TIME MIND 6 X 20. Multidisciplinary Conference on the Culture of Beauty

On Thursday the 27th of January, the first of a series of monthly online meetings was held for managers and teachers of the Professional Training Schools, Centri di Formazione Professionale (CFP), throughout Italy, with the aim of building a new educational project together, one that will improve the professional and cultural growth of future beauty and wellness professionals.

TIME MIND 6 X 20 is the name we gave to this first meeting: 6 conferences, 20 minutes each conference, where 6 experts from the academic and scientific world took turn in a multidisciplinary relay race, talking about “Beauty”, to share knowledge, experience and many elements on which to reflect and work.

This initiative is part of the PROUD TO BE project which is aimed at promoting awareness, pride and personal and professional growth of the young people who populate Italy’s more than 450 Professional Training Schools. My profound desire is to ennoble a profession that even today, still seems to be considered almost ‘minor’, even though it has an extremely important economic and social impact.

I compiled my ideas in my book titled La Cosmetica Umanistica© (Humanistic Cosmetics) – supported by my non-profit organisation BEAUTY FORCE -, of which I wanted to make a gift to each CFP, by donating a copy to the managers, one to the teachers and one to the students, as an invitation to collaboration and, as a first gesture of alliance in the pursuit of the same ideals. Young people need to be guided both in becoming aware of their own resources and limits in terms of skills and abilities, and in building an image of themselves as a person.

I have always dreamt of creating a Liceo della Bellezza, a Beauty Highschool, that would also provide access to higher education, because Beauty has the numbers to accommodate high professionalism. Its original essence is culture, which nourishes and educates and should be pursued and discovered in every corner of our lives.

We have all learnt that places of cosmetic care are not just about external and aesthetic care, but about knowledge and relationships. Technical and manual skills are intertwined with listening, dialogue and empathy. Aesthetics are often taken care of, to cure the soul.

The beauty operator profession needs a new training approach that focuses on cultural growth and the transfer of new skills that are more in line with the new realities of the market.

I believe in a more helpful science, which goes beyond the classrooms of universities and research laboratories to make its tools available to young people. With the help of esteemed professionals and scientists from different disciplines, I want to bring the knowledge and value of multidisciplinarity to a dimension of narration of the culture of Beauty.

TIME MIND 6 X 20 is one of many initiatives to make this dream come true!

I would like to share the valuable contributions of my esteemed fellow travellers who paid tribute to the eternal values of human knowledge: the beautiful, the good, the true, celebrated iconographically in Raphael’s remarkable painting ‘The School of Athens’.

It was an immersion in the world of Science and Art, an exciting and thrilling event, thanks also to the many participants connected to the event.

Professor ALEX GEZZI Doctor, Dermatologist, Lecturer in PNEI, Artist, Actor, creator of TEATROSCIENZA – talks about Beauty through the narration of history and myths, starting with Lucy, the famous Australopithecus, dating from about 3.2 million years ago, found in Ethiopia, considered the first evidence of bipedalism. A female, she was 1 metre and 7 centimetres tall and weighed less than 30 kilograms. The name was inspired by the Beatles’ song Lucy in the Sky, which archaeologists listened to during the excavations of that expedition. Lucy is credited with the first gesture of Beauty in the history of man, an extraordinary aesthetic gesture, which she performs by picking up grass, with her two front legs, now free due to the new upright position she has assumed. Lucy brings them to her nose, smells the grass and rubs it on her body to perfume herself. Only later will she learn to use those two new hands for other activities, but her first instinct was a gesture of Beauty!

He goes on to talk about the transdermal power of cosmetics, and does so by telling the story of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the first of the seven wonders of the world. They were built by King Nebuchadnezzar to meet the demands of his wife Amytis, who wanted to have plants from which to extract essential oils and perfumes to preserve her youth and beauty. At that time there were tales of strange deaths of young women, the king’s handmaidens, who were devoted to fulfilling his wishes, the cause of which could only be understood later. It was poisoning by mercury oxide and lead oxide contained in the decorative cosmetics that the beautiful girls used to adorn their faces and bodies. This explains the penetrating power of cosmetics and the importance of regulating the substances used in the formulas.

He concluded by urging everyone to defend Beauty and learn to tell the stories that gave rise to the myths, to fall in love and make others fall in love, becoming healthy carriers of Beauty!

