I get asked a lot what my values are as a human being, and what I make of the fact that beautiful semi naked women are used to advertise Bilka products, is there anything good and beneficial for humanity in selling skincare and promoting the perfect body, when there are so many more important problems humanity is facing such as health, seeking cures to serious illnesses, building peace amongst nations, wars, economy, and so on. My answer is that beauty has been a human value from the existence of the world, and beauty has inspired artists, philosophers, writers, poets, musicians … to produce the greatest masterpieces of humanity. What has been perceived as beauty is a different matter, but beauty has always been one of the values and virtues of humanity. Today our perceptions of beauty have expanded and I enjoy looking at the statue of pregnant Alison Lapper like many others, in awe of the dignity of woman who emanates the highest form of beauty – liberated from any constraints, self-determining beauty that does not beg others for approval but values itself and believes in itself. So I am very far from seeing the slim toned body as the definition of beauty. Not every slim and tight body is beautiful, and the spirit of fun and liberation is what attracts me most in these models. Now, slim – is something which a lot of women wish to be, and these products were made to meet women’s needs, and these are choices which women make, and are free to make. At Bilka we are well aware that nutrition is paramount to good skin and we not support the idea that a skincare product can replace good nutrition or good sleep. We all know of the benefits of those two, plus water, plus exercise, plus regular lifestyle, minus alcohol, minus smoking, minus bad food and so on. Skincare products work well only in combination with the above factors. The skin is our shield against the elements – pollution, dust, dirt, cold, heat, wind,… it takes all these offenders on itself to prevent them entering our system, and we owe it a bit of care. How much care we owe it is up to the individual to decide, woman or man. For sure there are so much more important things in life, who cares whether there is a bit of cellulite here and there… But that is a choice made by the owner of the body. As an owner of my body I choose to treat it as a temple. I choose to eat good foods and to add cream to it. I enjoy having nice smooth skin. It makes me feel good. I enjoy the choice it gives me to look how I wish to look. What is the difference my good feeling and my good looks make to humanity, to solving humanity’s problems? May be a tiny one, but it is there – I feel good about myself, I like the way I look – I smile more, I make you feel at ease, I feel at ease with myself – I make you feel at ease with yourself. Skincare, wanting to be slim, wanting to have a nice skin, are far from superficial things in my view. It is every person’s right, man’s or woman’s. I see that a lot of men are turning to using skincare these days. And internet shopping allows them that comfortably because there is so much stigma about men using skincare. I guess a lot of men feel embarrassed to walk in a shop and buy a face cream for women because of all that stigma. But they do this online comfortable that no one knows them, and no one will judge them. So those who say that skincare and the cosmetic industry are irresponsible and guilty of exploiting the woman’s body for their own commercial needs, see that from another angle – it is also liberating women and men, and giving people the choice to look as they wish to look, giving people the means to create themselves or to rediscover themselves. If a product such as Anti aging Firming Body Cream is making my skin firm and toned, that helps me bring back the younger looking me. If a product such as Grape Energy Anti cellulite gel is making my thighs smoother and bottom bouncier, that is helping me create a better shape, which I did not have even when I was younger. It is giving me the freedom to create my body like a sculpture, where I am the artist, using the tools of the cosmetic industry. I see this as a fun thing to do. I enjoy it, love it, it inspires me, it gladdens me when I look in the mirror. I am not saying that looking pretty is all to life. But it is important to me as a human being to enjoy my life, and when I look good I feel good and when I feel good I enjoy my life more. Is this superficial?