The world of beauty products has changed a LOT! There was a time when little to no consideration was given to what chemicals were crammed into make-up, moisturisers and soaps. Thanks to education, awareness and demand we have access to a huge range of beauty products that are better for us and the environment.
Over time we became aware of all the hidden nasties going into our beauty products and the damage they were doing. We talked, we shared, we demanded and now we have access to a HUGE range of beauty products that are, quite simply, ‘good’. What the heck am I talking about? Things like eco-friendly body washes, makeup not tested on animals and products handmade with fresh, organic, vegan ingredients.
Strolling through the supermarket over the weekend I stopped to inspect a range of exfoliants in the beauty section. I started reading bottles, making sure I was buying something made from natural ingredients and not tested on animals. As I carefully studied the label on each product I had a realisation, why don’t we apply this same school of thought to all our relationships? When it comes to friends and lovers, why aren’t we just as concerned about what they’re made up of and what they’re doing to us?
Just like a bad beauty product a bad relationship can take it’s toll on you physically. To be clear, when I say relationship I mean every kind of relationship, from friends and family to your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend and maybe even the pizza delivery guy! As I was saying, a bad relationship will take it’s toll on you physically. It may be immediately visible and you may have a bad reaction to it and come out in a rash the next day (gross!) or the bad reaction may develop over time, slowly irritating you and seeping nasty chemicals into your body until you wake up one day and realise something is seriously wrong… “WHAT THE HECK IS THAT? How long has that been growing there? GUH! Get if off meeeeeee.”
If we’re so willing to demand our beauty products be cruelty-free and non-toxic, why aren’t we demanding the same of relationships? After all, we’re very concerned about the damage chemical-laden products have on us and those are only applied externally, a bad relationship is applied straight to the heart, mind and soul. Surely the potential for disaster is far greater? Oh, it is, homie, it is.
I guess it’s easy to underestimate the toll a bad relationship can have on us, “Well, I only see her once a fortnight and we catch up over coffee.” But let’s think about that for a moment, let’s imagine you have a highly toxic face-mask and once a fortnight you spread it all over your face and leave it there for a few hours. Sure, it’s only once every two weeks and once it’s dry you’ll wash it off and not have to think about it again for a little while. But what damage is it doing while it’s covering your face and what are the bigger repercussions of you continually investing in it?
That toxic face mask is slowly and surely seeping into your skin and affecting you at a deeper level, one you may not even be able to see yet. So, why don’t you just throw it out and get rid of it? Probably because we hate waste, we hate to think we’re throwing away something that could be of value and, hey, maybe it’s not so bad for us after all?!
Lady, are you crazy? It is definitely bad for you and you need to start prioritising yourself and taking it seriously. Okay, I’ll admit it’s a lot easier to throw away a $12 tube of crappy moisturiser than it is to throw away a relationship of 12 years, but do you want to know what’s even more important than hurting someone else’s feelings or ‘wasting’ a relationship? You. You are more important. In the words of Samantha Jones, “I love you, but I love me more.” I’m telling you, it’s not unreasonable to expect the same level of goodness from relationships as you do from the soap you wash your face with every morning.
A good friend should do what a good body wash does; cleanse, refresh, soothe and invigorate. Yep, I took those words straight from the bottle of body wash in my shower. Those are all the things I want in a relationship, heck I’d love it if potential friends came with a label so I could see exactly what was in them. All natural ingredients? Yes. Cruelty-free and environmentally sustainable? Yes, definitely! Full of hidden toxins and chemicals I can’t pronounce? Ah, no. Proven to incite premature ageing? Wait… what? NO! Causes headaches and hair loss? What the faa….. NO!
Okay, so relationships and people don’t come with a label but there are still things you can do to make sure you’re choosing wisely. Firstly, if you can’t pronounce it and don’t know what it is, you don’t want it! What I mean is, if you aren’t feeling things like happy, joyful, relaxed and recharged after spending time with someone, and instead are trying to explain weird words like deleterious, indecorous and inimacal, then something’s wrong. Secondly, consider a swatch test. Apply a small amount of the relationship to your life and see if it irritates you or if it does what it should. Don’t like it? Bin it, sister.
You see, Forest Gump’s mama had it all wrong, life isn’t like a box of chocolates at all. Life is like a supermarket and you get to decide what goes in your trolley and what stays out of it, so take the time to make sure what goes into yours is good for you and maybe throw a box of chocolates in too, just for good measure.
What are your thoughts on toxic relationships? Have you ever had to do a clean out of your ‘cupboard under the sink’ and get rid of all those half-empty tubes of crappy moisturiser? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so share in the comments below.
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Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.