JAIME: Welcome to Outgrowth: A Slice of Pro Beauty with your hosts Jaime Schrabeck.
ASHLEY: And Ashley Gregory Hackett. The election has come and gone, but the results will have effects that are felt for years. What do the election results mean for the beauty industry and its future?
JAIME: How do we protect the interests of the beauty industry and increase our political power? Let’s grow together.
ASHLEY: Well, Jaime, since we are recording this on Wednesday, November 4th in the evening, the election was just last night. It was a pretty wild night. We know some things are decided and some things are still up in the air. Most of the focus has been on the presidential election and red states, blue states, but we know, and if you’re a listener to our podcast, you know that state and local elections tend to hold more sway over our industry.
JAIME: That’s certainly true. And we know that the election isn’t over until all of the validly submitted ballots have been counted. So even as we’re recording this, we don’t know what’s going to happen in some of the races that have not been called already, but we certainly can look at the results of the elections in our particular areas, whether it be at the state level or the county level, and we can see some trends already.
ASHLEY: We definitely can. And each state holds its own little treasure trove of fun things to focus on and the different ways that they regulate our industry. But we’ve talked about several bills in the past throughout our tenure on Outgrowth, particularly in episode one, which was all about deregulation. So I think it would be a fun project to go over some of those outstanding bills and see where we stand after last night. What do you think?
JAIME: I think that’s a great idea because the bills, do they go away? That’s a valid question. If the person who introduced the bill loses their election, what happens to their pending legislation?
ASHLEY: That’s the million dollar question. What happens to these bills? And do they proceed or does someone else take up that cause, and re-introduce it? So let’s start with Michigan House Bill 5438, and this was introduced by a House Representative Steven Johnson, and it’s a complete deregulation of barbering. So it does not require you to hold any type of license in order to be a barber. There’s no requirement for schooling. There’s no requirement for exam. Just total deregulation. Yikes.
JAIME: Yeah, and that it focuses on barbers doesn’t surprise me because that is a part of our industry that seems to be an easy target, not as easy as manicurists sometimes, but in this realm it is. And I think it’s because it’s male dominated, o, it’s perceived as being male dominated, the clientele tends to be primarily male, and that just seems to match up so well with the legislators who are introducing these bills.
ASHLEY: I couldn’t have said it any better. You took the words right out of my mouth. The inherent misogyny of this is not lost on me. That for some reason men are in general regarded as having more expertise, being better at business, just kind of inherently having skills. So if barbers are in general mostly male and their clients are mostly male, it seems like why not just trust that they know what they’re doing, and why don’t we remove these barriers to entry, and make sure that more and more barbers are able to join the profession, which you and I agree on, on its face as a good idea as far as removing barriers to entry, but we definitely do not agree with total deregulation.
JAIME: Is this just a bunch of dudes who want more options and cheaper haircuts?
ASHLEY: A bunch of dudes. It’s entirely possible, but the house representative who introduced this bill, his name is Steven Johnson. He did win reelection and in his Michigan house district 72, he won reelection by a pretty significant margin. However, it looks like this bill is lost in committee right now. It was referred to the committee on regulatory reform back in February of 2020. And it hasn’t really gone anywhere from there, but the Michigan house does have a Republican majority. Steven Johnson is a Republican, but very interestingly, when I was researching this, I saw that Steven Johnson is a white man who happens to be mostly bald. Now we’ve talked about before that deregulation tends to come from the how hard can it be crowd. And most of these representatives are men and their interaction with our industry is very limited in general just to haircuts, possibly some pedicures if their wife can convince them to do that. So they can’t imagine that you would need all of this training and to jump through all of these hoops in order to be able to give them a haircut.
