Objection to Pope’s address to hairdressers
To the Editor:
Last week, Pope Francis addressed a group of hairdressers at the Vatican.
His address was as follows; “[God] encourages you, above all, to practice your profession in a Christian style, treating customers with kindness and courtesy, and always offering them a good word and encouragement.
"Avoid giving in to the temptation of gossip that easily creeps into your work environment. We all know it.”
His address included the direction for hairdressers to stop gossiping to their clients.
My reaction to his address was shock and disbelief. How can someone of his stature take a whole profession and stereotype them into a very small category?
For someone who has been a hairdresser for the past 45 years, I do feel that I have a great deal of experience with communication. The relationships that we have with our clients are a very special and unique, and yes we do talk to our clients, and yes, they do talk to us.
They are in a safety zone. A neutral place where they can share what’s on their minds without fear of it going anywhere else. On behalf of all of the professional hairdressers who I know and work with, I personally take offense at the Pope’s address.
True gossip is malicious and about undermining someone else to make you feel better, and that is not what the majority of hairdressers are about.
This address was not about Christian values, but moral ones. Our profession is unique. Unlike any other as we are able to touch the lives of so many people on a very personal level.
Helping someone change the way they look and feel about themselves is a very noble profession and a true art. Don’t take the sins of a few to discredit a whole profession.
I’m sure Pope Francis and Catholics as a group are not be happy when people stereotype all priests the same way.
Jane Seymour Levinsky