Once in a bi-month, I march towards beauty salon along with the mister, for his haircut and whilst he gets it, I burrow my head into magazines (Filmfare, still being my favourite). Meantime, the proprietor makes a sly gesture towards me. Like a snake charmer, he plays his gourd-flute, referring to the new variants of shampoo, that can instantly tame my unruly hair, or about facials that will slough off my top skin and right away reveal the baby skin beneath or the hair spa that my oil-hungry hair craves. I keep shaking my head like a pendulum, right-left & left-right. Sensing my lack of interest, he swiftly moves towards another client.
But sends forth another trump card and this time a lady (who has a PhD in persuasion degree). She gives a warm smile, asks me to take a comfy seat, strikes a casual convo, then shoving her way up to my head, gently caresses the tresses. When am feeling all good, drool, she gives me a pitiful look, like my mom would when she sees my attendance card and in a mourning voice says, my hair badly needs a spa, like a dying person, needs a CPR. I bluntly interrupt and say NO, like a pro. She immediately throws a shade at my nails and says manicure is 20% off and offer lasts until today. Ah and as if I don’t know the marketing strategy, once again I say NO like an arrogant rickshawallah, who nods even before you open your mouth.
Now, she almost lets her hair down, one look at my feet and she starts grieving in front of other clients. I slowly throw a shameful glance at it and before the rest could hear the plights of my flaws, I finally succumb. Voila, that’s the way the cookie crumbles, right!
I, now reclining on a faux-fur armchair, getting the pedicure, meanwhile eavesdropping, I can hear the manicurist say to her client, “sirf mani-pedi, threading nahi karwaani? Mam, Brazilian wax karwado, sab wahi kara rahe hai, wax bhi, glow bhi “. Finally, the pedicure was done.
Behold!! Now she thrusting me forward to take a seat in the hair-cutting backrest, by instilling that my hair is more dead than alive. I am like okay, chop off the dead. Alas, the final look reveals, my yearn for Rapunzel hair is but a dream.
Thanks to the mister who came back after a long wait and haircut, before they could prosetylise me on ripping my skin off and turn me into a white bloody zombie. After shelling good money into their strategy, I thought it through, is beauty really only skin deep?
If yes, why aren’t the people comfortable with themselves, take pride in one’s bushy brow, enthralling complexion (which fool did mandate only pale is beautiful), enticing cheekbones (irrespective if it’s high or not), foxy mane (regardless if its slick straight, noodle curls or in between), bewitching smile (with or without dimples) and woah, sometimes like me and you, even our hormones are eligible to go crazy and the result, pimples (red or white) and who declared it ugly? -The Beauty Industry!
The beauty industry has built its enormous fortune by making people a miserable cow. Thereby, mandating us to stare at the mirror, hunt the fine lines, fret at smile lines, check for crow’s feet, dread the dark spots, zonk the zits and scorn the sunburn.
Of course, many of us start believing in the mystical power of whitening facials, perfect hair in a plastic bottle potions, glittery nails through manicure, impeccable skin by smearing on serums, eternal youth via botox.
If we take an honest look, we do need to look pleasant, have nicely kempt hair, conscious of personal hygiene and sport tidy apparel, maybe some DIY. Besides, cultivate a hobby, renew childhood interests, travel the globe, explore your city, connect with yourself, make new friends, read, do some origami, gardening is cool too.
There’s so much to do and so much we will never be able to do coz time is an ultimate limited edition luxury. Why not give a middle-finger salute to those who make us misspend over tall claims that never work, befitting description of beauty to fit the bills of heavy-duty maintenance.
Nothing can bring out the real beauty of a person, except for a grateful heart and a helping hand.