JAIME: And if it were only about the haircut, I might agree. Except that we know that when deregulation happens, it doesn’t just take away any training requirements with regard to the performance of a haircut, if we were talking about hair services. It takes away the regulations that have to do with health and safety. And all of that around what you need to do as a professional to provide that service safely. That’s the main point. I, yeah, anyone could pick up a pair of scissors and cut hair, but do you know what you’re doing? Do you know how to clean the scissors? Do you know what kinds of scalps you should be working on ,the ones you should avoid? If you’re looking for any kind of infection or any kind of rash or, I mean, we could go on and on, specialty by specialty. So I will say that when this came up in California, that our colleague, Wendy Jacobs Cochran, was able to present her argument in a hearing against a similar bill that was meant to deregulate barbering. And she made the case that would you be willing to let someone shave you with a straight razor, knowing that that was not cleaned?
ASHLEY: Exactly. And I’m sure there were many a gasp in the crowd because they don’t tend to extrapolate this out into the what ifs. And we like to make the public health argument, which is a strong argument, but barbers don’t just cut hair. And more and more barbers. If you’ve been to a beauty show lately, and you’ve gone to a barber battle, you know that it’s not just a haircut. There’s color happening. There’s design happening. There’s so much more than just getting, you know, high top fade or picking number three off the wall. There’s a lot more to it. And I think we’ve successfully made the case and I’m sure Wendy did as well, that that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And if, if it is really an iceberg, deregulation means we all go down with this ship.
JAIME: Are there barbers in Michigan that want to be deregulated?
ASHLEY: I can’t imagine that there are. Although I think, hey, if I’m going to be non-compliant and doing services on licensed, I’m all for deregulation, because it means I don’t have to pay for school. I don’t have to pay an annual or bi-annual license fee and renewal fee, so why not? But this goes back to the great point that you make about deregulation, which is apprenticeship. And we know that the beauty schools are broken. We talked about it a few weeks ago and you brought up that fabulous alternative of apprenticeship. I know apprenticeship does happen in Michigan, but I don’t think it’s very prevalent in barbering, but I could be totally off base here.
JAIME: Or is this designed to help someone who has the resources to open up a large salon and just employ a bunch of people, or not, and just run a hair factory? I mean, I don’t understand why the industry would think this was a good idea, whether you were already in it, or you were thinking about joining it.
ASHLEY: I have no words. I don’t. Michigan’s got its own issues right now with their governor, and there was a very vocal minority that wanted to remain open and did remain open. There were some licenses taken away and things like that. Um, you know the plot to kidnap their governor. There’s just, like I said, a lot going on in Michigan. Now, hopefully, this bill won’t leave committee. It’s been there for a long time. I believe their session adjourns at the end of this year. So probably mid-December. So I’m hoping that this bill dies in committee, but Representative Steven Johnson is going to come up again later.
JAIME: If this bill doesn’t have anything to do directly with the coronavirus pandemic or the economy, I don’t see it being a priority. And I would say the same of any bill in any legislature.
ASHLEY: Well, save Wisconsin, which has had the least productive legislative schedule of any state, which is where I’m from and that is just a black mark on the reputation of the state, but we can get into that in another episode,
JAIME: They don’t want to work too hard?
ASHLEY: They sure don’t. All they want to do is make sure that the Democratic governor, Tony Evers, isn’t allowed to issue a statewide mask mandate. That’s what they’re working hard.
JAIME: Some people would say that was the best government, a government that doesn’t get much accomplished.
ASHLEY: Well, I think we might have a preview of what’s to come in the next four years.
JAIME: Let’s talk about the Illinois bill because we did focus on that in our initial episode, HB 5558, which is the complete deregulation of all beauty disciplines.
ASHLEY: So just to refresh your memory if you have been listening since episode one, if not, I highly recommend you go and just get a good base layer of education on deregulation from us in episode one. But HB 5558 is essentially a bill that says you don’t need a license to practice any beauty discipline in the state of Illinois and if you own a salon, all you have to do is just hang a sign that informs your customers to that effect. It doesn’t give any information about where the sign should be, how big it should be, what it should say. If you can hang it on your back door, just make sure nobody sees it. So it’s essentially a complete repeal of the cosmetology barbering nail technology act of 1985. This was sponsored by Allen Skillicorn, a Republican from the far north suburbs of Chicago. And this also was referred to the rules committee back in February of 2020. We have the opposite issue here in Illinois where we have a general assembly that is completely dominated by Democrats and so Representative Skillicorn thankfully has never had a bill leave committee in his short political career. And I am happy to say his political career was made shorter by the fact that he actually lost his reelection bid.
