Tag Archives: Beauty

The Aesthetics of Gracious Plenty 

The custom of tipping service providers is arguably ancient, regardless of geographic location. Yesterday I was reminded of a cherished regional idiom: Gracious Plenty. Depending on whom you consult, the term in the United States is Southern, culinary, anachronistic (18th Century,) and of course Religious which is somewhat synonymous with Christian -(excuse the Yankees for their decadence we presume?) 

My first client of the day left my tip in an envelope when her session was finished. She wrote my name on the envelope and a personal thank you for what she appreciated about the session. I was humbled. I’ve had some adversity & I’ve struggled with it for quite some time. Arguably it has affected the quality and substance of my work, so to receive praise in addition to a 20% tip was the equivalent of a ray of light in the aftermath of a devestating storm. 

Shortly after resetting my room and a timely break, my co-worker Malia popped in the breakroom and asked if she had left me a tip. I saw no reason to question her question and immediately said “Yes, she left me cash.” Malia asked how much she left and again I saw no reason to think twice and answered honestly “Twenty. Why?” Malia looked puzzled and replied “She didn’t leave me anything.” I showed her my gratuity envelope. It had been sealed, addressed to me with a personal note written on the outside. Without hesitation I asked her “Do you want ten?” And had she said yes, I certainly WOULD have given it to her with no second thought. But Malia said “No. It’s alright. I wonder if I overlooked one in my own room?” And she left to check. 

I immediately said to another co-worker “Ooohh! This is my next blog post!” 

That was three days ago. If Malia found a tip she didn’t say anything. And since I’ve just found out I’m moving I haven’t thought beyond making time to write this post to ask her. 

What is Gracious Plenty? 

The client in question was a very thoughtful and down to earth lady. I work for a smaller spa franchise now and it’s not a hotel. The tip in the envelope addressed to me is within reasonable limits of what the majority of massage therapists and estheticians receive per one hour service on average. A twenty dollar tip has been the industry standard for the entire twenty years I’ve been a massage therapist. I have gotten tips larger than this. I’ve been with my current employer less than two months and already received a larger tip. But what about Gracious Plenty? Whom decides what the ethical response is? 

Gracious Plenty is a concept derived from Axiology. Axiology has a REFLEXIVE COMPONENT. Therefore the question of wether or not to “tip share,”and share the tip, does necessitate an UNSPOKEN UNDERLYING ETHICAL UNITY. However the premise or idea of observer bias can always be derided as a Postmodern”Loop Hole” and not JUST a metaphysical ILLUSION- value judgments CAN BE made with the wrong presumption in mind. 

It can be argued that the chain of casuality began with the client. Her choices presented Malia and I with an ethical quandry. It also allowed Malia and I to exercise our own understanding of what A “Gracious Plenty” means. 

Regardless of our individual choices, Malia and I reached a decision that seems not to have damaged our daily interactions. We still work as a team. We still assist each other and our colleagues in daily tasks and chores. I still put esthetics laundry in the wash and dryer. Malia still makes certain that her clients receive their robe, wrap and slippers before I pick them up for their next service. 

I am certain Malia does a wonderful job for her clients. And I am humbled that the guest in question overlooked her. Presumably her mind was on the last thing she experienced when checking out: the massage she received from me. But Malia ALSO attended to her requests before the client got on my massage table. Neither Malia nor I will ever know the actual impact of the facial Malia provided for this particular guest. What we do know is that the practice and experience of Graciousness is truly an internal one. The presence of Graciousness calls on each to take note: Someone has turned on the stage lighting.  

The Aesthetics of Gracious Plenty: Part Two http://wp.me/pVYGl-1su 

Beauty is power: A smile is it’s sword. – John Ray 

Baiting CAM: Commentary on Plus Sized Models

Is there an oxymoron in the phrase “plus sized model?” If there is, for whom is it relevant and why?

A writer over at The Libertarian Republic “weighed” in recently but failed to ask a “nagging” question.

In attempting to stem the tide of criticism, the writer attempts to make a moral point about weight and public health. Critics have already noted the obvious fly in the ointment here.

What is the role of an image? What is the role of those who portray an image?

