“It’s more important to look good than it is to feel good”
While the percentages are starting to shift a bit to more men, women in senior living still dominate with the 80/20 rule. Part of this is due to the fact that older women don’t remarry as much as older men with basically the 80/20 rule again. Yet owners, top executives and developers in senior living are almost exclusively male. The conundrum begins with these facts as males tend not to understand the importance of a woman’s perception of her beauty and its impact on a female's well being and quality of life.
“It’s more important to look good than it is too feel good”
While this may sound shallow there is something to putting on your best clothes, getting your hair and nails done and putting on makeup that makes it difficult not to feel pretty. When you look better your spirits rise. Your step is more thoughtful…. People notice you and compliment you….. They pay attention….. To a women in their 70’s, 80’s, 90’s etc. their husbands would tell them they were beautiful. Their friends at church would tell them, and they ritually showed up at the Beauty Salon weekly. My generation may show up once every couple months in contrast. They would have their hair washed and set, catch up on each other’s lives and walk out with a fresh outlook on life for the next week not only because of the head massage but because of the sense of community created. And let’s not forget they felt pretty and “remade” ready to address the world again.
Trying to explain the value of this activity over the past 20 years to the men who control the purse strings in senior living is like trying to explain to me how fishing could be fun!
There are numerous studies that show women communicate verbally more than men. Providing a familiar space for this is almost like group therapy. As your loved ones die your circle becomes smaller and smaller, sharing with others the ups and downs and expanding your circle through surrogate relationships is critical. My 91 year old grandmother knows everything about her friends at her salon's extended families and they know hers. It’s a wonderful thing.
160 billion dollars a year globally are spent in the beauty industry. Anti-Aging is now an 80 Billion dollar industry due to Baby Boomers according to a recent article in the Huffington Post. The investment for this space is critical to senior not only in dollars but in quality of life.