JAIME: Somehow his focus did not earn him votes.
ASHLEY: It sure did not. I’ve had a couple Twitter interactions with Representative Skillicorn. He believes, as well, that complete deregulation of our industry is good for business. It removes barriers to entry. And again, how hard can it be to cut hair If his wife can go to Target and buy a box of hair dye, anybody should be able to. Thankfully how this works in Illinois is the session ends at the end of the year, bills that have not been passed yet in the session will actually die as a new general assembly is sworn in January of 2021. So again, more background about this bill, we really went in depth on it in episode one.
JAIME: And for a state to completely deregulate, would it be a complete abdication of its responsibility to protect consumers?
ASHLEY: Yes. Representative Skillicorn is very much on the side of libertarianism and thinks that the economy will regulate itself. The bad actors will be weeded out through things like Yelp reviews and the bad haircuts walking around, but we all know and live in the real world. And we know that that’s not what happens.
JAIME: Well, we all know how legit Yelp reviews are.
ASHLEY: Oh, yeah. Hey, we have an episode on that too.
JAIME: We do, and it wasn’t even focused on that part of Yelp. Well, and thinking that by posting a sign that somehow gets the owner of the salon off the hook for anything that happens inside and gets the state off the hook is ridiculous. I mean, can you imagine that happening in another profession?
ASHLEY: Well, and it assumes that clients know what’s happening in every aspect of their beauty service. They know what they’re asking for. They know the products used and for the amount of people that walk around calling the proximal nail fold their cuticle, we know clients are ill informed on exactly what it takes to have a clean service with a successful result. And I think it was something you said way back in episode one, but there shouldn’t have to be trial and error with something like putting chemicals on your head in order to earn a decent service.
JAIME: I can imagine any of the insurance companies that are active in our industry would be fighting against this as well because they’re not going to want to lose the business. And they’re certainly not going to want to be in a position where they are contemplating insuring someone who does not have a license.
ASHLEY: Well, Jaime, who needs insurance when it’s just a barrier to small businesses thriving, and the economy will just regulate itself?
JAIME: Right. And if someone gets hurt, oh well.
ASHLEY: I hope you could tell that was dripping in sarcasm, but.
JAIME: It was dripping.
ASHLEY: All right. So let’s turn to the next bill that I want to discuss, which is Rhode Island House Bill 7484. This one’s really interesting and if you’ve got a spare five minutes, I want you to Google this one. We will, of course, link to the full bill text in the show notes, but.
JAIME: Oh no.
ASHLEY: It’s so, Jaime, it’s just, it’s so typical. This was introduced by Representative Evan Shanley. He was reelected, but he did run unopposed. Now the state of Rhode Island is pretty small. I think that his electorate, I think they turned out about 600 votes for him. Not a mandate by any means, but his district could be 800 people, who knows? This is co-sponsored by Representatives Williams, Shekarchi, Barros and Mendez. And basically it is a complete rewriting of the act relating to barbers, hairdressers, cosmeticians, which is a term I hadn’t heard in a while, manicurists, and estheticians. So this is a complete rewrite of that entire bill, but the gist of it is it reduces the required education hours by more than half in each case so cosmetologists will go down to 600 hours, manicurists to 200, esthetics to 300, and barbering to 600, as well.
JAIME: But I wouldn’t necessarily be mad at that if those were hours well spent, but that’s not what happens in beauty school.
ASHLEY: No, it sure isn’t. This was introduced back in February of 2020. It went to committee. There was a hearing held on this one actually back when Representative Shanley introduced a similar bill last year, and this really seems to be high on his agenda. So this went to committee. The committee recommended that this bill be held for further study. So they want more information likely if there would be a hearing witness slips, things like that, but Representative Shanley, I don’t want to editorialize, but he is a young white man. He’s a lawyer. He’s 34 years old, but he continues to introduce these bills to lower our requirements and I don’t understand his end game. I tried to do a little bit of digging into his background to see if he had any ties to the cosmetology industry and it doesn’t seem that he does. The bill actually has a typo in the title and it refers to it as Hari styling, instead of hair.
