Did you know that perfectionism and the quest for perfection is a pillar that upholds white supremacy? This is why Mae Botanicals products do not seek nor promise unattainable and unethical standards of beauty. These products are designed to help you tend to your skin in a loving way. They are also here to help you to reconnect with the plants, the land, and your magic. In these ways, Mae Botanicals is in direct opposition to the systems of harm currently in place - white supremacy, capitalism, settler-colonialism, cis-het-patriarchy and all of kyriarchy. These systems of harm tell us that we are only good or worthy when we are perfect, and that perfection is only attainable through consumption. Mae Botanicals is a place for skincare that calls on the magic of ritual. It is a place to find products that draw you into relationship with your skin, with yourself, and with the plants. It is a place to find products that you can use in your own meaningful skincare rituals to honor yourself.
Anti Aging is not what we are about
What you will not find are claims on anti-aging, promises to clear acne, promises to clear scarring, blemishes, redness, or perceived defects. Aging is a totally normal process. Our skin and bodies will absolutely change over time. Acne is another normal process, and is honestly more about what is happening inside your body than what you are putting on your skin (please discuss further with your doctor or other licensed health care provider). As far as other perceived defects go, we are all unique and special, no need to conform to kyriarchal beauty norms.
Change is Normal
While the quest for perfect skin makes you neither good nor bad, and the pursuit of and expectation of perfection is an aspect of white supremacy (see White Supremacy Culture, Fearing the Black Body, Patriarchy and Accumulation). White supremacy is deeply ingrained in how we think about what is good, what is correct, and what is beautiful. And Mae Botanicals is not here for that. Changes to ourselves and our skin are normal, sometimes we get acne, sometimes there are blemishes and discolorations, sometimes we get wrinkles. I am here to embrace change over time. I am here to embrace aging, to embrace blemishes, and "unsightly" things on our skin.
If you’re at a place with your skin where “perfect skin” (again, “perfect” as defined by systems of oppression) feels vital, my invitation to you is to consider who your quest for perfection serves, and why. Upholding unreasonable beauty norms perpetuates them, but it can also offer us a felt sense of belonging, however fragile. Mae Botanicals is devoted to engendering belonging that is based on authenticity – which is a beauty standard I can get behind.
Listening to your Skin
I also believe and understand that listening to our bodies is so important! Disruptions to the skin are one of the many, many, many possible ways our bodies can communicate with us. Sometimes, what is happening in our digestion or other parts of the body will show up on the surface. So we can use the skin as an indicator of when to shift or make changes in the ways that we are living life in a way that creates more understanding within our entire selves and all the systems of the body (respiratory, digestive, circulatory, nervous, etc). That is different from pursuing clear and perfect skin. Noticing the difference in the story (‘must be this way always’ vs curiosity about the information presented functioning as the impetus to action,) is important to shifting the way that we show up in the world.
Embrace Authentic Beauty
There are as many ways of being a beautiful person as there are people in the world. Consider the work of Alok Vaid Menon and the direct links between white supremacy and societal beauty standards. Again, there is nothing wrong with makeup or fashion (also see the work of Aja Barber), but consider in what ways you can divest from capitalism, white supremacy and settler colonialism while looking the way that you choose, for your own reasons. And not using false beauty standards to further enforce systems of harm.
What are the things that you are doing to care for your body right now? What are the rituals you have to connect with your skin? How are you divesting from systems of harm and in what ways are you practicing moving into Liberation for all (yourself included)?