labor, Career Opportunities, Customer Cult, Government Watch, Health, Ingredients, Products

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Safer Nail Salons in San Francisco

Nail salon photo from Molly Surno's The Smallest Canvas series

I’m pleased as punch about Patricia Leigh Brown’s new New York Times piece, “At Some Nail Salons, Feeling Pretty and Green.” It reports on San Francisco’s new Healthy Nail Salon Recognition ordinance, which gives props to nail salons who use products free of the Toxic Trio (dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and our friend formaldehyde). And it seems to be only the second piece of legislation in the country geared towards reducing occupational hazards in nail salons. (The first was a law passed by New York State in July requiring salon owners to make masks and gloves available to workers.)

This is a story that is super close to my heart, because way back in 2006, I spent a week traipsing around nail salons in San Francisco and Oakland with two amazing women: Lenh Tsan, a community advocate with the Asian Law Caucus’s Nail Salon Project and C. M. Nguyen, a salon worker who together do health and safety outreach to the Bay Area’s nail salons, where 80 percent of workers are Vietnamese immigrants often working against language barriers and other obstacles. Read more…

Filed under Beauty Labor, Career Opportunities, Ingredients

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A Flapper Daughter Responds.

In her latest column “Feminist Mothers, Flapper Daughters,” Katha Pollitt* admits that she sometimes finds young feminists irritating:

I’m tired of their constant use of teeny-bopper words like “amazing” and “awesome,” the lazy use of obscenities and the way they refer to themselves as “girls” and “chicks.” What’s wrong with “woman?” Is “woman” too fat for them? I don’t get their obsession with ads and women’s magazines and pop culture and celebrities — to me, feminism is about getting that stuff out of your head, not coming up with yet more reasons to object to it while remaining in its thrall. I’m tired of “body issues” getting so much more emphasis than economic and political ones, and the endless fetishizing of “choice” where anything a woman wants to do is sacrosanct, including stripping, prostition and porn, which are simultaneously obscurely troubling and perfectly OK!

Pollitt goes on to defend young feminists (against Susan Faludi who accuses us of ritual matricide) giving us credit for volunteering, mentoring teens, organizing conferences, writing books and blogging. Which I appreciate. So I’m hoping she won’t mind me taking a minute to look more closely at her objections to us. Read more…

Filed under Beauty Standards, Career Opportunities, Government Watch

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