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Positive changes for mental health in the beauty industry

What positive changes would you like to see in the world of beauty?

Throughout this series we’ve seen that beauty is evidently entangled with our mental health. As a result of this, the beauty industry tends to also have a wide impact. However, these influences need not always be bad – the industry can use it’s influences in a positive manner. Due to the prevalence of the beauty industries effects they can have a positive influence on our mental health.

Bethan Cole (2019), Glamour magazine says that the beauty industry can ‘provide the antidote to a myriad of issues through a mantra that is becoming less superficial and more intertwined with kindness, compassion and therapy’.

Beauticians have begun to intertwine a range of therapeutic techniques in their treatments. Super facialist Deborah Mitchell incorporates talking therapy techniques and visualisation in her treatments leaving her clients feeling soothed by the ‘feeling of letting go and the gentle compassion’. This technique takes clients through their usual beauty treatments as well as helping them to feel healed by being encouraged to visualise themselves leaving behind their anxieties and walking through a door of a garden wall.

Similarly, a holistic focus on well-being is seen in the Lions Barber Collective founded by Tom Chapman which includes hair professionals being trained by psychiatrists to help countless men by giving them an ‘empathetic ear’ in a non-clinical environment.

This approach shows the benefits and a societal need of combining beauty with measures to improve mental health.

Although these benefits are apparent, there is still room for further positive change. The messages that are spread by the beauty industry have the potential for such greatness. By developing beneficial ‘messages’ great change can be made.

By spreading the message of acceptance of ourselves in our natural form as well as the way we choose to present ourselves, beauty industries could stimulate widespread benefit. Feelings of hope and self- love could be fostered if these ideals were supported and even further: promoted.

Moreover, additional positive benefits could be developed by beauty industries through increased diversity in models. The faces that represent the beauty companies that are ubiquitous should be representative of everybody. By excluding no body size, no skin colour, no disability, a sense of inclusiveness is clearer; everyone is tied together in a bond of positive individuality.

These positive messages, if spread by beauty industries could potentially have great bearings on our mental health. Great change has been made but there is always room for more.

What positive statements do you think beauty industries should spread?

Zainab Shafan

Zainab is currently studying psychology at UCL. She was studying Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, however that did not work out so she took a year out to pursue other interests and gain experience. During this time she released her own book named 'Free to Go', available on amazon. She also set up her own blog: Zen Words. She also aimed to build a foundation for herself to develop skills and give back to the community; and the perfect opportunity arose with Inspirited Minds. The charity combines two disciplines very close to her heart (Islam and Psychology) and to be able to be involved through writing, a passion of hers, is a huge blessing. Reading the newsletters herself has been a continuous source of enlightenment and a means of catharsis; so, to be able to provide this for other people will be undoubtedly rewarding.

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