by Carmen Farrell
My son Quinn came to me a few months ago in distress because he’d heard one of our neighbours refer to me as a hippie. He was pissed. How dare this guy call his mom something so horrible. Quinn thought it meant something derogatory, and in all likelihood, this neighbor did say it in a dissonant fashion (this neighbour and I are definitely not BFFs). So I had to educate my kid on what a hippie was, and tell him exactly why I felt totally cool with my douchebag neighbor referring to me as one.
I was born in 1975, so I missed the whole peace-love-hippie-scene of the sixties – but I think I would have fit right in. I don’t wear tie-dye, or flowers in my hair or do hits of LSD, but I do have strong counter-cultural leanings. I have a shit load of grey hair, don’t dye it, and don’t plan to. In today’s beauty-obsessed world, that’s a totally subversive act. I also work hard at feeding my kids as little processed food as possible, I made an educated choice not to vaccinate, and feel strongly that homeschooling is better for my kids than a traditional schooling environment. I’ve gone against the grain quite a bit, and I’ve enjoyed every button-pushing minute of it. And the neighbours…well, they notice.
One example that I used when explaining to my kid the ways in which we are different from the neighbours is how few bottles and tubes we have in the bathroom. For a couple of years now I’ve gotten a big kick out of making my own “beauty” products. Not just because I’m crafty and making shit brings out my inner kid, but because I feel like I’m sticking it to the big corporations that make us believe that all that shit is necessary. I’m pretty sick of being marketed to…especially by the beauty industry. Not only does my bathroom not need 87 different skin products, but soaps, shampoos, lotions and the like are loaded with unpronounceable crap proven to cause cancer in laboratory tests (go here to see where your products rank on the safety scale). I can’t knowingly put that stuff on my kids’ bodies. So, I make my own all natural stuff. Things like deodorant and toothpaste are easily made with a few ingredients and my own hands. Baking soda and water is often used in lieu of shampoo, coconut oil becomes a skin mosturizer, and instead of Polysporin on boo-boos, we use a homemade calendula salve. And it all works beautifully.
For any of you curious folks out there with “hippie” tendencies, here’s the deodorant recipe I use (care of Crunchy Betty):
- 1-1/2 tbsp grated beeswax
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp shea butter
- 4 tsp clay (bentonite or other – for the batch in the photo above I used french green clay)
- 20-25 drops essential oil (I use tea tree oil but feel free to experiment and make yours smell whatever way you like best)
- empty deodorant container
Melt the beeswax and coconut oil on very low heat, whisking often. Once melted, add in the shea butter, whisk a few times, then remove from the heat and continue melting. After that’s melted and you have a liquid, sprinkle in the clay and continue to whisk well until everything is combined. Drop in the essential oil while continuing to whisk. Place the pan into a cool water bath, and leave for 5 minutes or until it just begins to set up. Spoon the mixture into your deodorant container and place it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes (or until completely hard). If, for some reason, it starts to get too soft on a hot day, just put it back in the freezer for a while.
Keep in mind that nothing works as well as the aluminum filled best-sellers from the drug store, but this stuff works pretty darned well. Anyhow, I really like the musky smell of my own pits (hubby’s too!). On days that I have nowhere to go you’ll find my pits deo-free and me occasionally lifting my arm to get a whiff. I dig it, and would take that scent over artificial lilacs any day.
Now you. I bet there’s at least one thing you do that would make your neighbours shake their heads in confusion. Spill it, okay?