Category Archives: Best of Beauty U

[Back to Beauty U] The Exit Interview

photo of beauty school graduation diploma

For some reason, I am really nervous about going back to Beauty U for my “Exit Interview.” Maybe it’s because it sounds so formal, even though I can already guess it will be much like the entrance interview, and thus, not all that scary. Maybe it’s because it’s always a little awkward to go back to places you’ve left. (Ever quit a job and then go back to visit a few months later? Always. Weird.)

So Meg and I schedule our exit interviews at the same time, which makes me feel better. Miss Susan, the night school director, tells us we can even come in together if we want. We say yes, please and go sit on folding chairs across from her desk in the main office, where posters of pouting models with jagged haircuts hang haphazardly in the big window that faces the parking lot and the highway beyond. Continue reading


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[Best of Beauty U] Client Nine. Of Course.

This is probably the most-read post on all of Beauty Schooled, so I feel a little lazy finishing up this Best of Beauty U retrospective with it.* But I sort of love it for all of the weird nerves it touches with everyone.

Are Nine’s parents crazy abusive and warped? Or are they just taking appropriate protective measures to help their kid survive the horror of her teenage years with a shred of self-esteem intact? Am I, as many commenters have suggested, overreacting because I’m a privileged white chick who doesn’t get how par for the course hair removal has to be for young girls of hair-prone ethnicities? Are Nine’s parents infantalizing their teenager, by assuming she’s too young to make decisions about her body? Am I doing that?

Oh! How can we ever understand it all?

What I do know: This story is both shocking and disturbingly familiar. Last month, ParentDish ran this story on a New York spa touts its “virgin waxing” services. By waxing kids as young as possible, the spa owner says, you can diminish by “almost 100 percent” how much body hair they’ll have as adults. And the pediatrician consulted said the whole thing was perfectly safe, with the possible exception of pubic hair, since docs need to see how much tweens have, to know they’re developing normally.

To which I will just say: Are we so sure it can be considered “normal development” for girls to grow up never even seeing the leg, armpit, or yes, even lip hair, that nature (but not society!) intended you to have?

Anyway. Here’s Nine’s story again. I’m curious to hear what questions it raises for you this time around. Continue reading


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[Best of Beauty U] Breaking the Dress Code

This is one of the posts — and moments — that keeps haunting me. When I saw Markesha in that big black t-shirt, I was so fed up with the strange Beauty U culture that is really our whole culture, when it comes to attitudes towards larger people, especially larger women, especially larger women of color. But the goal of this whole project was to be a fly on the wall. And sometimes that meant keeping my mouth shut unless someone else was already speaking up.

This time, nobody did that.

So I didn’t either. I still don’t feel right about that. Continue reading


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[Best of Beauty U] The Man Facial

This one needs no introduction. It’s just Milady’s Pure. Solid. Gold.

Photo of a man getting a facial Continue reading

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[Best of Beauty U] Graduation Day (No, Not Mine)

Back for the final week of my own Graduation Hiatus (but I am missing you, wherever I am, sweartogod!) with this post about Leslie’s graduation. Which was one of the saddest Beauty U nights ever. Sorry for continuing that theme. Levity returns tomorrow!

Entenmann's Cake Photo

In case you still need proof that for-profit trade schools like Beauty U aren’t real schools — at least, not in any traditional, academic sense of the word — I give you this. Continue reading

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[Best of Beauty U] Miss Jenny Quits, Part 1 and 2

Another combination post for you, for obvious reasons. Because this is when Beauty U became a very sad and strange place.

Photo of Grease, "Beauty School Dropout" on Broadway

Yes, chickens, it is true.

Our beloved Miss Jenny — the Brazilian Queen, with her straight talk on body parts and refreshingly honest sales tactics — has clocked her last Beauty U. hour. Continue reading


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[Best of Beauty U] Would You Like Your Breasts Included in This Service?

Classic Miss Jenny, telling us to be okay with people’s boobs and butts. I love this, though I’ll be honest — the few times I had a client answer yes, it was tricky to massage their breast tissue without feeling like we just went to second base. Weirdly trickier than performing a Brazilian, actually. Now why would breasts make me more uncomfortable than vaginas? Just something to ponder over your morning coffee.

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