"The Shape of things to come"
ISSUE SIX EXPLORES IDEAS AND IDEALISM AROUND OUR FUTURE, PATTERNS AND TRENDS AND HOW TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE SHAPE OF BEAUTY.
Growing up, like most of you I am sure, I was excited by the potential of the future. The potential of all the things I could be and do when I grew up. The prospect of possibility. I wanted to be a human rights marine biologist.
I was born in a time when things were different to how they are now. Part of the last generation before the digital natives that roam these wastelands. Before the image manipulation, before the water-crises... just, before. Of course, every generation feels the same. We look back and appreciate the comparative ease of our childhoods, often forgetting the struggles and challenges our formative years bared. With nothing to compare them too, of course they were easier.
My formative years saw the rise and rise of fast fashion and over-consumption. I remember loving the idea of disposability, as did my mother, my teachers and my friends. Perhaps because it was a novel idea at the time? And of course, at the time, the impact of those ideals were unconsidered.
“We should all be concerned about the future because we will have to spend the rest of our lives there.”
— CHARLS F KETTERING
It is a bitter pill to swallow; realising that you are part of the problem. Those easy childhoods. The 'innovations of my generation'. Now I am fighting for the future. Fighting for generations to come, so that they have a home to live in that was, at the very least, a resemblance of the memories of my youth. Where mountains are made from rock and granite and not consumer waste that is piled so high it blocks the light and alters the geography of our third rock.
When plastics were invented, they quite literally changed the world. The impact of this revolution was not known at the time. The correlation between the make up of the plastics and breakdown of the plastic (or lack there of) did not formulate as an idea until it became a problem.
And therein lies the trouble. With advancements, comes risk and those risks only become evident later down the line. So I guess the question is, how do we foresee these potential dangers before they become global calamities? And who should be taking responsibility?
There is a theory that we should always look ahead to our future and looking back is futile. But perhaps. we need to look back - at patterns and processes and impacts, so we can start thinking smarter, sooner. Disposability is not merely an action, it is a mindset.
This issue explores the shape of things to come. The benefits and drawbacks of technology, shapes and patterns in fashion and nature and what our beauty choices are having on the emotional and environmental landscape of our lives. I also want to look at the reality that what we are doing now, will at some stage in the future, cause a backlash. We are humans, we learn through failure. Perhaps that is our design flaw?
So, while I became neither a human rights lawyer nor a marine biologist nor a combination of the two, perhaps it was that very idea of I could become anything that has led me to this path that I have found myself running down. Championing people, planet and animals alike, while doing multiple jobs.
"A Feast for Gluttony"
ISSUE FIVE EXPLORES IDEAS AROUND TIME, VOLUME, OVER CONSUMPTION AND EDIBLE BEAUTY.
I have just returned from India. While I didn't go there to "find myself" I certainly found some perspective - perspective I wasn't looking for, yet in retrospect, clearly needed.
I don't know about you, but I cannot quite keep track of where my time goes. My anxiety levels surge worrying about if I have spent my time efficiently. Have I done enough? Have I worked hard enough?
My time in India forced me to waste time. It drove me insane. I sobbed. I got angry. I broke down. I fought the system, however, it was only to my own detriment.
For India has its own rhythm. It operates on its own time. It took me two and a half weeks (of my three week trip) to find my own beat within its rhythm, and then I had to leave.
“If you put enough time in the wrong hands, you upset the whole system”
— ANDREW NICCOL
It wasn't until the flight home - one which I was anticipating with great zealousness - that all the learnings began making themselves apparent. Due to snow fall on these delicate British Isles, our flight got rerouted to Germany. My 10 hour journey turned into 35 hours. Despite having to be back in London for a big job, I was strangely calm. I had realised that getting stressed about it would make no difference to the outcome. Only I would suffer. I am tired of suffering under my own, self imposed expectations. And in that calm state of mind, I was able to circumnavigate the distance between where I needed to be and where I was, and still fulfil my responsibilities to the task at hand. It was a lesson I needed to learn desperately, and the magnitude of it has provided me with a new perspective.
While this issue, 'A Feast for Gluttony' was thought up prior to my departure to India, my observations of the way of life there only intensified the narrative of this theme. As in many emerging economies, the disconnect between the wisdoms of the past are even more evident with the reality of the present, and the ramifications for the future.
While the streets of India are littered with the repercussions of consumerism, this is by no means an isolated problem. It's a global epidemic.
We live in a time of over-consumption. A time where disposability is king. A time where our planet is barely coping under the pressures of our earthly desires. We have become glutton's.
