Last year when L’Oreal partnered with the United Nations and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, I was invited, along with 800 other hairdressers, to go to New York for World AIDS day.
We were all first invited to the U.N. and as we sat in the delegates seats, the ones we all see on TV, UNESCO announced that they had partnered with L’Oreal for the goal of creating a beautiful world without AIDS. Speaker after speaker, from scientists, activists, professors, world leaders, to Linda Wells-Allure Editor, and some amazing people living with AIDS, all explained that if anyone could create a world without AIDS it is hairdressers. Why? Because of the unique voice we have in people’s lives, (this part is my thoughts only, have you ever realized how much sex we talk about? Sometimes, our guests tell us, even before their partners, that they are pregnant, daily someone mentions a time of the month and we all have purchased or received sexy underwear for or for a guest. Has your plummer? Lawyer? Kids Teacher?) It is that uniqueness, the way we touch people, that allows us to use our voice, use our power, for a beautiful world without AIDS.
The next day, 800 hairdressers took to the streets of NYC with flip cameras to have 1,000,000 conversations about AIDS on the streets with strangers. It poured rain all day (cats and dogs), but still people stopped and shared their stories of people they knew or the first time they were tested or some of the myths they had to learn were wrong…it was amazing. This year, we are invited again to Use Our Voice for World AIDS day on December 1st, this time by having the conversation about a beautiful world without AIDS at beauty schools around the World. I am so excited, because I love sharing ideas at beauty schools and regularly speak at beauty schools on my own, and ironically I had a call from a friend.
Twenty six years ago I graduated from East Brunswick Vocational and Technical High School’s Adult Cosmetology Program and it is funny how many of us have stayed connected. Between Facebook and shows, it is fun to keep up with what everyone is still doing in our industry. On October 11th I received a message on Facebook from a friend I hear from regularly, “Hey Patrick...hope all is well! It sure seems like you are doing fantastic, as usual!..so...I am now a teacher at piscataway votech (who would have thought?? Lol!)...I know you are very busy, but we are doing the color unit soon and I was wondering if at any point u would b interested in coming and speaking to the girls (and boy)...about color or how u got to where u r in your career?!...we use the Matrix line Socolor and Sync” The timing could not have been better, I emailed Matrix/L’Oreal and asked if I could speak at my friend Debra Ciesielski’s class for World AIDS Day and they said yes.
I am so excited to share with Debra’s students how powerful their voices are as hairdressers and what a unique opportunity our profession creates in working together to change our world. This December 1st, what are YOU doing to USE YOUR VOICE, USE YOUR POWER and HELP CREATE A Beautiful World Without AIDS?