North Carolina Prohibits Immigrant Woman From Teaching Makeup Without The Government's Permission
Jasna, a war refugee from the Balkans, became a licensed esthetician and began practicing makeup artistry, in North Carolina, in 2010. Last October, she attempted to start an academy to teach makeup techniques to other licensed estheticians and amateurs, but was prohibited from doing so by the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Arts Examiners Chief of Enforcement. After she announced the openning of the Dahlia Institute of Makeup Artistry on Facebook, the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Arts Examiners caught wind of it and threatened her with fines unless she obtained an esthetician teacher license. Obtaining an esthetician teacher license would require Jasna to buy $10,000 worth of equipment she wouldn't need such as a thermal wax system, a facial vaporizer, and a galvanic current apparatus. On top of the unnecessary capital expenditures, Jasna would also be required to teach the state's 600 hour esthetician curriculum, only a fraction of which addresses makeup. Of the 170 performances the state requires students to complete its esthetician curriculum, only 30 are related to makeup application. In other words, Jasna would have to teach other arts in an academy exclusively devoted to makeup. North Carolina is one of thirty-six states that require a license to apply makeup for pay. Most states require people to get three to nine months of education and experience, pass two exams, and pay an average of $116 in fees just to apply makeup for pay.
The Institute for Justice is contesting North Carolina's esthetician teacher licensing requirement on 1st amendment grounds, although this doesn't get to the heart of the matter. While the occupational licensing mandate for teaching makeup certainly stiffles free speech it imposes a much greater economic burden on women interested in cosmetics, especially lower class immigrant women. The opportunity and financial cost the state imposes on would be makeup artist is the most burdensome on this demographic who don't necessarily have the luxury of spending hundreds of hours on course work and thousands of dollars on education and licensing for something that could be learned for free on Youtube. Of course, the fact that occupational licensing tends to hurt the poor is not what makes it horrendous. The principle of the matter is that you shouldn't need the government's permission to make a living: to provide for your needs and the needs of others, especially doing something as mundane as teaching about makeup. The liberty to work, is the liberty to provide food, shelter, clothing, and savings for yourself, and perhaps some luxury items if you can afford them. To prohibit a person from working is to prevent them from meeting their basic needs and saving for future needs at gun point; in short, it is to rob them of their dignity and force them into a subordinate position.