Teaching a beauty course, there’s a story I like to bring up to all my students. It’s the story of Psyche, who appears in both Greek and Roman mythology with very slightly different names (Aphrodite becomes Venus, etc.). She’s probably the most beautiful mortal to ever live, but that beauty brings her no end of trouble. She ends up marrying the god of desire but not being able to look at him, having to trek countless miles across the country, being given one impossible task after another by Aphrodite (who hates her guts) and no mortal man will even dare to ask her out on a date because she’s too gorgeous.
It’s an important lesson to anyone thinking about a diploma of beauty therapy or makeup. Personally, I don’t see beauty as simply making yourself look better to then make your life better. I think of it more like an art form: beauty isn’t necessarily ‘beautiful’ in the way we think. Some people think dogs are beautiful, which is totally fine because some are beautiful. But dogs don’t wear makeup or put effort into their appearance, at least from what I know (that’s what separates them from the cats, I believe). They’re just effortlessly beautiful. That’s the type of beauty we should be striving for: not the type you see in magazines, though some will get jobs that require them to replicate that loom, and that’s just a part of the profession. But if anyone can come to me at the end and apply what they’re learned to create something that seems effortless. Pretty tall order, right? But anyone can elegantly apply lipstick and eyeliner, or make someone look like a human tiger. Those things are difficult, but simply enhancing natural beauty is another ball game. And then Psyche had no end of trouble, while if she’d been regular attractive or just average, she’d have had it much easier. So beauty isn’t the be-all and end-all. But it CAN be taught, and it’s still a marvellous art form filled with nuance and depth. That’s why we have makeup artist courses in the first place. As long as people know what they’re getting into!