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
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
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
This one needs no introduction. It’s just Milady’s Pure. Solid. Gold.
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!
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
Another combination post for you, for obvious reasons. Because this is when Beauty U became a very sad and strange place.
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
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.
It’s fun to read this one and realize how much better I really did get at working on clients. The weirdness of touching strangers more or less disappeared. I got more used to the odd sounds and awkward comments. I always felt more comfortable with the client in the spa bed than out under the bright lights of the salon floor, though.
So. Upselling. Little did I know when I wrote this post how much it would be our raison d’etre out on the clinic floor. I really admired how Miss Jenny handled the situation — a few weeks later, Meg and I went over a similar sales technique lecture with another teacher, who just completely didn’t get what we were so upset about. “You have to make the sale,” she said. “That’s just what it comes down to. You do what you have to do.”
Here’s the secret to having a successful salon or spa, in one word: Continue reading
Ah yes, our post-Christmas slowdown. Which was followed by a brief spring/early summer speed-up and then quickly replaced by a major summer slowdown. As mentioned in my graduation post, most of my fellow Beauty U graduates are still job hunting. So I think we may need to rethink this whole “recession-proof” concept.
Business is not so great at Beauty U right now. Continue reading