The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry
There is an attitude certainly amongst older women that people in the beauty industry are all bimbos. I remember hearing a lady tell her twenty something son before his treatment that if he didn't get a pretty one then it wasn't worth it. This image stems from the 1950's when nice girls became teachers, nurses or secretaries, while the less able became hairdressers.
Having been to university this can make things a little tricky. People with set beliefs don't want to be challenged and during treatments that's the last thing you want to do. However, if they ask I answer truthfully and deal with the cross responses.
Over the years I've been told that I'm very over qualified and that I don't need to be trained to do my job. Unfortunately the appearance of many therapists doesn't help. I've worked alongside people who've worn short skirts, high-heels and long painted nails and wondered how they can do an effective treatment like that. It also made me concerned for their personal safety.
A more dangerous belief is the one seen splashed all over the tabloids, that bodywork is linked to the sex industry. The nudge, nudge, wink, wink, attitude is incredibly damaging to what we do. As a profession made up of mostly women, often working alone in isolated situations it makes us very vulnerable. So, isn't it about time that Saskia's Swedish is removed from the papers and consigned to the bin?
Most professions such as nursing have highly visible unions and councils there to promote them, protect their rights and fight for safer working conditions. This is exactly what we need in this industry. We need the public to see how well-educated and dedicated we are. We need employers to pay a realistic wage based on our education and experience.
We need to kick out those 1950's attitudes and bring in some 21st century respect.