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Fair trade moisturiser

Why do we use cosmetics?

Like it or not, we are still often judged - and judge others - by appearances. Most western cultures tell us that beautiful is slim, young and fit. We don’t like spots, scars and other skin blemishes. We don’t like dandruff and greasy hair. We don’t like the smell of bad breath, feet or sweat. As a result, shop shelves are packed with products designed to make us look and smell ‘good’.

But who decides what is attractive? In some cultures, for example the Tuareg in the Sahara, fat is beautiful and women have been force-fed bread to fatten them up. In the Sudanese Nuba tribe, scars are cut into the face as signs of beauty. Even in the West, ideas of beauty change all the time. Curvy Marilyn Monro - seen as the ideal woman in the 1950s - would be thought overweight today.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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