The ‘greening’ of sexism

August 27, 2008 at 7:27 pm (environmental blah blah, sexism ain't sexy)

I am enraged this morning and its not because the Fred Meyer pharmacy doesn’t open until 9 a.m. and I needed my mood-altering medication before my job starts at 8:30 a.m. (although that may have something to do with the rage).

It is because I saw this on the Mercury’s blog this morning. Apparently last year cosmetic company LUSH held a ‘protest’ in which employees at its stores spent the day in the nude besides an apron to promote the company’s use of ‘naked’ or package free, 100 percent vegetarian products. The company’s head honchos say this is a way to ‘educate’ businesses and consumers of the toll that excess packaging takes on the environment. LUSH on Northwest 23rd will reprise the protest today at noon.

*head explodes*

Question: Why do these so-called ethical companies feel it’s OK to exploit women’s bodies but its not OK to exploit farm animals or trees?

And some of you may say that the men at the stores will be naked too (equality?), but when was the last time you saw a dude working a LUSH? This company is not trying to inform people people about using less packaging, they are using female nudity to draw customers into its stores to buy $15 bath bombs. If they really wanted to raise environmental consciousness, they could do it without the naked babes by holding a seminar in their stores.

Reading this gave me the sick feeling in my stomach, like when I see those giant PETA billboards with the naked women panting in cages.

I know the employees only do this on a voluntary basis and I know many young women working in these stores will decide to de-panty and throw on an apron and it won’t affect their life one way or the other. But to me, this is blatant objectification. And using this tactic in the workplace, a place where it is already difficult for women to navigate without being judged solely on their ‘assets’, is more ethically irresponsible than slapping plastic wrap on vegetables at a grocery store. LUSH has placed a green film over sexism and calls it consciousness raising. This is unacceptable and I encourage you if you agree to write to them and tell them so, as I will be doing today.

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
8365 Ontario Street – Unit 120
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V5X 3E8


  1. meagank said,

    Eff yeah. Eff Lush!

    Granted, I love $15 bath bombs!


  2. storymakerupper said,

    I love the bath bombs too, which makes me all the more depressed that they are doing this now.

  3. melissalion said,

    I can see naked ladies? I live in Portland, I can see them anytime.

    I can get $15 bath bombs? Awesome.

    And down with naked marketing?

    I don’t know, can I saw that if it encourages people with all sorts of bodies being naked and comfortable, then I’m all for it.

    Still my intern?

  4. Nathalie said,

    Of course I am still your intern. I can definitely see your point. If this were a body image consciousness raising protest, then the nakedness with be permissible to me. However, this isn’t a celebration of the body, it’s using the body to push a product under the guise of being ‘green’.

  5. melissalion said,

    Well played, Intern Nathalie. Well played indeed.

  6. Erin said,

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