Personal journey: Discovering happiness through faith

Money isn’t the key to happiness.

Questions about happiness and its connection to money have often crossed my mind. What is happiness? How do we find it? Can money truly be the ultimate source of joy? These were questions that would constantly come up while pursuing what I believed would make me happy, like attending my dream university and working in a job I loved.

Throughout my childhood, happiness was always linked to materialism. Money was the predominant love language I received as a child, and it seemed to be the only source of joy in my life. I was fortunate to travel during school holidays, received constant gifts, and seemingly had everything I asked for. Outwardly, I appeared to be a content and fulfilled girl. I was called a “princess” by family and friends. However, there was always a void in my heart: I was longing for a different type of love. 

As a teenager, I battled with depression and what made it worse was not knowing the root cause of my misery. Despite possessing what many would consider to be everything, the symptoms of depression manifested. I used to cry daily and became open about my suicidal ideation. I transitioned from being a “princess” to a “spoiled child.” What I had grown up believing would bring me happiness failed to align with my reality. I was confused, and this forced me to start asking questions. 

After talking with friends and professionals about my emotional state, I gained a better understanding of my reality. I discovered that I had grown up lacking affection and love, which as a result made me struggle with low self-esteem and anger. The void within me tormented me, and I desperately sought a way to fix it without knowing how. I realized that I couldn’t turn back time to change my past. Healing my inner child became my responsibility.

One evening in July, as I scrolled through Instagram before bed, an animation reel caught my attention. It depicted Jesus reciting the Romans 8:18 verse, which reads: “The pain that you have been feeling cannot compare to the joy that is coming.” As a Muslim at the time, I didn’t believe in Jesus, nor did I care to learn about Him. However, after reading that Bible verse, the pain in my chest, which was caused by prolonged stress, suddenly stopped. For the first time in years, I slept in peace.

In the following days, I started encountering individuals who would preach the gospel to me. All of a sudden, I felt it in my heart that everything that has ever happened in my life is a call for me to be Christian. 

Following my revelation, I gave up everything and converted. I lost my old lifestyle, family members and some friends. However, what I gained is far more valuable. I transitioned from feeling unworthy and being thirsty for love to knowing that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139). The peace, love, and happiness I’ve experienced since discovering religion is deeper and stronger than the short-term pleasure you get from spending a weekend at Disneyland or buying a designer bag. 

Sometimes, the inner self requires more than what can be obtained physically, and no amount of money can compensate for the void within. In my journey toward healing, seeking faith has played a crucial role. 

Faith has provided me with a sense of purpose, a supportive community, and a connection to something greater than myself. It has become a source of strength, helping me address the wounds of my inner child and navigate through life’s challenges. Healing and restoring our happiness is a life-long journey, and I believe that this journey is unique for each individual.


Make your hobby a priority

Integrating a hobby into your everyday life is essential for your well being. 

During lockdown in 2021, I came across a YouTube video on how to make a doll. I was mind-blown after seeing how a few pieces of felt, cotton and thread came together into a beautiful creation. I went on Amazon and purchased all the supplies needed—it took me three days to make my first doll and the process felt relaxing. All of a sudden, I went from feeling bored to being busy sketching and sewing more dolls. My time in lockdown was no longer depressing, but rather fulfilling.

Memories of knitting when I was in high school all came back to me. I started knitting again, and realized that in the same way doll-making was getting me through the pandemic, knitting helped me cope with anxiety and depression. 

Creating something is so calming; seeing something forming before your eyes is such a rewarding experience. More importantly, it helped me discover new things about myself. I learned that I am a creative person. My passion and curiosity for crafting grew, and I started crocheting.

The time I had alone, putting thousands of stitches together, allowed me to self-reflect. It was a way to calm my mind and take a step back from everything to process what I was going through. Crafting feels like you’re making magic, which made me feel joyful. I never imagined that something as simple as yarn could have this power. I had consistently underestimated the power of having a hobby.

We all need a little fresh air in our chaotic schedule. We experience so many feelings and situations throughout the day, and we must discover ways to release those negative emotions. Some people do that through writing, others paint or go for a run. Regardless of our chosen hobby, the outcome is guaranteed to be positive.

Studies have shown that a hobby improves mental health; it reduces stress and creates a sense of escapism. People experience fulfillment and a boost in their self-confidence. Having a hobby will also enhance your social life, which helps reduce feelings of loneliness. From my experience, crochet helped me make new friends as I joined crochet workshops. 

