Beauty-full of woes

Ma'm you have a lot of scars and pits on your face. Please take blah blah facial. That will also help reduce the dark circles and the tan.
Ma'm you have so many white and black heads!
Ma'm your feet are black. This colour nail polish will not suit you. This *taking out a horrendous pink colour one* will look nice.

No thanks. I have black feet, so please put on the one I have chosen.

No prizes for guessing where this conversation could have taken place. A place where ironically we go to feel and look better. By no standards can the above tete-a-tete lift someone's spirits. Let me add here that I do not particularly look forward going to the parlour even otherwise but, like many of my friends from the same clan may agree, I also cannot avoid it. I don't know if it happens to all but I get the feeling, each time, that I am a perfect candidate for all the beauty products (read improvement solutions) available . Yes, it could be a marketing strategy used on everyone to tap weaker souls who may end up getting all the treatments suggested. This could well be taken as a well-meaning comment. After all they are only helping you get that flawless fair-looking skin. I may be over-reacting by ranting out like this. But in a country so obsessed with fair and flawless beauty, looking good does become a narrower concept and one really cannot blame the lesser mortals if they do end up feeling victimized. So, what is the solution?

Avoid the particular parlour
- and go to another where nothing is very different.

Avoid parlours altogether - As I said earlier, that is a necessary evil. I also see it as a much needed break from monotony to pamper myself.

Wallow in self-pity - oh! that I do often and it does not help. There has to be a better one.

Ignore such remarks and/or the attendant
- by far the logical solution. But it is easier said than done. You want to burn their tongue with your eyes and maybe spit venom as a fitting reply. But again, it is not worth it. They need to be around to err..serve you. Besides, they may take revenge by threading your brows too thin or cutting your hair too short. You cannot take chances to survive such image-damaging accidents.

As an after thought I feel perhaps it is not the attendant's fault too. The art of sophistication comes in handy when the truth needs to be told. Don't you think when a person signs up for a beauty course, he or she also needs to be given a refresher on soft skills like communication. Most of the attendants are young people who are not by nature vile. They do not mean to be hurtful. They are just ignorant of a more polished diplomatic way of communication. But isn't this of prime importance given that they are dealing on a one-to-one basis with people, most of whom, lets say, have a lot of imperfections vis-a-vis vital body parts? The customers are conscious of it and definitely do not need to hear it explicitly especially at a place where they come probably to face their demons bravely.

Had we had it all perfect, we wouldn't be their customers in the first place, right?


  1. It is also a way to increase their business. When we suggest a facial, they always ask us to go for another one which will usually be more expensive. they will also list out all the advantages of that facial which can include more glow, more fairness, less tan, less scars etc etc... I feel its all about getting more money...

  2. haha.. nice post uma... especially the starting few lines(the italic ones)... :) your post reminded me of the day when i had had gone to a beauty parlor and the lady there gave me a detailed explanation on how my extended/elongated(whatever she meant) cheek bones and chin required me to have a particular length of the eyebrows.. :D :D

  3. Uma, so true! having faced the same problem so many times myself, it comes as a pleasant surprise when the folks at the parlour DON'T comment and instead just go abt their job! In an industry where every roadside corner has a parlour (our very own cottage industry), I doubt there is scope for large-scale soft skills. I have noticed places like Lakme and Kaya impart such skills to their employees, but how many of us go to such chains? I think u shd give as good as u get - but be nice about it - so that they don't spit into ur mask or something :))))

  4. That's an eye opener for me Uma.. haven't come across it much myself probably because in the last few years I have a lady who comes home and does my beautifying :). Also otherwise I only go to Lakme, where they do try to push you into the higher facials/pedicures but don't usually get too personal!

  5. Tan: I agree..very true...glad am not alone..:-)

    Radhika: thanks..:-) lol @ the elongated cheek-bone funda..these guys truly go beyond themselves..

    Aparna: yep. It's very rare that you visit such chains and I agree with you about giving as good as you get..will equip myself with some fitting replies next time..;-)

    Aparna: ah the lucky you! even I would prefer a at-your-door service.

  6. yeah, 'maam, you hair is dry. use this oil and conditioner. maam, you have pores blocked. do diamond/ platinum/ gold/ silver/ bronze/ brass/ aluminum facial. maam, you need mani/ pedi.' eeeeeee.... I could go on and on how they tell u abt ur imperfections!!! a while i had written this ...

  7. Purnima: :-) Yeah I had read your post long ago and wanted to do a similar post then...will go and read again..

  8. its quite horribel sometimes! i dread going to salons because of this!

  9. Raam Pyari: Welcome here Raam Pyari!
    Very true..I try and postpone the visit till it gets inevitable..:-)

  10. Hey Uma
    Yepppp can really feel that angst. I went to a parlour recently after more than 1.5 years (yeah, I'm a fuzzy teddy bear all right!) and felt that for all that plucking, scrubbing, snipping and hurting they do, they charge so much more of a bomb these days!!
    I love snubbing them with statements they can't get...that's my way of getting back at them. I can be mean and vicious ;-)
    One other option to not going to the damn parlour -- get hold of your best friend some afternoon -- make face packs at home with basic stuff- banana, honey, watermelon etc -- you pamper friend, friend pampers you -- both of u get time to chat too and don't forget to shower each other with compliments! Yes it's a little bit of an effort that goes in there but hopefully there won't be much judgement ;-)

  11. Forever mother: they Do charge a bomb and I did try a do-it-yourself at home for a year and a half until R was old enough to stay with hubby for a considerable amount of time. Somehow, the result was not to the mark and also at home I never get the absolute 'alone' time.

    Loved to have you back come more often..:-)

  12. Sometimes changing a parlor helps too. There are some people who don;t go out of the way to sell their services. Then if you are going regularly to a particular parlor and a rapport is established it gets easier to say a clear cut "no I have come for just this only, so if you please..." :-)

  13. Hey! You have been tagged. Details here - - Simran
    And I wouldn't even want to get started about parlours. I have been changing them so often in the last year just to try and get a good one :(

  14. Sharda: Somehow I find all of them the same. In fact initially they may keep quiet as though to test the waters. Once you frequent they start taking liberties in guise of well-meaning comments.

    Simran: a tag? will hop over to see.

  15. "You should do this facial atleast twice a month ma'am", or "Use our this n that face pack at home..." blah blah blah... If they can't find imperfections to comment on, they find other ways to try n boost their business... Thankfully I found a parlor near my place which does not indulge in such "suggestions" and that's a relief :D

  16. Namratha: it's a universal problem, looks like..:-) good for you that you found a less-pesky one..


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