Nearly four hours of Day 33 of the Nowhere To be Project was spent at a salon. I am not great at keeping up with my hair and it had reached the point where a salon intervention was essential. I was raised in a home where my Mom and her sisters loved the salon experience. They referred to their favorite salon as “the beauty shop” and visited it at least once a week. Just think of Truvy’s salon in the film “Steel Magnolias” and you’ll know what the beauty shop was like back then. It was bustling with women, activity, aromas, curlers and most of all gossip.
My time at the salon on this day taught me that things have not changed at all at the beauty shop. The hum of the dryers are drowned out only by town gossip. In the four hours that I was imprisoned in my chair, I learned of personality conflicts within the salon, marriage and parenting woes, terminal cancers, weight struggles, money problems and one impending proposal of marriage. What is it about a beauty shop that draws out the most personal details of one’s life?
I suspect that the answer lies in vulnerability. We enter the salon and we’re stripped of our attire and placed in robes. We’re plucked, dunked, painted, cut and blown as we glare at hideous mirror reflections of ourselves throughout the metamorphosis. It is then that the stories and scandals tumble from our lips. Through the chatter, we’re restyled and fortified in ways that we didn’t know we needed. The experience almost convinces us that Miss Truvy was right when she stated, “there’s no such thing as natural beauty”. Almost.
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