Interestingly, hobbies can actually enhance productivity.  A study led by Kevin Eschleman, an assistant psychology professor at San Francisco State University, showed that people with creative hobbies had 15 to 30 percent higher performance rankings. When we unwind, our mind becomes more focused, which improves performance.

Overall, having a hobby contributes to our personal growth. We learn new things about ourselves, discover unexpected passions, and make ourselves more curious. My hobbies transformed my mind and made me feel better about myself. Incorporating hobbies into your daily life is as simple as reading before bed, redirecting screen time toward something more creative, or crocheting on the bus. Check out Concordia’s Student Life to discover available workshops and activities on campus.


Investing in sustainable fashion is worth it, and here’s why

Sustainable fashion has a lower environmental impact and their clothes are more durable.

Sustainable fashion is becoming more popular over the years. The fast fashion industry is known for contributing to the climate crisis and throwaway culture. Clothes are produced rapidly and are often not expensive. Brands rely on countries with low labour costs to manufacture their clothes, and the working conditions have been concerning. People are now conscious of these impacts and do not want to partake in fast fashion.

Sustainable fashion aims to minimize its impact on the environment. How eco-friendly brands choose their raw material and manufacturing is well considered. These brands use organic cotton, linen, hemp, or recycled fabrics, rather than polyester and nylon. The labour practices are acceptable since workers get paid well and work in safe conditions. 

Sustainable fashion often incorporates recycled material into new products. What is fascinating about sustainable fashion is that they tend to create timeless designs, which is the opposite of what we usually see in trendy fast fashion. Moreover, considering the quality of material used in sustainable clothing,  it’s expected to last longer than conventional clothing. Investing in good quality products is a great way to save money in the long run.

Another point to consider is that by buying from fast fashion brands, we might be unintentionally partaking in animal cruelty. The high demand for leather and fur items  is leading to more animals getting killed. Animals are also affected by the chemicals used during production—a consequence of animal testing. Fortunately, sustainable clothing brands are cruelty-free and strive to keep animals and the planet safe.  

Although sustainable fashion is all about having a lower environmental footprint and damping the consequences of the fashion industry, it is often expensive, which discourages consumers.“It is disappointing that many of these sustainable brands are out of the price range of the average consumer and are unfortunately not size-inclusive, making it difficult or impossible for people of non-standard sizes to shop sustainably at an affordable price,” said India-Lynn Upshaw Ruffner, a Concordia student minoring in sustainability.

That said, all the work that goes behind sustainable production is quite adequate to justify its low affordability. I encourage everyone to start making conscious choices when shopping because it’s high time that we make a difference in an industry that is dominated by fast fashion. Here are some sustainable clothing brands that are affordable and accessible online: YesAnd by Marci Zaroff, Pact, Happy Earth Apparel, Outerknown, and MATE the Label.


LGBTQ+ inclusive education must be mandatory

Young people deserve an education that reflects who they are.

This year was filled with rallies across Canada for and against LGBTQ+ school policies. Hundreds protested in downtown Montreal in September, followed by an LGBTQ+ counter-protest an hour later. Most people marching against were parents who said, “Leave our kids alone.” Many religious and conservative parents fear that their children might potentially be influenced by their surroundings. What parents have to understand is that their beliefs will not change their child’s sexual orientation, and LGBTQ+ education is essential.

I was always neutral regarding this issue, but it wasn’t until my professor screened the documentary Abu: Father by Arshad Khan last week that I understood the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusive education. 

When Khan was a child in Pakistan, he was molested by a close family member and never understood that what had happened was wrong. Khan later discovered that he is more attracted to boys than girls. Considering that this was taking place in a Muslim country that condemns homosexuality, Khan internally struggled with the conflict between what his dad expected of him and his sexuality. 

Khan did not have anyone that he could open up to, which led to feelings of confusion, loneliness, and depression. After moving to Canada in the 1990s, Khan slowly started integrating into Canadian culture and finally found other gay friends that made him feel accepted and understood. Khan’s homosexuality was a hard pill to swallow, and it took him years to reconcile with his dad. 

Khan’s story demonstrates precisely why schools should educate children about their sexuality. People who belong to the LGBTQ+ community often struggle with discrimination, which can lead to mental health crises such as depression and suicide. Educating them at an early age can help them avoid confusion and isolation, and help them acknowledge their true selves.