JAIME: I suppose if we were to research his donors maybe we’d find some more information that was worthwhile.
ASHLEY: Yes. He seems to come from a pretty well connected family and Rhode Island with lots of resources so that might warrant further research
JAIME: Do we know what happens to bills in Rhode Island if they’re not taken up by the end of the session?
ASHLEY: I actually don’t. I tried to find that information and I went down a rabbit hole
JAIME: Well, but you found this at all. I mean, I, that we’re mentioning Rhode Island at all, they should be happy.
ASHLEY: No shade to our listeners in Rhode Island, if there are any. When someone is reelected by running unopposed and continues to introduce bills like this, I want to find out what’s the agenda here. What’s behind this? It looks like in 2019 when this bill was introduced and they actually did hold hearings on it, the person who spoke spoke in support of the bill, and I believe he was a personal acquaintance of Representative Shanley’s. So it might be that he has a bug in his ear from his circle about this, but again, this probably warrants further research.
JAIME: Well, and that answers the question that we often get asked. Who comes up with these ideas? Who writes these bills? Legislators can introduce bills based on campaign promises, favors they may feel they owe their donors, ideas from their constituents. The ideas can come from lots of different places, but the actual language of the bill is usually drafted by the staff of that legislator. And when it’s first introduced, that’s just the rough draft and through the process of hearings and revisions, the bill, if it survives, goes through a number of edits and it’s at that point, something is worth doing, and you have the opportunity to make a recommendation and it gets incorporated into the bill, you have some impact and make the bill better. But it does make me wonder if in this case that that person may have a connection to the legislator that we’re not aware of. Like maybe that person, you know, plans on opening a school and this seems to be like a really easy way to process a whole bunch of students is to have the hours be lower. Who knows? But those are the kinds of things that if you were in that state and you wanted to know more about, you would have to do the research. You would want to know what the angle is and what is it that this particular legislator thinks he’s accomplishing by introducing this bill. Like, what is he saying he’s doing and then what do you know is going to be the impact on the industry, if it happens to pass and get signed by the governor?
ASHLEY: As we’ve learned, most of these deregulation bills or a reduction in regulation bills like this one in Rhode Island come from, in general, Republican representatives. Representative Shanley is a Democrat, and his legislative record as far as bills that he’s introduced seem to really fall in line with where most Democrats are as far as ideology and platform. So this is just, it’s very out of character for that party. I also think though it is difficult to get elected in Rhode Island as a Republican just based on the balance of power in the Rhode Island state house.
JAIME: We want to talk about another bill that you have labeled most dangerous bill. Please tell us what is the most dangerous bill. I’m dying to know what state do we need to warn now?
ASHLEY: Well, instead of the MVP, this is the MDB. The most dangerous bill currently on the books. This is Michigan House Bill 5819. We’ve talked about it on our Instagram. This is the total deregulation of all cosmetology disciplines in Michigan. This was sponsored by Representative Matt Maddock who has been reelected as of yesterday, but it has so many co-sponsors and then you’ll see a familiar name in there, co-sponsored by Representative Steven Johnson, who we talked about earlier. And this one has actually gone to the committee on regulatory reform, but it seems as though this bill has legs. It looks like this is going to move forward. I think if, if we weren’t living in a COVID world, this bill would have likely passed already, just based on the adjournment of the sessions and things, and so I need to do more research on what happens to bills that have not yet passed in Michigan. But it seems that given the number of co-sponsors, given how motivated Matt Maddock is on things he said on social media and responses he’s given to beauty industry members who have asked him about this. I have a feeling that if this bill dies in committee in this session, we will absolutely see another version of it reintroduced next year.
JAIME: Which makes me wonder, does that state house have a veto proof majority that would be able to override a Democratic governor’s veto?