This was hashed post 911 when Spain one of the “pigs” (Portugal, Italy Greece or Spain) had a size 12 model on the cover of one of the biggest fashion magazines.

Does anyone really think this conversation went away in the midsts of “austerity” cuts and Obamacare with a pooling of insurance risk and the prior incorporating of the EU?

Grab a fork I smell pork.

Dieticians and Natural Health practitioners be wary if you aren’t already. If its not one assault on privacy it’s another. I assure you.

Welcome Saxon-Hart! Spa and Wellness Pay it Forward Organization

Image

Saxon-Hart is an organization devoted to “paying it forward” in  the Spa and Wellness and Esthetics Industry based out of New York, NY. I took a few moments to ask some basic questions of their founder Heidi Burkhart.

You have partnered with ISPA. I noticed that Chef Pedro received a new suit as part of his makeover. How does this element of fashion relate to the Spa Industry in your view?

“Fashion is an expression of one’s self. When a man catches a glimpse of himself in a new, tailored suit, a sense of confidence is not only seen, it’s felt. A tailored suit is a symbol of power, of being “put together.” When Chef Pedro put on his new suit, his eyes “smiled” in seeing the inspirational man he has become, in spite of his many struggles. He does so much to ensure the healthy eating of those less fortunate. – serving nearly 600 homeless individuals a day, throughout our beautiful city. He aims to bring a high level of nutrition into their lives, while also sharing his profound love for the culinary trade. Additionally, Chef Pedro brings weekly soul searching messages to the congregations he speaks to in Brooklyn and at the NYC Rescue Mission. We were really captured by his story and wanted to give thanks to such a deserving, community minded man. While we did not work with the spa industry on Chef Pedro’s makeover, we were able to later treat his wife and daughter to Mother’s Day makeovers through our extended Saxon/Hart family. She was beyond excited about the makeover and posted several pictures of the transformation to Instagram, noting how the Saxon/Hart team is changing lives in what they do.”

Is Saxon-­-Hart strategically building bridges between Medical Aesthetics and Cosmetology centered Aesthetics by bringing these two disjointed elements of the Industry together common cause or is this an organic development for your project that is ongoing?

“Currently, we self-­-fund all of our makeovers. We are hoping that through additional funding in the near future, we will be able to grow, explore and work with more areas of the industry. We did work with the UNC Dermatology Center with our first makeover candidate, Lilli. I would love to work more with medical aesthetics and skin care practitioners. I personally went through a rhinoplasty procedure, which ultimately allowed me to be more confident. During that time, my doctor prescribed various massage and beauty treatments, which I loved. We hope to share that mindset with more of our candidates in the future.

So far your makeover projects have been for those with medical illness and disability. What social causes might your organization be willing to get involved with?

“We recently partnered with the NYC Rescue Mission for their Mother’s Day event, where we completed 70+ makeovers for homeless shelter moms. Aiming to bring awareness of the NYC Rescue Mission and the continued need to address homelessness .We were able to secure coverage of the day’s activities by several local TV news stations. The Saxon/Hart makeovers brought a fun twist to the day, making for a compelling goodwill story for local media. We were quite pleased with how the day turned out and all of the positive responses we received.”

Are you specifically interested in working with Americans or do you see a global future and application for Saxon-­-Heart’s mission?

“I am a “think big” person, so I would love if Saxon/Hart is eventually able to grow globally. At the same time, I also appreciate the mindset of “scaling back to scale up.” Our focus for now is on growing and expanding the Saxon/Hart giving forward mindset in the U.S. In due time, we hope to be able to share with the world, as well. As for further social causes, we are very open to working with the spa industry to find additional creative ways to showcase talent, while also inspiring others through the stories that we tell.”

Do you have any plans to partner with Professional organizations under the ISPA umbrella, such as Professional organizations for Massage Therapists like ABMP or NCBTMB?  What about Esthetics organizations? Particular schools or research institutions for these spa professions such as OMERI or the Miami based Touch Research Institute?

“No plans at the moment, but I do appreciate all your suggestions! Excited to meet with all in Atlanta and look forward to the possibilities for future partnerships/collaborations to come.” Saxon/Hart 584 Broadway Suite 608 New York New York 10012