Elle Macpherson Under Fire for Using Rhino Horn for Beauty

Model says “remedy” works for her, several organizations are already up in arms

  Various organizations put model Elle Macpherson on blast after owning up to using illegal beauty remedy
She’s 47 years old but she’s still worthy of the moniker the media gave her back in her 20s: The Body. Elle Macpherson not only remains intimately connected to modeling and the fashion industry, but she’s also a very successful businesswoman on the same scene. At the same time, she’s convinced her beauty and youthful complexion are down to her taking rhino horn capsules, and she makes no secret of it even if all products of the kind have been banned since 1977, as News.com informs.

It all began with an interview Elle gave the Times via Twitter, in which she was asked if she used any product in particular to look this stunning and remain wrinkle-free even at her age. She said she believed in some remedies from Chinese medicine, including the beneficial effects of rhino horns, made into capsules. Asked to further elaborate, she said she could not explain how the remedy worked for her: it just did and she stood by it.

What Elle did not mention – and should have known – is that, by saying these things, she indirectly encouraging rhino poaching when numbers have already gone through the roof, several organizations have already said in statements blasting her. Moreover, trade of all rhino species and products has been outlawed, which means Macpherson is willingly taking part in – and advocating – a criminal activity. Not even the fact that a kilogram of rhino horn is sold for an estimated $60,000 (which is $20,000 more than a kilo of gold) can undermine the disastrous consequences Elle’s careless remarks may have, because there must be thousands of women rich and gullible enough to follow her “example.”

“The Humane Society International condemns the poaching of rhinos, particularly for their use in beauty products and Ms Macpherson’s actions are reprehensible,” Nicola Beynon, senior program manager of the Humane Society International. While other voices online say that Elle should be fined and forced to issue an apology for her comments (if she can’t be jailed for her crime), the International Fund for Animal Welfare is more practical in its approach to the controversy, announcing that an information package will be mailed to the model, in order to offer her the chance to educate herself on the matter before speaking about it next time.

“There is no excuse for using any endangered animal products. First and foremost, selling rhino products is illegal and in breach of CITES [the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species] and secondly four out of five species of rhino are literally on the brink of extinction. Elle has been a successful businesswoman with a high public profile for decades and people do listen to what she says. Elle needs to take responsibility for her comments and encourage people to look to sustainable alternative medicines,” Erica Martin, Asia-Pacific director of the organization, says, as cited by the aforementioned publication.

As of now, Elle Macpherson has not been available for comment regarding the controversy. 

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By    6 Jul 2010, 07:23 GMT