ASHLEY: It looks like yes. They have, I think, close to a 60% Republican majority in that house. And so I actually have a call in to the chairperson of the regulatory committee just to see if there will be any action taken on this bill before the session ends December 17th, if there will be any hearings, if they are taking any witness slips. It doesn’t look like they are before the end of this year, but anything can happen so we have to pay close attention to House Bill 5819 in Michigan.
JAIME: And if it seems like all of the bills we’re focusing on have to do with deregulation those are certainly the easiest ones to spot, but there are oftentimes other types of bills that affect our industry that might slip by if we don’t know where to look and how to look for proposed bills that would impact us. So Ashley, let’s talk about how do we even find out what’s happening in our state legislature? We can’t just wait to read a newspaper article about something because by the time it gets to that point, to the level of being reported on, it’s moved along in the process.
ASHLEY: And then it’s too late, right?
ASHLEY: Well, I’ve learned a lot about advocacy from you and, following in your lead, as far as looking up these bills, trying to figure out where they stand, and even having a general idea of how bills become laws. First of all, that varies state by state. The session length can vary, whether it be one year or two years. It has to do with the balance of power, if something is going to be potentially vetoed or if it’s ever going to leave committee. And then just being able to read the bill dispositions. You know, something, a bill could be engaged. A bill could be enrolled. A bill could be referred to a committee and then need to be read a third time. And so when you just look at the status report of a bill, it can just send you down a whole other rabbit hole of research where you have to learn these terms to even know where this bill stands. And so it does take a little bit of time, I think, to get marinated in what these terms mean. So I’ve been using, from your recommendation, legiscan.com and just searching any state bills that have the word cosmetology in them, or nail technician, or manicurist, or esthetician, or whatever. And you’ll find there’s nine pages of results just for this legislative session that we’re in now, like our active sessions. So you have to go through each one and figure out like, some of these are just commendations for people and you’re like, okay? What does that have to do with anything? So it’s overwhelming. It, I’m going to be completely open and honest here, it’s overwhelming. And it’s difficult to kind of weed through the things that are just maybe a terminology change or a rule change in a subsection versus something that is completely striking through the entire existing law.
JAIME: A bill doesn’t even need to strike through the entire existing law to have a huge impact. And let me point out that when you have a state legislature, typically there’d be two houses. We call it senate and assembly in California. So you have senators and assembly members, and just like at the federal level, there are fewer senators than there are assembly members. And those bills could be introduced in either house, but they have to pass both houses and be signed by the governor in order to become law. So there are, as you mentioned, many steps along the way and many opportunities for input if you know that the bill exists. And if you don’t know it exists, and it moves through the process, and it gets signed into law, you’ve missed your opportunity because it’s not likely to get changed just because of all of the political effort, and will, and money, at times, that go into the process. So that you’re using something like LegiScan is wonderful because it is free to use, and once you narrow it down, like you have brought up results from various states. Most of our listeners are only going to be interested in something that applies to them in their particular state. It gets easier and easier as you start seeing the pattern of how these bills get written. And it wouldn’t surprise me if there wasn’t some template for deregulation bills because we know at a national level, there are organizations that are happy to provide that language to any state, to any person who wants to introduce these kinds of bills because that is their mission is to get that accomplished. So they’ll do all of the work and they’ll just hand the language over to a legislator who is willing to introduce.
ASHLEY: I think this year we’re all learning more and more about our political system and almost retaking civics class in learning exactly what the inner workings are and how the two party system works. And that we’re also focused on what’s happening federally that we forget that something as simple as researching the judges on your ballot can have a huge impact on your own community,as far as your safety, and the crime rate, and all these other things. And so I think as we get a little bit more politically savvy and start to remove the stigma of paying attention to politics as being a bad thing or something that we don’t have time for, I do think we need to have a short discussion. I don’t know how short it’ll be, but about our industry and how it tends to vote if it votes at all, and if we’re voting for the people in offices that actually align with our interests, or if we just vote party over everything.
