Liberate Your Skin
When I was a child I used to go to sleep listening to Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Rapunzel and Beauty and the Beast. What do all these classic children's stories have in common, you may ask? The female protagonist is always passive, sickly sweet, locked away somewhere or, in the case of Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, basically unconscious! I was reared on the myth of what it means to be ‘feminine.’ I played with a Barbie doll: I dressed her up in pink fluffy dresses while dreaming of meeting a strong, muscular and brooding Prince Charming. Like so many young girls, I was completely consumed by this powerful myth.
Eighteen years later, I found myself working as a Brand Manager for one of the largest children’s TV companies in the world. These were, I have to admit, some of the darkest days of my 10 year career in TV. As I worked on franchise management, part of my remit was to maximize profits through the sale of branded clothing, merchandise, music, video games, DVD's, magazines and/or any other line of business they could think of to suck their customers dry. Overly sexualized and barely dressed teenage stars, dripping in make-up, hairspray and nail varnish, covered TV programmes, magazines and merchandising. Many of these stars, most of whom are household names, ended up in rehabilitation clinics with only the smallest amount of self respect left intact. Frankly, this premature feminization and over sexualization of our teenagers is part of a dangerous game played by many of the most familiar corporate giants out there.
Cosmetic companies, clothing giants and media moguls have a responsibility to look after today's children. They have spent too many years robbing kids of their independent self-discovery; brainwashing them on a daily basis with disempowering stereotypes. This has now become such an issue that the parents I speak to are on a constant mission to protect their children from this bombardment in order to allow them the liberty of self-discovery.
Don’t get me wrong – society is changing for the better but there is still a real need for new gender-neutral brands to join the marketplace and spearhead change.
That, my friends, is where Sam Farmer comes into the equation. Sam is a dad who took his kids to Boots one day to buy deodorant and body products. He was shocked to only see pink sparkly cans of deodorant for girls and grey or black ones for boys. Sam was amazed that there is such blatant gender segregation within this market. He decided to do something about it: he trained in cosmetic science & formulations and now, I am very happy to report, has launched his own company - Sam Farmer. He says he called his brand Sam Farmer because he is fed up of not knowing who creates the products and who takes responsibility for them. All Sam's products are gender neutral because as Sam says 'skin is skin whether you are a boy or a girl'. I met Sam today at Pop Up Britain on the Kings Road in London. There is a sincerity, honesty and enthusiasm about Sam that is contagious. He is a man on a mission to provide teens and parents with a respectful and responsible brand choice. With so many other like-minded parents by his side, there is no way this man won't succeed… Watch out Lynx, the claws are coming out!