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Sexual Harassment in the Beauty Industry Is More Common Than You Think

Sexual harassment is a big, big topic in our country right now.

TIME declared the Silence Breakers as the 2017 Person of the Year.

The #MeToo movement exploded on social media after the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Additionally, the poll found that 25% of women identified men with influence over their careers as the culprits.

However, this isn't an issue that only affects women.

Actor Terry Crews has been very vocal about his experience with sexual assault.

Today, I'm going to open up and talk about this issue, which I've personally experienced.

Sharing My Story...

I know I'm not the only one who has experienced sexual harassment in the beauty industry.

Employees and clients are subjected to unwelcome comments and touching, even in a professional setting.

In November 2017, BuzzFeed News released an article about an investigation that revealed more than 180 women have accused Massage Envy therapists of sexual acts.

Professional makeup artists have spoken out about being sexually harassed at work.

One disturbing thing I found?

People see makeup alone as a source of the problem.

Even just wearing makeup makes others think you're more susceptible to sexual harassment, according to a 1991 study published in the journal Sex Roles.

Participants ranked a model as significantly more likely to provoke sexual harassment when wearing heavy to moderate cosmetics than when she wasn't wearing any cosmetics.

I, too, have experienced sexual harassment.

This occurred when I was working as an esthetician in a day spa years ago.

He was "the new guy" and the best massage therapist, but the rest of the female staff felt completely uncomfortable around him.

I asked them if this certain massage therapist had made comments to them, and they all said yes, but they didn't know what to tell the owner of the spa (who was also a man).

I went forward and told the owner.

I let my coworkers know, hoping they would feel more comfortable about saying something.

I remember the owner took a big exhale when I told him my experience.

He was very disappointed; he also thought that maybe I misunderstood the massage therapist.

I told him I wasn't the only one this was happening to, and to ask my coworkers about their experience.

He did so, and a few days later, the massage therapist was let go.

If You've Experienced Sexual Harassment

Here are some tips that can help.

  • Take notes of comments. Include the date, time, place, and any witnesses. Take screenshots of emails and texts. Keep the evidence in a safe place where your employer won't be able to access them.
  • Follow your company's sexual harassment policy, if there is one. Report the incident(s) to the correct person.
  • File a complaint with the EEOC. If your employer won't take action, filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the next step.
  • Leave. If no action is being taken, start looking for another position. Your safety and well-being come first.

Final Thoughts

As awful as sexual harassment is, people are talking about this issue and have shown support for each other.

Some beauty companies have spoken out about how they're preventing problems from arising in the first place.

Please know that you're not alone and it's not your fault!

Just because sexual harassment is so common doesn't make it OK.

You have rights and a voice.

Friends, what's your opinion on the #MeToo movement? Do you have any advice to share with those who have experienced sexual harassment? Let us know in the comments!

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