Professor TONI GIORGI, Professor, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Victimologist, talks to us about Beauty on a strictly psychological level. Beauty does not have the same individual dimension for everyone, he explains. When a human being is born he is in a state of neoteny, that is, he is incapable of surviving: he needs someone to take care of him. In this act there are already ways of lovingly embellishing the newborn. There is a caring for the appearance and physical well-being through washing, perfuming, the idea of making a small human being beautiful through rituals. In fact, beauty and ritual are two elements that go hand in hand. This caring for a child is an act of Beauty and Creativity, but also of Diversity. Beauty therefore, has to do with creative acts of embellishment that are not just about the human being but about the world. Beauty is a cosmopolitan concept, i.e., an idea, a becoming, an innate tension to transform the world into Beauty. It is a pacifying and attractive instinct, which in our eyes resonates as a possibility to live well and have a good quality of life. If we think about it, when we think about our future, we always imagine beautiful things. Beauty is an element of identity foundation, a pillar of one’s own identity, not only in terms of relationship with others but in terms of belonging to one’s own world. Man has an individual characteristic, transversal to all cultures, which is to tend towards Beauty as a multi-sensorial experience. Cosmetics can reactivate a sensory and emotional experience of one’s own history, one’s own context, one’s own experience through smell. Very powerful! This says that cosmetics are a foundation of being in the world and have to do with difference. Diversity is the engine of the individual’s adaptation to the world. Beauty is diversity. There is never beauty that does not contain the colours of diversity. Our face and our body is history, it is narrative, our every movement is the ability to read our inner world. This is why conforming to aesthetic canons eliminates the difference with the other by cancelling one’s own identity. To be professionals of Beauty is to have in mind that Beauty is in the respect of others and of the world also in ethical terms. Man’s well-being is not a matter of one discipline but of all disciplines, all of which contribute to the possibility of happiness. He concluded by exhorting everyone to love each other as we are.

Architect ALFREDO BIGOGNO, Architect and Expert in Sound Environments – talks to us about rethinking spaces as health environments, explaining that Beauty is already healing in itself.

Already by talking about it we create Beauty. He prefers to talk about his personal experience rather than that of an architect, claiming that he has grown professionally precisely through curiosity and direct experience with the world and Beauty. Experience has taught him to suspend judgement of what is in front of him, allowing him to overcome the wall of preconceptions that each of us usually raises in front of new and unknown things.

Studying patiently and learning to observe the space in which man moves, he tells us that he realised that transformations always take place through great suffering. Think of childbirth and how one comes into the world. The MAMI VOiCE project was created from this reasoning, thinking of a very small epigenetic space: the newborn incubator – which, just hearing the name evokes the nightmare, something negative and traumatic for a child. MAMI VOiCE is a revolutionary system through which the child can feel the vibration and sound of the mother’s voice when she is not there. The effect is one of immediate well-being for both baby and mother. Beauty is created again! He goes on to say that we now have enough evidence to say that our lifestyle and the space in which we live and work count for a lot in determining our overall Health and Well-being. This is called EPIGENETIC BUILDING©. Genes are not something immutable, but respond to the demands of the external environment.

Professor UMBERTO BORELLINI, Professor, Cosmetologist, Psychologist and author of many successful books: “Tu chiamale, se vuoi, Emulsioni”, “La Divina Cosmesi”, “Manuale di cosmetologia”, the latter at the top of the Amazon charts for 110 weeks. A real record! He enters the stage with a black plaster over his mouth. Taking it off, he begins by saying: Can I speak without censorship? Wonderful! He tells us about his great passion for teaching, which has always been a real mission for him. Analysing the etymology of the word ‘teacher’ – which derives from the Latin verb Doceo: to make known, to instruct – he insists on the importance of the psycho-pedagogical preparation of teachers. He explains how beauty professionals, hairdressers and beauticians, must have a perfect knowledge of the skin and its adnexa, just like a dermatologist, who will deal with the pathological aspect of the skin while the operator will use products and rituals to keep it in good condition. The skin is the largest, heaviest and most visible organ in our bodies. This precious tissue is generated in the ectodermal leaflet where the nervous system originates, which is why the skin is always so sincere in communicating the most profound things. It is also necessary to have a perfect understanding of the sweat ducts and sebaceous glands, which together produce the first prototype of physiological cream: an emulsion composed of an oily phase, sebum, and an aqueous phase, sweat. However, the skin can undergo changes and this hydrolipidic liquid can, in response to stimuli such as stress or hormonal attacks, modify its physical and chemical structure. So, from being a life-saving oil, it becomes a kind of rancid margarine that is highly attackable because it creates an imbalance in the microbial flora, allowing corynebacterium and staphylococcus epidermidis to infect and inflame the skin. He urges all beauty professionals to not only know about the skin, but also their cosmetic products. Like an artist must perfectly know his tools of the trade: canvas and colours, also the beauty professionals must know about the skin, hair and cosmetic products. They must be able to use all their acquired skills to advise clients in depth on the most suitable services and products.

He concludes by saying that when you know the anatomical aspects of the skin and its processes, and the INCI of the products, nothing can be scary anymore!

Professor TIZIANO PACINI, Professor, Postural Ergonomist, talks to us about posture problems, proposing solutions to solve the pains caused by demanding professions. He explains how the link between posture and environment is fundamental. Those who work in demanding jobs, such as beauty therapists, have to deal with quite severe stresses on their backs and upper and lower limbs. We live in an environment that is no longer natural, but has been flattened by human activity. Flat surfaces cause postural errors that become pathological over time. Just as smoking pollutes the lungs, our posture is completely polluted by flat ground. We all have poor posture which, at a certain age, manifests itself in disabling symptoms and problems. The link between posture and beauty is related by the fact that form and function coexist in tandem. Asymmetries show that there is a postural problem. All professions in which people spend many hours standing and with their arms in an elevated position present risks and difficulties. Special ergonomic stabilising shoes can be used to improve a person’s posture and spatial condition, resulting in better work performance and a more toned and symmetrical appearance. Posture also makes Beauty!

I conclude by saying:

More Humanistic Cosmetics. More value for the industry.

More quality in Youth Education. More value to humanity.