JAIME: That’s an excellent point, and I think it has a lot to do with how we identify. And I don’t mean politically, I mean just how do we label ourselves. If we think about, do I align myself with politicians and policies that prioritize women? I’m a woman. Do I align myself with business owners, white people, people who live in a blue state and I happen to live in what’s considered a hybrid rural area in a blue state. I’m college educated. I mean, I could go on and on all the different ways that I can put myself in a box. But what we haven’t done as an industry is we have not all looked around at each other, our colleagues who have licenses, who own salons and said, you know what? We all belong in a really big box together. And within that box, we’re going to find lots of different people, diverse backgrounds. We’re going to have LGBTQ plus. We’re going to have, there’s so much there if we came together like that. We’d have a range of ethnicities represented. We’d have immigrants. We just, it would be a cross section of America if we were able to pull together and identify ourselves as beauty professionals, politically speaking.
ASHLEY: And I think we’ve seen that played out in front of us when we look at what’s happened with our industry through COVID versus what’s happened with the restaurant industry through COVID and the fact that the restaurant industry has multiple associations, multiple lobbyists working on their behalf. I’m not saying it’s a competition or a zero sum game here. I want everyone to survive as far as their businesses go through this, but what we talked about way back in episode one is that our industry is such an easy target for these deregulation bills. We’re the first domino to fall because we are not civically active in general. We’re mostly women. We’re business owners, and we’re so focused on building our businesses that we’re not going to be able to have the time to protest, write statements, position papers, attend hearings, or navigate the relatively complicated political system that exists. So if you want to talk about barriers to entry, we can talk about how difficult it is for a lay person to understand how they can even effect any type of change or even be able to do something as easy as see the status of a bill or find that bill in the first place. When it comes to identifying ourselves as beauty industry members first and foremost, I can say that we definitely tend to vote against our own interests in supporting the party that continues to push these deregulation bills forward. Because yes, it might be good for business in the short term, but it’s not going to be good for your business if you’ve done everything that the state has laid out in front of you and required of you by getting a license, having an establishment license, paying your employees correctly, versus the total deregulation of our industry which leaves you holding the bag and on the hook for any outstanding loan payments you may have, the education that you had to sacrifice to receive, the current prices that you charge, and on and on and on. And I’m not saying that the Democratic party is perfect, nor am I saying, we all have to agree. When you and I discussed this episode topic earlier this week, we talked about being a single issue voter and how that just isn’t possible anymore given the makeup of our country, given the makeup of our industry. We can’t be gatekeepers that get ours and then slam the door behind us. We have to be much more inclusive as far as how we think about ourselves and our industry, and bringing up those who have been marginalized, disenfranchised, and sadly, potentially deregulated at our own hands If we continue to vote for these people who show that they have no regard for our industry and are just using us as pawns in a larger game to get other professional disciplines deregulated like real estate or what have you. So I think we all need to just take a step back and set down this red and blue mentality and think about, what do I actually care about as an individual and what’s important to me? What are my values and what are my values as a human being, but also what are my values as a member of this industry, and how can I protect it, and protect the collective investment we’ve all made in our education?
JAIME: I appreciate that you use the word collective because even within the industry, we still segment ourselves according to our license specialty, according to the role that we play. So I can understand where you could have two different people in the beauty industry, one a salon owner and one an employee and a licensee, and they would come out on two different sides of an issue because instead of doing what’s best for the industry overall, they’re only thinking of themselves.
ASHLEY: And that’s, I think, true across the board. But as far as our industry goes, we’re going to continue to be this easy target until we say enough is enough. We need to work together to make sure that our future is protected, and if you’re going to look at LegiScan and just look at your own state, that’s great. I say, go for it. Be involved and be engaged with that, but if there is something happening in a neighboring state, like total deregulation, or the reduction of hours, or whatever, you should get involved in that too. With social media and how interconnected our industry is that way, it’s very easy to spread the word about things that just because they don’t directly affect you, but they affect our industry, you can still get involved that way too.
