The Ugly Side of Beauty

Learning how to spot the signs of at-risk clients

Bringing light to the hidden ugliness that can lie in the lives of clients is opportune moment for any professional. Very often victims themselves are unaware or unwilling to recognise abuse, they are led to believe that these actions are part of a cultural norm that form part of their community identity. In this environment vulnerable individuals, especially women and young people, are left isolated and unable to find appropriate help and support.

Uncovering abusive behaviour, which often remains hidden and unspoken within families and communities, is part of Jeena’s mission. By training individuals who interact with these communities we will endeavour to create links that bridge this gap in order for the vulnerable to receive the right help at the right time.

The Ugly Side of Beauty programme is a series of proactive workshops that have been designed to equip the hair & make-up, beauty, fashion and wedding industries respectively with tools and guidance in raising awareness and being vigilant of suspected victims of domestic violence, forced marriages, honour based violence and sexual exploitation. And how they should report such concerns.

[blockquote cite=’Rani Bilku, founder Jeena Internationa’ ] We are an organisation that is striving to help, inspire and educate towards a definitive change in society. Jeena as a proactive charity which aims to pre-empt abuse and use creative methods to reach victims and potential victims. Thus the Ugly Side of Beauty programme is an example of such an initiative. [/blockquote]

New Campaign

The concept of Ugly Side of Beauty derived from a conversation with a hair and make-up professional who wanted to volunteer with Jeena, she was describing how she may have come across a victim of a forced marriage.

We at Jeena realised that the hair and make-up artists, fashion and wedding service providers are in an opportune position to help safeguard victims of forced marriages and hence the project became initiated. We would like to highlight that the professionals can often be in a position to bring to light hidden ugliness in the lives of their clients who are predominantly women.

The list below highlights some indictors which may alert one to the possibility of the bride being forced to marry against her will:

  • A third party called to book the appointment for a wedding – usually the bride herself calls
  • Booking was made a week before the wedding – bookings are made from 18 months-6 months before the wedding day/or if a make-up artist has cancelled due to a death/health reasons
  • On the day the bride was never left alone – depending on the bride if she wants someone in the room
  • The ambience of the house was not conducive to any wedding house – in any house irrespective of culture more so within the Asian household there is a lot of hustle and bustle, music, decorations etc.

The Ugly Side of Beauty road show will be a series of 15 national workshops running from 07th March 2016 to International Women’s Day 2017. They will be 3-hour proactive sessions specifically aimed as the hair & make-up, beauty, fashion and wedding industries. We aim to raise awareness of issues of domestic violence, forced marriages, sexual exploitation and radicalisation in communities within which these professionals operate.

The campaign will be launched throughout the year at the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies. In addition, Jeena will engage with beauty colleges and professional bodies to ensure this training and message are embedded in their curriculum. We are pleased to announce that BABTAC are supporting this initiative.

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