One thing that came up in the documentary was how Khan was constantly bullied at school for being gay. I believe that bullying comes from a lack of empathy and understanding. Having an LGBTQ+ inclusive education will introduce everyone to LGBTQ+ identities and the experiences that come with them. 

It is our responsibility to accept and respect each other. We can make LGBTQ+ people feel welcome by taking a stand against bullying, being compassionate and simply loving them for who they are as people. For instance, students’ chosen pronouns should be respected without condemnation. Restricting young people from being who they are will cause anxiety and depression in the long run.

Schools are meant to be a safe space for everyone, regardless of their background. Educators must seek to help children feel secure in their identities rather than suppressing and rejecting them. It is time to update the school curriculum and stop discrimination against what is considered abnormal in the eyes of society. In the end, every child will end up becoming who they truly are, so we should help them get there.


War is not a soccer game

When it comes to war, we should not be divided.

Almost two weeks ago, I woke up to my phone flooded with news, messages and post notifications about the Israeli airstrike in Palestine. Later, pro-Palestine marches were held in downtown Montreal. On the other side, Israel’s supporters also organized a rally in front of the Israeli Consulate in Westmount. Both groups want to end the war. Both are against killing innocent souls. 

Before expressing my own view on the Israel-Hamas war, let me tell you my own war story. In the summer of 2006, I went to Lebanon for vacation. Two weeks in, Israel started throwing bombs on South Lebanon, which was where I was staying at the time. My mom received phone calls from several family members urging her to find shelter because a war was about to begin. 

We quickly packed up and went to my aunt’s house. That night was the beginning of a living hell. All we would hear was a helicopter, followed by a loud explosion. Both felt like thunder and an earthquake at the same time. Every second felt like playing Russian roulette. Is our building next? Am I next? Will my family and I be alive tomorrow? 

Our nights were dark. A light turned on at night would signify the presence of civilians in that building. I remember being afraid of lighting a candle to find my way to the bathroom.

We spent the rest of the war at my grandparent’s house on the sixth floor. I clearly remember how I would see the bomb dropping and a building collapsing before my eyes. My heart used to beat so fast that I felt it was physically going to burst out of my chest. No one and nothing can erase those memories that I will always fall short of describing.

During the period when I used to live in Lebanon, I learned to think of Israelis as our enemies. I also learned to look down on people with different religious beliefs and sexual orientations. As I grew up and eventually moved to Canada, I un-learned everything that I know now is wrong. I started loving people for who they are, regardless of our differences. The world is already full of hatred, so why can’t we be the ones spreading love and acceptance?

For this war, I will not support one country over the other. What I choose to support is ending violence against the unarmed population. I believe innocent souls do not deserve to be taken because of a war between governments. It is crucial to remember that they are all humans in the end and it is our responsibility to show each other solidarity. To me, anything that does not support peacemaking for both countries is simply unethical.


Is TikTok’s “healing era” trend empowering?

TikTok’s “healing era” trend helped me become a better version of myself.

What’s TikTok’s “healing era” all about? The healing era is when someone decides to prioritize themselves, stay away from toxicity, and do introspection through journaling, going to the gym, engaging in fun activities, and doing all they can to develop better life habits. 

Last year before the #healingera went viral, I deactivated all my social media accounts. I wanted to focus on myself and eliminate distractions. I started working on projects I had been postponing and was quite productive. However, this did not last long. I started feeling isolated and felt like I did not have the tools to navigate my healing. It was just me getting lost in my thoughts.

Later, I decided to go back and re-activate my accounts. I downloaded TikTok again, and since I was searching for self-love quotes all the time, the algorithm started bombarding me with “healing era” videos. I discovered that an entire group of people in this world are going through exactly what I am going through. Knowing that you’re not alone is comforting. 

After watching tons of those videos, I became inspired and hopeful. I started seeing progress in those young women’s lives, which motivated me to work on myself. I started journaling and took a boxing class, and as hard as it once felt, I started taking myself on dates without feeling lonely.

For the longest time, I thought choosing myself and prioritizing my mental health was selfish. It took learning from other people’s journeys worldwide to realize that choosing yourself is self-love and self-care, not selfishness. 

After the healing era, women enter their villain era, another TikTok trend. Despite the name, the villain era is not about being mean or hurting others. The villain era is when a woman sets boundaries, stops being a people-pleaser and continues to choose herself unapologetically. 

