Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Flaky Reputation of the Beauty Industry

On the first day of beauty school at NBU, my teacher shared this statement. “If you want be in the top 30% of this industry, you just have to do one thing - be on time and ready to work.” I was baffled... and at the same time, my gut told me that I was already incredibly aware of Miss Kellie’s point.

Nobody at NBU wants to say it out loud. After all, beauty schools are notorious for building a culture that tells young students that they will never have to be concerned about losing their jobs, and that they'll spend the rest of their lives experiencing the bliss that is their dream - a fabulous career in the beauty industry. I’ve been in the real world for a while now, and I have a hard time not calling things as I see them.  I try to be very thoughtful about the discussions I have at school, but the other night, I could hold it in no longer. I poised myself and before I knew it I opened my mouth and said, “Miss Kellie, why do you think that so many people consider people in the beauty industry to be flaky?”

I looked around the room and everyone had a half-smile across their face - - even the licensed cosmetologist in my class seemed interested in Miss Kellie's response (it's beauty school.... the drama flows like Barbicide).
Miss Kellie put forth her best effort at turning the question into an opportunity for a progressive, energy boosting discussion. “Well, what do you think about that?” she asked. 

The fact is, I don’t know how the stigma began, but I won't deny that it exists - - I won't even deny that there are many examples to support it. I will say this - the perception of a group of girls, sitting around, chewing gum with their mouths open, while filing their finger nails and gossipping couldn't be more inaccurate for my part time life at NBU. On any given night, I run from the wax station to a facial bed to do lash tinting to a makeup application, and I pray I get 10 minutes somewhere in between to eat the microwavable soup I brought for my dinner. 

So, here's the only real conclusion I can draw. Consumers should expect no less from a beauty professional than you do from other services that you purchase. Just because someone's profession is in the "creative" or "artsy" category doesn't mean that they get to offer flighty or flaky service. There are too many professionals out there that are serious about their careers in the beauty industry (and maybe a little action will help the industry get a much needed reputation overhaul).

On a side note, my question did make for an interesting and culturally incorrect discussion in our class that night. As I said, in beauty school, everybody loves a good scandal. 

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,


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