When you chose beauty as a career, you went to school and earned a license. You paid your dues before earning your first chair. You grew your skills, book and confidence with advanced education. Today, you follow your passion. You get to be creative and help people. You do good work and good works. You are a professional.
Why are we talking about this now? Ironically, the beauty industry has an image problem. Too many people don’t know or understand us. This isn’t a new problem, but an especially dangerous one today.
Misperceptions—fostered by reality TV and sensationalist media, and compounded by the economy—have led to legislation to eliminate or limit cosmetology licensure. At press time, seven states—Utah, Connecticut, Texas, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon and Missouri—have bills in the works to deregulate your profession.
How this affects our industry: Imagine if your license meant nothing, and anyone could do what you do without training. Imagine the impact on:
• Public health and safety
• Professional liability: insurance costs, availability
• Tax implications: does the industry go underground?
• Staffing: with no schools, where do you find people?
Who we really are: It’s in your best interest to show and tell your clients, community and Congress who and what the professional beauty industry represents:
• A growing industry with jobs that won’t go overseas
• Small businesses that make significant contributions to our economy through jobs and taxes
• Hard-working, charitable, trained professionals
• A critical part of the flavor, fabric and lifestyle of our communities
What you can do: The most important thing you can do to protect and defend your career is to know and share the talking points about what is good about it. Find a summary in CHOOSE BEAUTY, an industry advocacy brochure available online at choosebeauty.tv to forward or download. In addition, you can:
• Get involved and support industry groups and associations (PBA, AACS, ISBN, CC)
• Support industry advocacy campaigns like beautychangeslives.org and probeauty.org/iam
• Use your resources and networks to be a vocal advocate and champion
The most important choice you can make is to be an example and showcase what you do well. Manage or be part of a salon business that inspires others, supports your community and presents beauty in the best possible light.