JAIME: You mentioned civics class earlier, and it’s unfortunate that in our educational system, we learn what we learn about our political system through the lens of history, not so much through the lens of what’s actually happening in the present day. And not to say that we don’t need to understand our history, but let’s face it. If you’re learning the history of the United States in fourth grade, the level of discourse is not going to be very advanced anyway, right? It’s pretty dumbed down and I think we’re learning a lot more now as adults than we ever learned when we were in a formal educational setting, unless we actually were a political science major or a history major where we focused on that, those topics. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have civics as part of our formal education just in regular everyday subjects, as opposed to taking it for half a semester. How does that prepare you to be a citizen? How does that prepare you to understand the system? And if you choose not to get involved, that’s certainly your choice, but to not even understand it, to not even know what you’re walking away from. It’s the power to control what happens to you, and your neighborhoods, and your communities, and your children. If you’re willing to concede that power to everyone else, why are you complaining? What is it going to take for you to get involved? I don’t know. There’s a lot of passivity around this. First, there’s the lack of knowledge and there’s just a lot of passive behavior. And the unfortunate part of that is, is that that only reinforces the power that already exists in the hands of those who may not have your best interests in mind. Why would they? Why would they share the institutional knowledge with you? Why would they when by keeping you disengaged, disenfranchised, it makes their life that much easier?
ASHLEY: Right. And they can continue with their agenda, legislative or otherwise, without reproach. I think if 2020 hasn’t made you want to get more involved, or at least learn more about how this works, I’m not sure what will. I think in general, we have a tendency to only respond when threatened, as far as, you know, a deregulation bill coming down the pike that would affect us directly. And we’ve mentioned this before the resounding refrain when deregulation is introduced is, who writes these bills? And secondly, are you going to pay back my loan then? So I don’t know if there is a more self-centered view than those two things, because both are easily Googleable, maybe to coin a new phrase, but I don’t want this episode to come off as a lecture. Our intention, first of all, is to inform. And secondly, to show that even through the time of COVID where public safety is at a paramount, these bills are still moving forward. They’re still working their way through the chambers and they are still working their way through committee. If this doesn’t shine a light on how little legislators know about our industry and how much it falls to us to make sure that we maintain regulation, I don’t know what will. I don’t know what is.
JAIME: We don’t even have to experience a deregulation bill to know just how much government impacts us as an industry. We’ve all just experienced eight to almost 10 months now of concern and more about the coronavirus, and we’ve experienced executive orders that have limited our ability to earn a living. That’s when we felt most threatened, as an industry. That would have been a moment to come together, and that was months before the election happened. It would have been wise of us to realize, hey, we’re all sort of looking around at each other saying, wow, okay. We’re all being impacted fairly equally, at least state by state. Now, if you were to compare one state to another, not so much, but within a state, we are being impacted fairly equally. Why not get together, realize where we have these common interests, and build these coalitions where we look at the bigger picture? Why are we in this position? What is it that they don’t understand about us? Why are we not understanding how these executive orders come to us? All those things that we’ve talked about ad nauseum in past episodes as we’ve gone through these executive orders and guidelines, that would have been the moment. And we could have done this back in the spring to think about, hey, now that we’re all talking to each other. Why don’t we consider what our priorities are and look at where we have the opportunity to flex some power? And yet we didn’t do that.
ASHLEY: And I guess in our defense, there was a lot going on, but I am hopeful that there won’t be this much going on next year. It’s very easy to check the bill introduction deadline for your state and in general, it’s something like January 21st, or March 1st, or whatever. And so if you can’t commit your full attention to this for the entire year, and which nobody’s asking you to do, and nobody has time for that, but you can set a calendar reminder for that day and just do that search of what bills are coming up on LegiScan or through your local state government website. And you can find that and take action before something passes or even before a bill is read, you can get on top of it and start creating action around it. So it, again, it doesn’t require your undivided attention at all moments of the day. There are rules long established for how our government works and yes, it’s intimidating, and yes, it’s meant to be a bit exclusionary, but it’s definitely something that you can navigate and pay attention to in the limited amounts of time that you would actually have to.
