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How Beauty Changed Clare Racette's Life

Alison Alhamed | July 10, 2011 | 10:20 AM
As First Chair's distribution has grown, so has its popularity--students and new professionals are reading the articles, passing the magazine along to classmates and other new stylists, and are sharing the information found in the pages of First Chair on their Facebook pages and blogs. One student, in particular, found the Beauty Changes Lives page to be of particular interest, and felt compelled to send me her story.

And I, after reading it, felt compelled to share it with you... meet Clare Racette.

NOTE: How has beauty changed your life? Send your story to me, Alison Shipley [email protected], and I'll gladly post it. Be sure to send a picture of yourself and the name of your beauty school!


"Life after college for most can be a transitional time in one’s life. A time to seek out opportunities in the real world that line up with their earned degree. After graduating with a B.A. in psychology from the University of Washington, I found my journey incredibly disheartening. I had always loved the study of the inner workings of the human brain, behavior trends, and interpersonal interactions. Yet, the job market for graduates with a B.A. in psychology was pretty barren. I soon realized that further education was almost required if I didn’t want to earn minimum wage.

"Shortly after I was accepted into a master’s program for speech-language pathology. I was sent in this direction by people who told me I could make a lot of money in this field because there were so few speech pathologists at the current time. Feeling lost and hurried I applied and was accepted. After a little more than a year in the program I knew that no matter how much money I made I was never going to enjoy this career. I abruptly withdrew from the program and once again found myself lost and desperate. I knew I loved fitness and health and a masters program in holistic health really piqued my interest. Yet, I quickly realized that this path was really the same as the last, not for me. Coming to the same realization for the second time sent me into a pretty deep depression.

"Ever since I was a young child I had been very driven and certain of the path in front of me. Not knowing what to do or having a purpose in life made me feel terrible. After a lot of dark days and forced soul-searching from family members, one friend simply mentioned going to beauty school. I had always had an interest in beauty and thought it would be such a fun career, but I had a degree and thought that I should really just stick to academia since I was pretty good at it.

"Even after brushing the idea off, I continued to have thoughts of going to beauty school. I began to research my options and found San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology, a Paul Mitchell Partner Program. I made a hasty decision, shocking my family and friends, to drain my savings account and enroll as soon as I could. Little did I know that I was about to completely change my life.

"Looking back on my experience thus far, it is hard to believe where I came from and where I am now. In nine short months I have become so incredibly happy in every aspect of my life. I have built meaningful relationships, deepened existing bonds, and improved my health. I have found a love for beauty and the ways in which it can affect others happiness.

"Many people divide beauty into two categories, outer beauty and inner beauty. Outer beauty often gets deemed superficial, but I truly believe it can impact inner beauty. No one can change another person’s inner beauty, but as cosmetologists we can alter one’s outer beauty. The improvement of outer beauty can drastically impact a person’s well-being, therefore improving their inner beauty. I like to think that when a client sits in my chair I am knocking down the first domino, setting off a chain of positive events that hopefully spread from that one person outwards, rippling through their friends, family, and co-workers. Beauty used to have negative connotations for me, but I know now that beauty can be a magical source of improvement in the world."


NOTE: How has beauty changed your life? Send your story to me, Alison Shipley [email protected], and I'll gladly post it. Be sure to send a picture of yourself and the name of your beauty school!

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