The Glass House - Beauty Addict

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Glass House

One of Blogdorf Goodman's posts during her 40 Days and 40 Nights of Beauty Cult Classics series sparked a pretty heated debate in the comments section. The product in question? None other than the much-coveted, sometimes mysterious, always contentious, Creme de la Mer.

To me, Creme de la Mer is, at best, a fabulous face cream, and at worst, a frivolous indulgence. It is not, however, the work of the devil.

Now, I rarely get up on a soapbox, but one of the comments on Annie's post really rubbed me the wrong way. Reader "Shana" deemed any purchase of La Mer "incredibly selfish and utterly morally reprehensible," going on to say that "any reasonable person, with a grand to spare, would buy a <$100 cream and donate some money to people who don't even have the basics, much less expensive makeup and what-have-you."

Really, Shana? Last time I checked, how people choose to spend their hard-earned income is their prerogative, and theirs alone. You don't see my tax returns or my bank statements, so you have absolutely no basis for your generalization of how this "reasonable person" would act.

I'm proud of what I gave to charitable causes last year. And guess what? I don't feel an ounce of guilt over the fact that there was money left over for face cream and some nice clothes. I take pride in, and am thankful for, a life and a career that allow for abundance in both areas. Does the fact that I indulged in a few "luxury goods" make me a bad person? I suppose that in your mind, Shana, the jar of La Mer on my shelf negates all the donations - of time, money, and resources - that I made last year to childhood cancer research, AIDS charities, women's shelters, and local families in crisis.

Bottom line, material indulgences and charitable contributions are not mutually exclusive. Being a good person doesn't necessarily mean forgoing creature comforts. And certainly, one's skincare expenditures do not constitute an appropriate basis by which to judge character. Would you slam someone like, say, Melinda Gates for owning a jar of La Mer?

So I would hope, Shana, that you wrote those comments while wearing clothes from Goodwill and eating ramen noodles, using a secondhand computer, in a no-frills house filled with bare-bones furniture and heated with a wood-burning stove. Because if you have any sort of indulgence in your life - whether it be skincare, food, clothing, your car, your home - you really need to stop throwing stones.

What about you, dear readers? Is buying something like La Mer a beauty necessity, an occasional indulgence...or does it constitute a morally reprehensible act?