JAIME: It’s more accessible than you think and that’s why I think we’ve done a service to bring these bills to the attention of our listeners and our readers as they’re finding us on Facebook and on Instagram. We’re going to point to the ones that we feel most threatened by, the ones that have that most dangerous bill status. We will definitely want to draw those eyeballs because it doesn’t matter whether or not, as you’ve mentioned previously, you’re impacted directly. You may not be a resident of that state, but you certainly have the power to share, and amplify, and bring attention to this issue because it’s the same issue. It’s just a different state, and a different legislator, and slightly different verbiage.
ASHLEY: Yeah, and in our advocacy episode, we talked about the five basic steps to getting that process started, and how to get that going, and it’s very easy if you know where to look. So of course we’ll link to some of those resources in the show notes to get everybody started, but I think this is our call to action.
JAIME: Going back to the primary topic, what do the results tell us? And we know that we haven’t seen all of the results yet, but I could guess, and I think I’d be pretty confident in this, that as an industry, we don’t factor. We didn’t come together and act in any collaborative way that would warrant any attention. No one comes to the beauty industry and says, so what do you think about this like they would to other segments of our economy. We’re just not there yet, even though we have the numbers, we just haven’t realized our power.
ASHLEY: My absolute favorite thing to be is underestimated.
JAIME: It will be amazing when we get to that point where we do have that, I don’t want to say stature, because we’re not going to be recognized for having the most educated or the most wealthy or, I mean, we could go on and on, you know, ways we could be classified, but through sheer numbers and for all the talk of our passion for our industry, we certainly don’t show it through the way that we engage civically.
ASHLEY: Well, I think job one is to make sure that our industry understands that there is a direct correlation between our industry, the protection of it, and the future of it, and the ballot box. And that’s where I think we come in and if you’re a listener to this episode, the best thing you can do is to share it and make sure it gets into the ear holes of the people who need to hear it in our industry and so we know that we have such power if we were to come together. It’s just now time for us to wield it.
JAIME: And this is not a conversation that we have every four years. Bills get introduced every year. Elections happen more frequently than you realize unless you’re already participating. So even if you hadn’t participated up to this point, you may have never voted before. I urge all of our listeners to, if you’ve not already registered to vote, to do that. Now you might say, well, Jaime, the election’s over. Well, yeah, this election, you cannot vote in this election. That part’s done, but you can get a headstart on the next one by making sure that you are registered with your secretary of state. And that’s a very simple process to do. We’re making progress. We’re just not doing it fast enough. This will not be the last conversation we have about deregulation as we transition through the winter and we approach the new year. We’ll get a sense of what the priorities are of different legislatures and we’ll understand whether or not their focus will be on the coronavirus pandemic. We don’t know where we’re going to be in that. I don’t expect we’ll be in necessarily, in a very good place and on recovering economically. How any of these bills would fit into that. I’m not sure that there’s a good enough case that that’s where their priorities should be. So that might benefit us, but we can’t let our guard down.
ASHLEY: No, and we will absolutely sound the alarm on any new bills introduced in 2021, or that any of the bills we talked about today have any kind of change in status. If you would like to get that information, I would highly suggest you follow us on Instagram at @outgrowthpodcast for the latest updates.
JAIME: If you’re enjoying Outgrowth, leave a review on Apple podcasts with one click. Just visit bit.ly/outgrowthpodcast.
ASHLEY: Well, speaking of Instagram, we had a really nice comment come from user Halobyjbjen7 and she says, can I just tell you your podcast has been everything for me this year? I have shared it with all my stylist friends. We are all obsessed. Thank you.
JAIME: Well, thank you. We’re obsessed too, but, uh.
ASHLEY: I’m obsessed with five-star reviews on Apple. There, I’ve said it.
JAIME: They’re everything.
ASHLEY: They are everything. All right, again, this was recorded on November 4th. Things could look very different on the ninth when this is released, but we’re hopeful. I’m cautiously optimistic. How about that?
JAIME: I like that sentiment. I am too, because we know that depending on what happens at the federal level, we’re going to see either a push in one direction, or a push in the other, and whether we have to push along or push back, we shall see.
ASHLEY: I love it. All right. Well until next week, be smart.
JAIME: Be safe.