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The Body Shop Dame

Who hasn't either purchased at or certainly seen the familiar Body Shops around the globe?

The founder of the shops, [now sold to L'Oreal last year] Anita Roddick, died, suddenly, last week.

Brooke Shelby Biggs collaborated with Anita Roddick on four books, including Brave Hearts, Rebel Spirits: A Spiritual Activists Handbook. In this piece on Mother Jones, Shelby Biggs offers a pen-portrait of a woman who evidently was quite something and someone - and certainly a pioneer in many respects:

"Anita Roddick, Dame Commander of the British Empire, founder of The Body Shop Ltd., lifelong activist, and member of Mother Jones' board of directors, has died, but to consider her "gone" would be to invite a tongue-lashing from beyond the grave about lack of imagination. As she would put it, she is very bloody much still here, and we all better get used to it.

I met Anita when I was producer of Motherjones.com in 1999. She blew into a board meeting from a delayed flight and discovered us doing free-association exercises with big colored pens and enormous pages of newsprint. We had been asked to draw that which inspired us most. "Bollocks!" she shouted, and grabbed a pen. A crude drawing of bags of cash emerged on the left; a wobbly planet sat on the right. Interrupting, in her famously impatient manner, she narrated: "What I want to do is give all my dosh away to people who make a difference now, and not sit around drawing all afternoon." Later that night, she joined three of us in a hotel room, drank warm white wine out of a bottle, told outrageous stories, and played poker for M&M's."

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