Beauty

Is Beauty A ‘Soft’ Subject?

I am new to blogging and upon discussing the content of my blog with a friend, they expressed their surprise that ‘someone so academic’ would be writing about a ‘soft’ subject like beauty. Now I wasn’t at all happy at this remark. Not only is it one of my passions and the topic that my whole blog is based on, but I also have numerous friends that are employed in the beauty industry in some way. I have friends who are professional makeup artists, beauty therapists, hairdressers and nail technicians. I also have friends who run their own franchised beauty businesses such as Avon. All of these people are smart, creative, passionate and highly trained professionals. And yet there are still those that doubt whether it is a worthwhile industry to work in or whether as a field of study it deserves respect.

The beauty industry in the UK alone employs over 1 million people. Despite a global recession in recent years, the beauty and cosmetics industry has increased its market share year after year and is predicted to be worth over $200 billion worldwide by 2017. That’s far bigger than many other industries and is a figure that is still growing. Many women (and an increasing number of men) enjoy the confidence that using cosmetics gives them. Even in times of recession, there are plenty of us out there who enjoy looking our best and will still purchase makeup and enjoy beauty treatments at the expense of other luxuries. In fact, it is the view of many economists that the beauty industry is one of the few that is ‘recession proof’. So if you’re thinking about your employment options after leaving school or considering a change of career, the beauty industry is a good choice.

The beauty industry employs millions of highly trained personnel all over the world in various capacities. Cosmetic companies are constantly developing and innovating new products. To do this, they employ scientists known as ‘cosmetic chemists’ – this job alone requires you to have a university or college degree in chemistry or another related science. As well as learning about makeup and beauty treatments, an NVQ in Beauty Therapy requires students to have a knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Students study the workings of the human body – about the circulatory and lymphatic systems, bones and the skeletal system, muscles, the skin and conditions affecting the human body such as fungal infections. As well as this, students also study the business side of the beauty industry. I would hardly call that a ‘soft’ qualification.

Even to those who are not pursuing formal training in the beauty industry, there is still much to be learnt and to offer those with an enquiring mind. Makeup can transform your appearance and give a huge boost of self confidence. True beauty comes from within but when you know you look your best, it can make you feel so much better about yourself. Being able to apply makeup correctly, is a skill that I believe should be taught and encouraged. With skillful makeup application, a plain, ‘blank canvas’ face can be transformed into a beautiful work of art. A quick Google search of makeup artistry will show you just how imaginative makeup artists can be. They certainly deserve as much respect as other creative professionals are given such as musicians and fashion designers.

For too long, people that work in the beauty industry haven’t always been given the respect they deserve in my opinion. Because it is not seen as a ‘traditional’ academic subject, it is sometimes dismissed as a fluffy, lightweight subject that doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. That needs to change. The beauty industry is massive and isn’t going away anytime soon. If you work as a beauty professional, give yourself a huge pat on the back and be proud that you are employed in an industry that helps millions of women worldwide to feel that little bit better about themselves.