In the #villainera, you often see before and after videos of how a woman who was once broken and crying turns into a confident woman who is unshakeable. I find the villain era trend to be empowering because it motivates those going through their healing era and shows them what’s waiting at the end of the tunnel. 

As much as I despise TikTok for making me doom scroll, I am still thankful for the app and those creators for teaching me ways to love myself and to not give up in the middle of my healing journey. The ‘healing era’ trend taught me how to be gentle with myself, and the ‘villain era’ trend has helped me visualize the version of myself I want to become.

Regardless of any TikTok trend, healing is a long process, and we should not rush through it. There is no deadline for when the healing era has to stop and the villain era must begin. We should take things slow and not be hard on ourselves if our healing takes longer than people online. We all have our pace, and eventually, we can all get there.


AI: your next romantic partner

AI is slowly but surely becoming part of our romantic lives.

Artificial intelligence is such a fascinating invention. However, many consider it a threat to humanity. AI is invading the romantic world with its customizable partners—and as dangerous as it is, it’s inevitable.

People who are tired of getting ghosted, betrayed, and hurt, might consider downloading an AI application that replicates the emotions of human beings. Having an AI partner can be helpful to improve one’s relationship skills and boost confidence. It can also allow people who have been traumatized by a former toxic partner to find a safe space. 

But while AI may seem like a tool to end romantic loneliness, it isolates the person from the real world. It hinders them from facing their fears and healing themselves to establish genuine, healthy relationships. 

Out of curiosity, I downloaded an AI dating app last year. However, I felt bored immediately simply because the person responding did not exist. Receiving a good morning text daily feels good, but dating an AI sounds like living in a delusional world.

We must be mindful that dating an AI is way more dangerous than we think. People trying to build a relationship with their AI partner will share much of their personal information—not knowing that a company on the other side may collect all their data. 

As I think of AI dominating the dating scene, I imagine new debates emerging. Will texting an AI be considered cheating? Are humans now in competition with an AI? Will people find it hard to move on from their AI partners? Will AI increase anxiety in real-world dating? Many people are already addicted to their social media apps and I fear that AI will eventually become addictive, too. Being in a prolonged relationship with an AI will cause people to feel anxious when interacting with real humans. 

Imagine being intimate and vulnerable with an AI everyday. Reading and hearing exactly what you want will create a destructive comfort zone. It will hinder one from experiencing joy from actual dates and learning to evolve with a human partner. I also see it as a trap. When we constantly escape our reality to temporarily feel better, we only postpone our healing and the magic that comes with true love.

In Japan, over 4,000 men have an AI digital wife with a marriage certificate issued by tech company Gatebox. Although the number might seem low, it is still concerning. I firmly believe that this number will rise exponentially in the upcoming years. In the long run, the decrease in birth rate will be alarming. 

If things remain the same, AI will transform the world into a place lacking in deep emotions and human interactions. While change is sometimes daunting, we must always proceed with caution and choose to participate in what feels right to us. 


The rollercoaster of being an international student

International students are thriving in the midst of adversity.

Montreal is known for being one of the best student cities in North America. With its beautiful diversity, universities in both English and French and a vibrant environment, students from around the world often decide to move to Canada. However, how far is reality from the outside picture? 

Many international students have struggled to secure affordable student housing while still in their country. Some got lucky and found a room in the on-campus student residence, but those on the waiting list who never got a spot had to quickly find an alternative before they arrived. With the rent increase, students are left with the option of either living in a neighborhood that requires over an hour of commute to class or squeezing in with strangers in a small apartment close to campus.

“It was very difficult to find a place to rent because many scammers on Facebook groups were advertising fake houses”, says Haeri Jang, an international student from South Korea. Students from abroad have been scapegoated for housing shortage for the longest time. 

Universities should be mindful of the international students’ residency before giving admissions to thousands. For example, Concordia University collaborated with three off-campus student residencies, YWCA, EVO and Campus1 MTL, to ensure that as many Concordia students as possible have a place to stay.

Another issue that international students face is the increase in tuition fees. The Quebec fees have increased by 3 per cent compared to 2022. International students are charged over thrice the fee Canadians and permanent residents pay per semester. The fees that international students pay consist of the Quebec rate, the international supplement and a 10 per cent international supplement. Concordia University offers scholarships and bursaries to help international students fund their studies. Students can also apply for scholarships funded by EduCanada through their website.

