Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out!
What you will be reading via the letters A-Z is a little bio about me. This will give you a glimpse into my work world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging.
In the beauty industry (and don't let this topic scare you men off - this pertains to you as well - so hang in there) it's all about the consumer - something we all are - even you men! (think shaving products, hair growth products, and now even cosmetic surgery is on the male radar)
As a consumer what is your role?
Do you need to be on top of every little thing that you encounter, from products to types of services available; can you just rely solely on the sign on the door of a business; how about the label and advertising of a product (endorsed by paid actors) or even the recommendation from a friend?
How do you exercise your consumer consciousness?
Since I am covering the "beauty industry" the blanket is a large one, all things relating to external grooming and maintenance will be under this blanket - such as all beauty product purchasing (both by men and women), services offered by "beauty professionals" and even cosmetic surgery.
As this may be read by wonderful readers from around the globe - some of the "legal parameters" regarding products and services as they pertain to the beauty industry will vary - bear this in mind when you are reading this. I write this as it pertains to British Columbia, Canada.
In BC the beauty industry was deregulated many years ago. This puts the onus on the consumer to do their due diligence when seeking out the services of a "beauty professional" and this is exactly where I wish to spend a little time with you.
After deregulation, almost overnight, we saw the rise of the "nail shop" which gave Starbucks a run for their money as these shops popped up all over the city in record numbers.
Operators within these premises were no longer required to have any certification or license to perform their services. That's right - NO certification or license - literally overnight problems started to occur.
Yet, consumers frequented these "overnight" businesses without regard to the education of the staff or the hygienic practices within these establishments, because the price was without rival.
(In the world of beauty the one truth I can safely say does exist - after twenty-seven years is this: You get what you pay for - and that is a fact!)
As these problems started coming out in the media the stories about serious flesh eating diagnosis of the legs and about nail disorders of both hands and feet were shocking and the harsh reality of these "nail shops" was hitting home for consumers.
"Why was this happening?" consumers would ask. "What's the government doing about these shops?" Health inspectors were going crazy trying to keep up with the complaints - and things kept going from bad to worse.
My question always was, during these early years of deregulation, where is consumer consciousness in all of this - do consumers have a hand in their own fate?
My answer was always a simple "Yes!"
Consumers do have a hand in the outcome of their choices. We all do! No amount of government regulations will negate the need for you, the consumer, to do your homework - and that goes for almost everything we purchase - cars, boats, homes and even the family pet needs to be researched if one truly wishes to get the right fit.
Consumers need to realize the real power they have to self-regulate an industry in which they are major consumers. The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry because consumers do not challenge what is being fed to them. I see this time and time again with the manipulation of the consumer to feel inferior for not "having" the latest product, service or surgery to be "one of the beautiful people" we all seemingly aspire to be.
If only we could all be air brushed to perfection as we walked out our front doors the world would truly be a beautiful place - now fall down a rabbit hole if you wish to experience that fantasy!
Just because a commercial makes it sound absolutely fabulous doesn't mean it is! Just because the product is being endorsed by some stud of a man or siren of a woman, who looks flawless, doesn't mean you should rush out and buy it - but, surprisingly many do!
Yes, many do!
You and I have, on occasion, fallen into this consumer trap! It's sad but it's true. Most of us, however, learn from the experience and do go forward with our "Buyer Beware" glasses on and make sensible choices.
The sad truth is that for every individual that is a conscious consumer - there are hundreds that are not.
Which are you?