The early 2000s were a wild time that I will forever remember as the era of absolutely useless, unbelievably cool products. HitClips—mini music players that only played poor quality one-minute clips of pop songs—were a must-have. Scarves were worn all summer long, even where I lived in South Florida. Every cool kid at school had white gel pens in their backpacks, even though you could only use them on black paper (which no school ever provided). All of the things we wanted were completely pointless, but we wanted them anyway.
Typically, I didn’t know I wanted something until one of my friends got it. I would be completely content with my life up until the moment I found out about another totally unnecessary, very cool object that a friend had, and therefore I had to have it too. And I never experienced this feeling more urgently than when I learned of the existence of Urban Decay’s Edible Body Powder.
Middle school me didn’t care about makeup, but I still knew that Urban Decay was the coolest of cool when it came to beauty. I knew this because the rich, trendy girls I went to school with would put it on at Sephora, a store I had only just discovered. Due to its high price tag and the fact that I had no money (I was a child), Urban Decay remained a pipe dream while I continued to buy my cheap black pencil eyeliner at Walgreens.
Then, one weekend, the coolest girl I knew invited me to a group sleepover at her house. To paint you a picture of how cool she was, her parents owned a boat and she had a T-Mobile Sidekick and exclusively shopped at Urban Outfitters. One time, her family went on a vacation to France! Getting the sleepover invite was huge for me, but I never even imagined the lasting impact it would have on my life.
Towards the end of an incredible night of Myspace photoshoots, pizza, and deciding which member of Panic! At the Disco was the cutest, our host revealed a special gift she had just received from her mom: Urban Decay Edible Body Powder in the flavor (shade? fragrance?) Cocoa. The small box of chocolate-smelling powder came with a square, leopard-print applicator puff which she used to gently dab a small amount of powder on each of our hands. We admired the bronzy shimmer and relished the chocolaty taste. Despite our pleas for more, she cut us off after our first round, making it clear that we would not be getting seconds of this delicious makeup. So after everyone else fell asleep, I ate all of it.
I didn’t mean to! But I just couldn’t help myself. It was a forbidden “food” that wasn’t actually food. It was makeup, but edible. I do not remember the taste. I just remember that it was unbelievably satisfying to dab the powder on my hands and lick it off. My parents would never have bought me a $30 container of glittery cocoa powder. This was my one shot to enjoy this delicacy! So I dabbed and ate until before I knew it, I had consumed the box of powder in its entirety. In the morning, I made up a story about accidentally spilling the powder and having to throw it out (I left out the fact that the “trash receptacle” was, in reality, my mouth).
This may sound to you like a story about a bizarre and hungry child, but for me it was a core memory and transformative experience. It was one of the first times I remember eating something I had never tried before. Now, as an adult, I do this for a living. Who knows if I’d be here ranking every food under the sun if it wasn’t for Urban Decay’s Edible Body Powder.
And yeah, as an adult I realize that this product was probably intended for sexual use. And that’s fine—you do you. But for me, Urban Decay’s Edible Body Powder was an exciting, fun, innocent way to explore my true, experimental food-tasting self. So please, Urban Decay, bring back this product so the newest generation of weird, hungry children can experiment, and maybe even find themselves, like I did. Also, you would be doing me a solid, Urban Decay, because I owe my friend one container of Cocoa Edible Body Powder. Sara, I’m sorry.