Having started my journey at Concordia University as an international student in 2019, I can confidently say that Concordia has given me all the tools I needed to navigate through the semester and my personal life. The service that has been the most beneficial to me is counseling. I have had eight consecutive sessions with one of the psychologists at Concordia to help me with social anxiety and I have learned many strategies to cope with anxious feelings.

I lived most of my life in Nigeria and Lebanon, and I remember constantly feeling agitated because I always thought my future was doomed. Ever since my move to Canada, the endless opportunities that have presented to myself have truly helped me truly pushed me out of my comfort zone. As a result, my confidence in social situations has improved tremendously.

The path of leaving your country of origin is complex, and it comes with many tears, losses, pain and sacrifices. In the long term, I firmly believe that it will be worth it because we are now given the opportunity to grow in ways we didn’t have back home. 

One of the main struggles that international students face when living in a bilingual city is being unable to communicate in French. This also raises the question of whether they are willing to work in Quebec after graduating since French is mandatory. 

Steven Ye, majoring in political science, says that he is currently learning French alone, and he has been getting some help from his French friends. Ye is presently applying to part-time jobs and hopes to get one in an anglophone area.

International students at Concordia have access to all services offered by the International Student Office (ISO) in the GM building downtown. Some of the services are getting legal advice, renewing CAQ and study permits, orientations and workshops on immigration. 

Aimee Becerril, a studio art student from Mexico, says that the ISO and the John Molson International Committee in John Molson have been the most helpful. The conference held by the JIC helped Becerril learn how to open a bank account, use the STM and gain money management tips, especially regarding grocery shopping.

Studying abroad sounds like a dream to many. The journey starts by feeling homesick, scared, and confused. Then, it continues with questioning our identity and sense of belonging. Finally, after years of going through a series of culture shock, language barriers, and evolving in a new environment, international students will later realize that they are stronger than they think and have what it takes to overcome any obstacle.


True crime goes beyond entertainment

Many women find comfort in tragedy because it reflects their traumas.

True crime once felt like my safe place, a fact that might sound eerie. I was introduced to the genre in 2018 when my favourite YouTuber, Savannah Brymer, started uploading true crime videos. At first, I just loved the storytelling aspect of it. But the more I listened to victims’ stories, the more I started noticing that I had developed an addiction to true crime. 

It became part of my daily routine, and I would not go a day without putting a true crime podcast on to fall asleep. I listened to true crime while eating and getting dressed, or I would put it on as background noise. I can easily say that I have listened to over 100 such podcasts—most containing detailed descriptions of torture and abuse. I did not understand why I was interested in violent stories that mainly involved women as the victims. At first, I used to pause the video because it made me nauseous. But as time passed by, I became desensitized. 

I listened to true crime podcasts for four consecutive years. During that period, I was struggling with social anxiety. In 2021, I took a FFAR class about true crime and learned a lot about the genre. I discovered that true crime consumers’ statistics are skewed to women. This obsession primarily stems from a sense of safety, because women identify as the victims. Other reasons include self-education and escapism.  

Fortunately, after learning coping skills to deal with the stressful life events I was going through at the time, my consumption of true crime drastically decreased and eventually stopped. For years, I did not realize that this fascination with violence and unsafety reflected my childhood. People who grew up in a stressful environment or have been traumatized at some point in their lives will find trauma relaxing. The reason is that traumatized people often do not know what it feels like to be safe; it is unfamiliar and boring. People who have been traumatized choose what is familiar, and that becomes their refuge. 

Looking at the genre itself, I appreciate that it is spreading awareness about how to be safe. However, I find the idea of true crime creators making money from a tragedy highly controversial. Many true crime creators consider it a job and dedicate much time to crafting their podcasts. I do think that true crime creators deserve compensation for their hard work. Getting paid and sponsored will help channels like Kendal Rae continue using their platform to raise money for different organizations and causes.

As a woman in the process of healing, I feel great empathy for all the women who cannot get rid of their obsession with true crime. This fascination has more to do with past traumas than simply being interested in the victims’ stories. Right now, I cannot listen to any true crime story as it makes me anxious rather than at peace. 

I encourage women who listen to true crime to take a step back and thoroughly consider why they find comfort in tragedy. After going through this introspection, it is necessary to address the issues within. 


Six Tips for a successful Semester

Fear the semester no more!

