Getting Personal – by Rebecca Mayer

In the spirit of changing things up, this post is more personal.

In Southeast Asia, where I’ve been studying and teaching yoga for 5 months, feet and knees are the most personal things.  So you keep them covered and hidden from view.

In the US, where I will now be heading, it is quickly approaching summer, and feet will be out in full view.  As a yoga teacher, it would be nice to have a pedicure.

I’ve skipped using nail polish for some time now. (This is purely because I have high ideals and not because a pedicure in Telluride, Colorado, costs at least a day’s salary.)

There are just so many things wrong with the whole concept of toenail painting – covering a part of your body with hazardous chemicals, letting pedicurists breathe in the fumes as they kneel over your feet, spending precious time and money on the whole nonsense…

Yes, this is a bit of a rant – thank you for the indulgence. But, I have to say, sometimes my naked toenails feel…judged.  Next to all the bright, perfect toenails, I mean. Sometimes, in a culture of perfection, the standard is to accept toxicity rather than to breathe.

I hope I am not giving the impression of being holier-than-thou, especially if you are someone, like my mother, who enjoys the occasional pedicure. To clear things up, let me just say (I am sorry Suzan and Bag It team!) that I have been drinking from toxic plastic water bottles for the last five months.

Ironically, in our more industrialized countries, we do have the choice to opt out from many harmful practices. Like drinking from plastic water bottles. Like using toxic nail varnish.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reports the following: On Tuesday, California’s Department of Toxic Substances revealed that a variety of nail polishes contain high levels of hazardous chemicals despite product labels claiming otherwise. These chemicals, dibutyl phthalate and toluene, have been linked to birth defects, asthma and other chronic health conditions.

Take action now, and tell Congress we want to know what is in our products. And then make it personal. Breathe easier. Take advantage of your right and privilege to opt out.


About bagitmovie

Bag It is a documentary film following the world wide use of plastic bags, plastic's impact on the environment and human health.
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3 Responses to Getting Personal – by Rebecca Mayer

  1. alison says:

    good points made here!
    The plastic water bottles in countries with less-than-drinkable tap water is painful – we spent a month in Thailand and I was constantly underhydrated, I felt so bad about every single bottle. There was no recycling system either. Came home and our friends told us their solution to this which for some reason did not occur to me (!!!) they brought their clean canteens and a camping filter, voila! no plastic needed, and they never got sick. Clean drinking water is so important, I’d like to see more being done to get filters to people and getting the word out to travelers about these options also….

  2. Sheila Fields says:

    I stopped using nail polish and going to nail salons for the same reasons. Fortunately I found non toxic products at Whole Foods. I was like a kid in a candy store! I will say the removers do not work as quickly as the toxic ones but they do remove the polish. I buy Zoya and No-Miss Nail Care nail polishes and SUNCOAT (corn & soya based) and Almost Natural Polish (by No-Miss Nail Care) nail polish removers. Just thought I would share because I know painted toes nails make happy feet!


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