the gentrification of everything

Rose water: not just for brown people. Yes, that’s right, white people are still “discovering” our shit and claiming it as revolutionary. Quinoa. Goji berries. (Yoga. Jesus.) Like, share our stuff, yeah, but stop putting them on magic superfoods/superlife lists.

Today: rose water as beauty drink.

I feel tired just typing that opener out.

Anyway, new rant: Rose Water. Specifically, Liz, because she hates me, chortled with laughter as she tweeted this article last week: Rose water entrepreneur turns devastating accident into business opportunity in the secret hopes that I would “enjoy” it. 

By the way, spoilers, I know it’s going to surprise you when you learn that the “devastating accident” occurred not to the entrepreneur, but to her partner. There’s something else gross in that, around disability and “overcoming” narratives and also, on the plane recently the person in front of me was watching Me Before You and it was all I could see every time I looked up, and it made me very angry the entire time.

“I had to fly straight back to Australia where he was. We had nothing after the accident. I was his full-time nurse for two years,” the 28-year-old said.


“Basically he had a traumatic brain injury. He’s much better now but because of the accident he wasn’t allowed to drink alcohol but still wanted something similar to a Friday night glass of red wine ritual. That’s when I started looking into rose water.”

Oh. I mean. Oh.

The rabbit hole Louise went down led to her first product, Cilk Rose Water, named for its texture and association with luxury, with  the “C” in the name comes from her name Chanelle.

Look, let’s not beat around the bush. There’s a long history of westerners stealing things from other countries and calling them cool, of calling them theirs, of slapping a copyright on them and legally trademarking

“I had some prototypes tested by a health food store and Vue de Monde, and that’s when I turned it into a concentrate almost like a cordial but with no sugar.

Now, bear with me a moment here. It’s a radical idea, I know, but could she literally have “discovered” an actual thing used in PLACES for many centuries, a little thing we call rose water?

(Sidenote: Captain Cook didn’t “discover” Australia. RADICAL I KNOW.)

And maybe it’s a coincidence, but there was this little thing we call the Silk Road, which ran right through the region where ROSEWATER HAS BEEN DRUNK FOR MILLENIA. 

And this company is called Cilk Rose Water. The two sound so similar. Awfully, suspiciously similar, that it’s hard to believe it’s not an intentional pun, a nod to the origins of rose water as a drink, KIND OF LIKE CORDIAL BUT WITH NO SUGAR.

This is a classic white person steals non-white person thing.

As always, this could all be completely coincidental. And maybe there’s a secret ingredient and it’s amazing, I don’t know.

(Liz tells me that it does, apparently, contain collagen. If you don’t have a side interest in Asian beauty fads like Liz and I do, you might not know that collagen has been an ingredient in beauty drinks in Asia for ages. We don’t know if it works, because it’s $6 for like 100ml, though while I was in Singapore I was definitely encouraged to drink them. ANYWAY, they’re $6 a pop, which I guess we could call a beauty tax; so shall we call the $75 price tag on something we can buy in Brunswick for $5 a whiteness tax?)

What a big, commonly occurring coincidence that’s circled in red and looks very suspicious.

Anyway, stop stealing our stuff and calling it innovation.