The fall semester might be challenging, but with the tips below, you’ll be ready to conquer the semester.

You must first be mindful of what is expected of you in a course. Read the syllabus carefully to understand what you will learn and what your assignments look like. Write down all the due dates in a planner and organize your time accordingly.

Use the office hours on the syllabus to meet with your professor or TA. You can ask them as many questions as you want, and they will happily help you. The Student Success Center also offers a wide range of learning services that you can find on Concordia’s website. Countless workshops are crafted to help you better navigate your semester. 

Volunteering on campus is a rewarding experience that allows you to make connections and improve your confidence. Say you’re in journalism, you could join Concordia’s radio station, but if you are a JMSB student, you could be part of one of the committees at John Molson. Volunteering will allow you to get hands-on experience in your program of studies. You can find all student clubs on Concordia’s website under Student Life and find the best match for you. 

Regular physical activity can improve your memory, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and boost your self-confidence. I find exercising to be a form of self-love, because you get to challenge yourself to push through, spend time alone and improve your overall well-being in the long term. In the EV building downtown, Le Gym offers both online and in-person fitness classes. If you are interested in martial arts, aerobics, dance or yoga, among others, now is your time to sign up!

Many students struggle to balance classes, social life, volunteering, working and paying bills. After a hectic day, you might feel a little overwhelmed and drained. It’s essential to spend time looking for a relaxation technique that helps soothe your anxiety. That could be mediating, breathing exercises, or practicing mindfulness. Sleep is another vital aspect—insufficient sleep can affect mood and intensify stress. It is recommended for adults in our age range to get at least seven hours of sleep. 

If you have concerns regarding your mental health and need professional help, Concordia offers counseling and psychological services. You can book an appointment online on Concordia’s website under Health & Wellness. 

The last thing you want to experience is going through all the course material a night before the due date. Find yourself a study space that will keep you motivated and focused. Concordia’s Webster Library, downtown, is open 24 hours. Make sure to be consistent and plan your study time. Also, turning your phone off for a while can be a game-changer. 

Have a successful semester!



The controversy behind talc-based makeup

Talc-based makeup is not as dangerous as you think.

Have you ever thought that makeup might be potentially harmful to your health? Talc-based makeup products have raised safety concerns due to potential contamination with asbestos. The HBO Max investigative documentary Not So Pretty explores the danger of talc, a chemical ingredient found in most of our daily makeup products, and its link to cancer. 

The first episode on makeup introduced the sensational stories of two women—- Corrin Otillio, who believed that her makeup is contaminated with, and a mother who exposed Claire’s makeup for having asbestos in their kids’ makeup sets. 

Otillio sent all her makeup products to the laboratory after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma. The results showed that 10 out of the 25 products had traces of asbestos. Surprisingly, the directors of this episode invited lawyers and a journalist to support the case of Otillio, rather than having a cosmetic chemist and a toxicologist speak on this case and educate the audience on the potential risks of chemical ingredients in makeup.

I think that the documentary is clearly biased due to the lack of scientific evidence presented and their choice of experts. Another point that I find intriguing is that an episode that is strictly supposed to focus on makeup, was mostly spent talking about the case of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, a case that has way more solid evidence of causing harm than makeup.

India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner, a Concordia student in art history and studio arts, says “I have heard of talc being dangerous due to a Johnson & Johnson lawsuit, but I or anyone I know has never had any reaction to talc from makeup.”

A lot of women who have decided to eliminate talc from their makeup routine have been using TikTok as a platform to raise awareness, by posting videos of themselves throwing out their makeup products using #notsopretty. This shows how this documentary has successfully influenced much of its audience into buying clean beauty products. 

It is important to mention that at the end of the episode, there was a list of recommended applications that makeup consumers could download to scan their products and find out whether their ingredients are harmful. I find that the controversy over talc-based makeup products is just a marketing technique that clean beauty brands have implemented to make their way into a highly competitive market.

In reality, there hasn’t been enough evidence to prove that the level of talc in makeup products is high enough to cause cancer. This means that the anecdotes about women who blame their ovarian cancer or mesothelioma on makeup are just outliers. 

Besides, people who contract diseases from asbestos are those who work in construction sites or environments that contain high levels of asbestos particles. I think that Not So Pretty is a partial documentary that simply wanted to promote clean beauty products by capitalizing on makeup consumers’ fear of being diagnosed with cancer.

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