So what if we took a moment and began looking at the word 'glutton' from a new vantage point? What if, instead of giving into our burning desires for 'stuff,' we start becoming gluttonous with our time instead? What if, we take a moment and really consider the impact of our choices before we purchase something we simply don't need? Rather purchasing things that will give you back some precious time? Time to read. Time to be still. Time to reflect. Time to make memories of things other than how many hours were spent at the office.
Time to leave nothing by footsteps in the sand.
This issue explores themes and ideas around gluttony - both the regular context and the alternative theory, consumption and making better choices - for ourselves and the planet. We feature brands and products that save you time, are untainted and prove that you can have your cake and eat it.
So as another year draws to a swift close, I hope that the offering on these virtual pages will inspire you to be gluttonous with your time in 2018 and beyond.
issue four reminds us that there is magic in world. it is all around us. It is within us.
By definition, magic is the apparent power to influence a course of events, by using supernatural and mysterious forces.
The many shapes it takes offers an endless source of inspiration. My childhood memories include those of the man with the tall black hat, who pulled out a stream of endless colours from his hand at friend's parties, to fairytales about witches - both the good and the bad ones - my mother used to read me. As I grew into a young woman, I even looked to the stars for magic answers to questions I thought I couldn't answer myself.
I still seek out magic everyday. We all do; whether we realise it or not. From ways of coping with the modern world to the little bottles of lotions and potions we lather ourselves in, in the hopes of that they will magically alter our appearance.
As a makeup artist, I have always been more interested in the illusions that makeup provides and mastering the skill of the trickery, rather than the makeup itself. However, since beginning this journey into the world of UNTAINTED beauty, I have begun to fall in love with not only the art of the illusion, but the alchemy of the products too.
And while I know we all chase the concept of eternal youth and the recognition from others that we are magical beings, I would like to share with you these beautiful words that remind us that the "magic" comes not from outside, but is within us.
“What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.
— RAPI KAUR
So, join me as I head down the rabbit hole of our fourth issue, aptly entitled "The Magician". I delve into the wonderful world of magic and mystery with a little help from some incredible contributors. From alchemists to white witches and everything in between - I explore nature's supernatural powers, pagan crafts, optical illusions, alchemist's potions and the best makeup artist tricks around and share them with you.
I hope that reading this issue you brings even just a sprinkling of the magic that curating it as brought to me.
"fear they neighbour"
ISSUE THREE EXPLORES DIFFERENT CULTURES, BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS THROUGH UNDERSTANDING AND SHOWCASES BEAUTY FOR EVERY COLOUR.
This issue is not about race. It is about culture. There is a difference. I am constantly frustrated by the media's portrayal - or lack thereof - on the difference between the two. It is about our lack of understanding about our "neighbours" cultures, and the fear that creates.
At no time in history has the world been free from hatred and bigotry. Today we are at fever pitch. Incompetent men are leading nations with fear. Past lessons have been unlearnt and once again it is man's ego that brings us to the precipice of global collapse.
Hailing from a country that has had (and still has) it's fair share racial and bigoted marks tainting our history books; those ideals have not become mine. They are not the ideals of my friends. This issue "Fear thy Neighbour" - albeit apathetic at first glance - is a title of observation rather than instruction. It sums up the current state of social and global affairs. I have had people look at me quizzically when I have told them the title, prompting questions such as "is that just a working title?" or "don't you mean; don't fear thy neighbour?"
Of course I am not advocating fear! I don't want anyone to fear their neighbour. What I do want, is a space in which we can begin to recognise that it is the lack of knowledge and understanding about other people that leads to fear and it is fear that leads to hate.
The articles, editorials, reviews and interviews in this issue of UNTAINTED have been carefully considered and curated to offer a different vantage point. It is, as always, about beauty. It is about the beauty of people, our differences as well as similarities. The practices and traditions of cultures from around the world. It is about curiosity and understanding.
This is a space for a dialogue, for us to share not only the stories from our own cultures, but a place to explain to others why their actions might be offensive or hurtful. Explained from a place of compassion and understanding that at its core, ignorance is not intentional, it is simply ignorant. (I know this does not ring true for everyone, as there are lots of racist, bigots that are simply too far down the rabbit hole. This is a space for me, a white girl from South Africa, living in London, to ask the questions that society deems too "politically incorrect" or the contrite Britishness won't ask out of fear of upsetting someone. I have so many questions. Don't you?
It is a space for you to learn... and to teach.
We are citizens of the world, you and I. We may have different histories, our skin may vary in shade, we may speak different languages but, if you show me your heart, I will show you mine.
Peace and goodwill.