Back in college, I got really angry at those "Buddha bead" bracelets that were popular at the time (circa 1999).
I was minoring in religion, mostly so I could educate myself about the religions I was rejecting (namely, all of them). But even though my feelings about different religions' tenets ranged from amusement to rage, I felt strongly that no one's deepest beliefs should be commercialized, especially by someone outside of that religion.
I wrote a REALLY ANGRY paper for my grad-level American Buddhism class, ripping Contempo Casuals a new one over those mesh Buddha tops; then I reworked it for my college newspaper column, "Marci And The Technicolor Dream Column" which was renamed after one issue to "But I Digress" because no one got the reference.
Anyway, even if I secretly think I'm smarter than you because you believe in magic, I will defend your right to believe it, practice it, be treated fairly because and in spite of it, and not see it become the inspiration for a trendy, meaningless, mass-marketed headband.
This is why I'm torn over a product I really want to try.
This is Veria ID Look Alive Eye Gel, and my under-eye area could really use the freshening and hydrating power of its ingredients, like aloe, hyaluronic acid, green tea, cucumber and black pepper. But Veria ID's whole thing is that it's based on Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is indelibly linked to Hinduism. It even has its own Hindu god, Dhanvantari, who--fun fact--is believed to be a pioneer of plastic surgery. And he had four arms, so he could probably do your nose and boobs at the same time.
It's somewhat appeasing that the Veria ID's founder is Hindu (at least according to Wikipedia), so at least they're not appropriating a belief system they have no link to. But even so, I'm reluctant to use any beauty products that are linked to a religion, partly because I don't like the idea of religion as a selling point, and partly because I don't believe the dogma behind the formulas (even if they ultimately relied on modern science to make it effective at doing the cosmetic things they promise).
OK, so I'm going to try the eye gel; the Calmy Clean Body Wash, too--even though I have no idea if I fall into the Pitta dosha category its assigned to--because it smells amazing. In the end, it's just skincare, and they seem like quality products, and they don't come with a plastic Dhanvantari charm necklace.
What about you? Today's not-so-Quick Question: Would you use beauty products based on a religion?