A Beautiful Cause – Denise Li

Call me cynical, but I’ve grown a little tired about brands claiming to “do their bit for charity” – and donating only, like, five percent of the profits of the sale of a particular product to the cause. It reeks a little of posturing and of insincerity, and it usually comes off more as a marketing gimmick than a genuine effort to make the world a better place.

Once in awhile, though, a brand does come up with an initiative truly worthy of supporting, and Kiehl’s latest efforts, is one of them.

In line with the brand’s traditions of supporting children’s causes, by raising awareness and funds to create safer, more positive environments with children, Kiehl’s worked with Autism Association (Singapore), with the intention to raise awareness of autism.

They collaborated with arguably one of Singapore’s hottest talents, George Young to promote the effort. Why? Well, that’s because George grew up with three brothers, two of whom are autistic, so it’s clear that this subject is one that’s close to his heart. But, enough from me. Why not hear from the man himself? Here, he tells Cosmo more about what it was like growing up with two autistic brothers, as well as how the collab with Kiehl’s came about.

Can George Young get any hotter? Our answer: Yes, yes, and yes!

Tell us more about what it was like growing up with two autistic brothers.

For Anthony (my non-autistic brother) and myself, Andrew and Paul’s autism is what we’ve known pretty much all of our lives. As children, we were aware that Andrew and Paul were different from most people around us, and we knew that we had to do our bit to look after them. That was something we grew accustomed to. I know from talking with my parents that it was more of an adjustment for them when Andrew and Paul were both diagnosed with autism, but again,  it’s just something that’s part of our family. We  grew up in a household with more tantrums than most, I’d imagine!

Growing up, were you extra-protective of your autistic brothers?

Absolutely. Both Andrew and Paul are on the more severe side of the autistic spectrum and have very under-developed language ability. My family have always been afraid that this would leave them vulnerable and more susceptible to abuse. Keeping Andrew and Paul from harm is therefore a constant concern for my family. I do get especially angry and upset in equal measure when I become aware of any sort of bullying that is targeted at people with disabilities. That most likely stems from me associating the victim with my brothers.

How did you get involved with this project with Kiehl’s?

My partnership with Kiehl’s came about very naturally. I have been looking into raising the awareness of autism by sharing my experiences with the same on a public platform, and Kiehl’s had plans to launch a campaign in support of the Autism Association (Singapore). We both became aware of our respective work, and decided to team up for a common cause.

How do you feel about being involved with this project?

Support for those with autism, and for those families with autism, is something my family is deeply involved in. It’s part of my life; I’ll always be doing something for the cause, and being able to help raise awareness of the condition in the public sphere is a dream come true for me.

What are some autism myths that need to be debunked?

There are plenty of myths, but one of the biggest that I was most surprised to hear is that autism is a result of bad parenting. That couldn’t be any more incorrect. My parents did an incredible good job in bringing us all up. I actually think someone should use my family (four brothers: two with autism and two without) as a case study to help debunk the myth.

George, posing with Michelle, 6, from Autism Association (Singapore).

Now that you’ve heard from George, you’re probably wondering how you can do your bit. Easy! Kiehl’s will be donating 100 percent of the nett proceeds from the sale of the Limited Edition Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque (142g), $45, for renovation work at Eden’s Children’s Centre (Clementi and Simei). The special colourful packaging was designed by pop artist Ketna Patel.

And, that’s not all. Ketna has also hand-painted a one-piece only, limited edition Mr Bones (who you’ve probably seen hanging out at Kiehl’s stores!), which is currently up for auction. Once again, 100 percent of the winning bid will go to Autism Association (Singapore).

A limited edition Mr Bones, painted by pop artist Ketna Patel, will go home with the highest bidder!

More about Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque:

Kiehl’s Limited Edition Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, $45

Great for those with normal to oily skin types, this helps eliminate debris and dead skin cells on skin’s surface. The result? A cleaner, brighter complexion!

To make a bid for the Mr. Bones auction, simply send in your name, contact number, company name (if applicable), email address and bid in SGD to Chan Syek Yi at sychan@sg.loreal.com. Hurry, because the auction closes on May 31, 2012. The minimum going bid is $5,000. Want to keep track of the bids? Then head over to Kiehl’s Facebook fan page by searching for “KiehlsSG” on Facebook.

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