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During World War II, the American government ordered a 20% curtailment in cosmetic and nylon manufacturing to support the war effort. However, the beauty industry quickly counteracted these federally mandated sanctions that had the potential to cost them millions of dollars in lost revenues. Industry professionals very cleverly stepped up the promotion of lipstick, as well as leg makeup, and labeled their business-driving strategy a “wartime morale-booster.” Not only did these top cosmetic executives avert a financial catastrophe, they created a solution that served to rally support and filled women from coast-to-coast with an enormous sense of national pride.
Women who lived through this period, many of whom are now in their mid-80s or older, still maintain that drawing artificial nylon seams down the backs of their legs with grease lead cosmetic pencils in an attempt to replicate the appearance of nylon stocking seams was the least they felt they could do to show their support during wartime.
Although most people would rather not acknowledge it, history does have a way of repeating itself. What inevitable or unpredictable changes in the economy are in store for skin care professionals? If a sudden event were to occur and the result was a financial backlash that affected our livelihood, would today’s spa industry be as prepared to put another spin on it? Could it muster up the ingenuity to devise comparable solutions and perhaps even latch onto less obvious opportunities?
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