by Marsha Rakestraw

Unilever has faced backlash surrounding the mixed messages it has been sending with its seeming concern (via Dove and the “campaign for real beauty”) for the body images of young girls via its “Onslaught” video (see below), and the fact that it owns Axe body spray, a product whose ads feature young, slim women lusting after those men who use the product.

 

In response to the Unilever “Onslaught” video, an ad exec created his own mashup video, warning parents to “talk to your kids before Unilever does.”

 

Greenpeace has also created its own Onslaught-type video, focused on the fact that palm oil, which is destroying rainforests in Indonesia, and thereby contributing to forest destruction, species extinction, human and animal suffering, and global climate change, is an ingredient in some Dove products.


These videos — and the issues behind them — provide an excellent opportunity to look at the interconnectedness of issues, and the impact of all the choices we make every day.

When we buy a product, we’re not just buying that product. We’re also buying everything that happened to create, market, and distribute that product, and we’re buying whatever the impact of the disposal of that product is.

Every time we make a choice, we’re choosing to support and nurture practices that are cruel, destructive, unjust, and violent, or practices that are restorative, just, compassionate, and sustainable.

Resources like those in our curated Ethical Consumerism Pinterest board can also serve as useful resources for investigating the power of our choices, and the extent to which we have an impact on people, animals and the planet.