In 1999, Pam launched a new line of supposedly "cruelty-free" cosmetics called Pamela, with the proceeds going to PeTA. PeTA responded by naming her Humanitarian of the Year "for her outstanding efforts to improve the plight of animals."(1) Way to go, Pam!
But since then, Pamela cosmetics have been gathering dust. PeTA did announce that in February 2002 Pam donated bags full of Pamela cosmetics to abused and battered women in shelters because "they'll soon be job-hunting and she wants them to feel and look their very best."(1)
Or perhaps the real reason Pamela cosmetics are being given away is because no one will buy them! In PeTA's 2003 Shopping Guide for Caring Consumers, Pamela cosmetics are not even mentioned.
So ... finding out exactly what goes into Pamela cosmetics is not easy. Or if Pam even wears them.
What we have found out is that unless you live in the jungle and rely on vegetable dyes to pretty yourself up, your lipstick and eyeliner contain animal fat. Slaughterhouses and butchers sell their leftovers to rendering plants, which process them all and sell the fat on to your favorite cosmetics company.
Oh, but hold up ... no one said Pamela cosmetics didn't contain animal products. They only said they were "cruelty-free". And what does that mean?
The US Department of Agriculture has this to say(2) about cosmetics advertised as "cruelty-free" or "not tested on animals":
Until evidence to the contrary becomes available, we will assume (a) that Pam's lips are coated in animal product, and (b) that the ingredients were all tested on animals at some point.
Does that earn Pam a Humanitarian of the Year Award? How about Hypocrite of the Year?
(1) Pamela Anderson Donates Cruelty-Free Cosmetics to Women's Shelter PeTA press release, Feb. 21, 2002.