12 September 2007

Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick passed away this week. It seems the good go together. For those of you unfamiliar with Anita, let me tell you a bit about why I do. You may recognize her from the picture above.

I found out about her while watching a new channel back in the late 80s. She was this wonderful vivacious woman. She had a compelling story, animal testing for the sake of cosmetics was wrong! When I had the opportunity to hear her speak in person I jumped at the chance. We were converts. I have shopped The Body Shop since they had a store close enough to shop at in SoCal. She became a rockstar in our family.

It was that part of our life that made us strange. My daughters and I in our Birks, and Body Shop t shirts. We used weird products like essential oils and body butter. Our home was filled with the aroma of "exotic"; the oil burner being a constant. More than anything, we learned that you could have and enjoy simple products in your home that were good for the environment, that weren't tested on animals, and that being a strong woman did not diminish the men in your lives. Anita helped us understand why it was okay to be weird, in a good way.

I still have my against animal testing button on my cloth grocery bag. And this is one of the shirts that continues to inspire us:

Body Shop

Thank you Anita for blazing new ground. For having the courage to start The Body Shop. For being a wonderful wife, mother and sister. We all owe you a bit of respect and honor. You made life better wherever you went. We should all be so lucky.

From her website after her death:

"If we all take that spark of Anita within us and lean into the fire, collectively, maybe, we can accomplish what one Anita Roddick could have in our lifetime. We must take this awful blow and turn it into something useful. We must all of us finish her work, and carry it on. We must take the love and inspiration and pay it forward.

As Anita loved to say, “The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open.” So we ask only that you take your spark, go out and do something. Engage. Learn. Be fiercely kind. Have a child’s sense of wonderment. Tell someone you love them. Write a letter to the editor. Demand a better media. Contact your representatives in government. Talk about sex shamelessly. Eat pasta. Give change to a homeless person. Buy organic. Donate to or volunteer for Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Reprieve, The Coalition to Free the Angola Three, or the cause that most connects with your heart and soul.

As her website still exhorts: Get Informed. Get Inspired. Get Outraged. Get Active. Trust us, she means it."