In happiness we trust,
Let’s examine the impact of the ‘Rona’ on the future of our profession. To be labelled a key worker is a badge of honour. The government have inadvertently put a level of importance on every sector. The league table of importance is now illustrated by the rules surrounding when we are allowed to reopen after a pandemic.
Some may see that as ‘non-essential’ we are a less attractive industry to enter. This could create a powerful disincentive to the powers that be, that educational funding is not even necessary in this industry. We cannot nullify the development of an entire generation of ‘ Right Brains ‘. Because we are deemed non-essential and therefore unimportant in the grand scheme of things. If this belief takes hold, the next generation won’t have an incentive to enter the beauty industry. We could be left with too many coaches and not enough players. That cannot be a good melting pot for the future of our industry.
We already have some suspect and uninspiring educational organisations attempting to entice the youth. Hair/Barbering/Beauty is equally, creative, chaotic, professional and yet punk at the same time. The diversity and the curiosity of pushing boundaries are what inspired me to change from the restrictions of computer code to this creative community. I witnessed that my hairdresser pals couldn’t wait to go to work in the morning. Yet, as an employee working out of office, I couldn’t think of anything worse, the wake up alarm going off in the morning having to be with the same old squares everyday filled me with dread.
We are not KEY WORKERS perhaps but we are essential. Speak to Lion’s collective (a barber based suicide prevention charity) they would argue we do save lives in the subtlest of ways. Our profession shouldn’t be allowed to be dismissed as non-essential by the institutions, who focus on the top-level thinkers and dismiss the practical skills of the rest.
Over the last decade, the acceleration and exportation of manufacturing and skills in the search of profit has inadvertently made us a sick industry. I don’t want to get too political but you know what I mean.
Happiness is one of the hardest things to find in life. But once you find it, you have to encourage it to stick. The feeling of being valued makes me happy. If we allow the idea that we are non-essential to become commonplace then the industry is finished.
Choose happy or non-essential worker. If I was asked to create a PR campaign I know what angle I would go with.
Going forward the opportunities are vast, No robots are moving into this space anytime soon. The AI argument is not a threat. Remember they suffer from viruses too. Humans, as we have discovered in lockdown, are social animals.
We have a society that needs us to enhance their appearance and self-esteem. And in a pandemic, we discovered that us, as a commodity is on par with toilet paper. The local community need us. They are desperate for us to be in their life. And surely that is the only confirmation we need to know that we are key workers. And we are bloody essential. After lockdown, I hope the institutions wake up and realise this to.