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  • Writer's pictureShruti

go for the threading, stay for the insults?

So I went to the salon yesterday. I wanted to get my eyebrows threaded. No big deal. <15 minutes in and out. I was excited. It was the first day in over a month that I had the energy – and the time – to go take care of it. I may not be able to control the weight gain, but at least I can keep up with these little things that keep me from feeling completely un-presentable. I know, I know, I need to get over the weight issues. I’m working on it, I promise.

The salonist (?), however, felt a need to comment not only on the fact that I’d let my eyebrows get unruly, but also on the fact that I should really be taking care of myself better,

“[I mean] look how much weight you’ve gained. A girl your age shouldn’t be your size. You need a good figure to get around in this world […(I tuned her out here as I tried to count backwards from 10)].”

Counting backwards from 10 didn’t work. I was livid. I couldn’t figure out if I should cry or scream at her. Had I a more violent disposition, I probably would have been inclined to slap her. It was just so RUDE! I was well aware of how my eyebrows looked, and that comment was directly related to why I was there. To her, I’m sure it seemed like I couldn’t take a quick 15 minute trip, so OK, fine, make a comment. After all, her money comes from how often people visit right?

Still, there was really no excuse for the weight comment. It was not directly related to any services they provide. Moreover, it was unnecessary. I didn’t come in for a weight consult or a beauty consult of any kind. It’s not like I don’t know that I’ve gained weight, or how our society views fit people versus out-of-shape people, after all. I realize that perhaps it’s my own fault for thinking I could separate the concept of vain beauty in terms of things like eyebrows from body image issues … but she could have kept her opinion to herself, right?

Finally, I let loose with a (tone-controlled) ear-lashing. I informed her in no unclear words that I am, in fact, quite ill and I come here as often as I can work up the energy to do so, but frankly my health is more important than my eyebrows. I told her that she should try being so ill that she can’t get out of bed some days, then add on a boatload of meds that all cause her to gain weight and see how what kind of shape she’s in. She looked confused, but apologized profusely.

I left the salon with the realization that while I could elicit an apology, and, perhaps, some more polite behaviour in the future, I couldn’t really make her understand why I was so upset because it was so far outside the realm of her own experiences. On the other hand, would it have been better to leave well enough alone and just assume she wouldn’t get it anyway?

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