"Pretty Toxic" / Movie Documentary

First... Thank You!

You have lots of places to spend your money—which is why we want to tell you from the bottom of our hearts that we thank you for any amount you can give to help us complete this film! We’re so appreciative of your donations and support. Please read our summary. Some of this information might surprise you!

A Gift of Gratitude

On Go Fund Me, it isn’t about perks and gifts for donations—it’s the reason we’re on here because we truly need money to forge ahead with this important documentary. However, we believe it’s important to thank people as much as possible and within our means. We worked with Ink Forest, an amazing company who donated their 100% water-based ink screen printing on a short run of T-shirts for us. We’re proud that they’re certified organic cotton, fair trade, and fair labor. We’re offering them to our highest donors. (We don’t have many, so please donate so we can send them to you quickly!) Along with the T-shirt, our highest donors will receive a DVD of the final cut of the documentary once it’s completed.

About the Film

Pretty Toxic is a ground-breaking film that explores what’s inside beauty and personal care products and brings clarity to widespread confusion that drives consumers to make spending decisions based on misunderstanding, marketing gimmicks, and fear. The cosmetics industry in the US is virtually unregulated. Unlike most consumables, which fall under the responsibility of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), personal care products are governed by the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, adopted in 1938, which requires no government review of products before they go to market. Instead, the Act puts companies in charge of ensuring consumer safety, in essence, allowing them to self-police.

Pretty Toxic pulls the audience in on this timely topic—the desire to be attractive and the lure of products that promise to deliver on those objectives. This story exposes the companies and people who wield power, influence and inform, and the many people whose jobs concern the welfare of consumers, all while remaining unprejudiced to whatever truths are revealed.

The documentary involves the filmmaker, Jennifer B. White and her personal story as she takes stock of the vast array of products she’s been using over her lifetime that may have contributed to significant health problems she still struggles with today. Through her research, she’s filmed lengthy conversations with industry leaders, senior chemists, dermatologists, researchers, scientists, and women from around the country who recount their fascinating stories of health problems, recovery, activism and what they learned along the way. Their tales unfold, along with White’s, as part of the narrative.

While the film doesn’t pull punches, it honors the intricacies of a complex subject. In fact, the message that chemicals aren’t safe has also sparked its own debate. Large conglomerates that own the majority of the $450 Billion worldwide beauty industry and chemists that work for them are concerned that consumers have come down with a serious case of “chemophobia”—an irrational fear of compounds perceived as synthetic. They also worry that chemicals are being demonized through the media, bloggers and green beauty activists.

Pretty Toxic will spark serious and perhaps controversial discussions as it reveals new and timely issues about the health risks, environmental issues, legislation, and economics surrounding the cosmetics and personal care products you use on a daily basis.

Why We Need Your Help


·  We’ve started the way most documentaries do—we’re passionate about this story and so we’ve been paying for everything so far! It’s a lot of money and here’s what it comes down to:

·  This is a feature film shot in 4K. For over a year, we’ve been paying for crew to film. We also pay to get good lighting and even more important—excellent sound quality.

·  We work 7 days a week, often up to 14 hours a day researching this vast topic, who to interview, finding ways to contact industry leaders and experts in the field and then scheduling them for an interview within the cities they live—

·  And that means even more money traveling across the US and Canada, paying for airfare, hotels and gas—

·  And renting film equipment, and sometimes purchasing some of it, in order to get the people we need to tell this story on camera.

·  If this sounds like a lot—and a little crazy—it is! But, it’s who we are and what we do! We’re storytellers committed to this film and dedicated to telling it in the most ethical and entertaining way possible! There’s more—

·  Social media takes an extraordinary amount of time, but it’s crucial to growing our audience and getting the word out about this topic. We’re all consumers and we need to know our rights and what can harm our health and the environment. So—

·  We put together a strategic social media and marketing campaign that takes time and money for things like creating and editing the teaser trailer you just watched.

·  We love YouTubers and admire their work ethic, but documentarian work is very different. We work with very large files and strive to achieve the highest quality possible.

·  We also have to do the business side of storytelling—opening an LLC and paying for it, paying the taxes every year, putting together a schedule, business plan and complete budget—which is how we arrived at the dollar amount you see above. It’s not the entire amount of money we need, it’s to get us through the next few months and to cover the costs we’ve already spent!

Why THIS Film

You’ve seen the documentaries about food—from reasons to go vegan, and the obesity crisis to secrets of natural health to help you achieve optimum wellness. Yet, there is not one documentary that tackles a bigger business than the diet industry—the $450 Billion worldwide beauty industry and what it means to you as a consumer and your health.

Pretty Toxic has an atmospheric tone of intimacy. It’s the personal narrative of not only the filmmaker and the women who tell private details of their lives, but also of the interviewees who are passionate about the work they do, and how it affects consumers.

 Most women want to feel not only attractive but safe with the products they use to achieve the best version of themselves. Unlike food, many consumers feel they need to be a chemist to understand the dazzling display of ingredients in personal care products. What is cocamidopropyl betaine, triclosan, polysorbates or polyethylene glycol? Short answer: They’re some of the chemicals found in most shampoos and conditioners. The long answer is more complicated, and comes by way of interviewing leading experts who bring a new level of understanding to not only what these ingredients are, but how they affect the human body and the environment.

The documentary tackles both sides of the topic—chemicals that are relatively benign, to those that are inherently dangerous, yet accessible and marketed to consumers. The narrative includes new legislation in Congress today to change the current law and what the FDA can (or can’t) do to better regulate ingredients in the cosmetics industry.

Pretty Toxic sheds light on this comprehensive and often confusing subject. As filmmakers and writers, the goal is to produce sharp, clear, entertaining, and easy-to-understand content, so you not only enjoy the film, but finds value in it, gaining a new level of knowledge and empowering you to make better purchasing decisions. 

Want to Know More about the Film and the Filmmakers?

We want to hear from you. We believe in transparency, which means ask us anything! We’ll tell you (heck, we’ll show you!) where your money is being spent and why. We’ll talk to you about our schedule into the new year, who we’re interviewing and who we’ve interviewed so far—just about anything you want to know, we'll answer for you. We are a community that cares—about the health of our family and ourselves, about our environment and the world we live in. Stay in touch with us. 

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Fundraising team: The Team (2)

Jennifer B. White 
Organizer
Foxborough, MA
Stewart Huey 
Team member
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