“A young woman was restrained, force-fed and injected with cosmetics in a high street shop window as part of a hard-hitting protest against animal testing.
Jacqueline Traide was tortured in front of hundreds of horrified shoppers in a bid to raise awareness and end the practise.
The 24-year-old endured 10 hours of experiments, which included having her hair shaved and irritants squirted in her eyes, as part of a worldwide campaign by Lush Cosmetics and The Humane Society.
The disturbing stunt took place in Lush’s Regent Street store, one of the UK’s busiest shopping streets.
Jacqueline appeared genuinely terrified as she was pinned down on a bench and had her mouth stretched open with two metal hooks while a man in a white coat force-fed her until she choked and gagged.
The artist was also injected with numerous needles, had her skin braised and lotions and creams smeared across her face.
Passers-by were gobsmacked to see Jacqueline, a social sculpture student at Oxford Brookes University, forced to have a section of her head shaved.
The gruesome spectacle aimed to highlight the cruelty inflicted on animals during cosmetic laboratory tests and raise awareness that animal testing is still a common practise.
The Humane Society International and Lush Cosmetics have joined forces to launch the largest-ever global campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics.
The campaign, launched to coincide with World Week for Animals in Laboratories, is being rolled out simultaneously in over 700 Lush Ltd shops across forty-seven countries including the United States, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Russia.
Lush campaign manager Tamsin Omond said: “The ironic thing is that if it was a beagle in the window and we were doing all these things to it, we’d have the police and RSPCA here in minutes.
“But somewhere in the world, this kind of thing is happening to an animal every few seconds on average.
“The difference is, it’s normally hidden. We need to remind people it is still going on.”
For more information about the campaign, visit www.fightinganimaltesting.com”
I HOPE EVERYONE READS THIS AND REBLOGS IT
I think animal testing for cosmetics is awful and unnecessary. I’m not quite so strong in my feelings about medicine, because to be honest, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be alive today without medical animal testing. But since you don’t need cosmetics, you don’t need to test them on animals.
That being said, I’m noticing a trend. PeTA (who, incidentally, I think are godawful shitheads), often uses female bodies as a way to protest cruelty towards animals and as a protest against eating animals. Here, Lush, a brand I actually really like, is again using a woman’s body, a young naked one at that, to display the horrors that animals face at the hands of cosmetics testing. She’s a beautiful, vulnerable creature facing a variety of tortures on public display. While I understand Lush’s message, I have a problem with women being the automatic stand-in for animals.
On looking at this performance, one could argue that it reinforces the idea of women and female-bodied people being the more vulnerable, the easier target, the ones who need protecting. A naked woman is likened to an animal in these public displays. For me, it plays right into the idea that women are objects whose (often unclothed) bodies are used as objects to display an idea. There’s something problematic in the way that the female body is used to denote helplessness and to inspire protective urges while still being displayed for a voyeuristic audience who is asked, by viewing, to be complicit in her humiliation. It perpetuates the idea of the woman as passive, as an object. Performances and ads like these simply replace the animal with the woman, thus attempting to stir a protective urge in the (male) audience. The statement seems to be that we should protect our animals as we protect our women, because both are lacking in agency and ability to protect themselves. It equates women with animals. I believe animals should be protected because I know that as a human in this human-dominated world, I have more agency than does a rabbit. But these public statement suggest I, as a woman, do not. I believe that animals should be treated with the same respect as humans (as we are, really, all animals), but I have yet to see the male body humiliated, abused, or tortured to make this point.
Conversely, because this is particular performance pertains to cosmetics, it is perhaps relevant that Lush and Jacqueline Triade chose a female body for this performance. The cosmetics industry markets its products almost entirely to women. Women are told, via advertisement and culture at large, that they should modify their appearance, and even endure pain and physical harm to do so, to be considered acceptable. Personally, I’ve had some nasty physical reactions to cosmetics and beauty procedures—eye infections from eye shadow, skin irritation from face makeup and lipstick, infections and rashes from jewelry, cuts and scrapes to my legs, underarms and groin from shaving—as well as the chore of having to cycle through various products to get my hair to look just right. Vain? Yes. As well as a waste of time and money. While the Lush performance is, on the surface, about the horrors of cosmetic testing on animals, it could also, consciously or not, be about the rigorous, expensive, and uncomfortable rituals that so many women, myself included, put themselves through daily to maintain a socially acceptable appearance.