As a well rounded artist I’ve publicly spoke on this before but it’s been a while and I think it’s time to revisit this as I’ve had heartfelt conversations on this topic lately.
In a salon setting you have the choice to specialize and can choose the clientele and work that you prefer to do. In creative/production style spaces you do not. You volunteer or show up and the talent is directed to you. As a professional when you walk into these spaces you must be prepared to accommodate ANYONE that sits in your chair and if you can not, kindly, you do not belong to be there. But Jessie that’s harsh, no it isn’t. If you prefer a choice of clientele then you should stick to the environments that allow you to do so, but firmly and respectfully, it is inequitable for talent, specifically POC, to not be serviced adequately because of your inability or disinterest. Take a class, watch tutorials, assist, do a model call, ASK FOR HELP, whatever it takes to be prepared to accommodate or that opportunity should be for someone else.
A phrase spoken that stuck out to me, not because I didn’t already know, but because I haven’t spoken on it in a while and it needs it’s light, “as black women artists, we do not have the OPTION to not be able to accommodate everyone in these spaces”. For this very reason, if you are not qualified, or can not live up to the same standard understand that privilege.
There are SO many things I want to touch on, but I want to leave you with this. RESPECT. As a well rounded artist it is crucial to respect spaces of diversity, women of color, and the culture in these spaces. There have been many times I was doubted in my ability, but the centering of my feelings in this space would be wrong. Instead, I chose to level up in my skill but more importantly in my knowledge of racial injustices in the beauty community. I implore you to do the same.