Monday, February 11, 2013

Beauty is Pain ... In More Ways Than One

My girlfriend, ML,  posted a blog today (here) about a horrific experience she had getting her eyebrows waxed when she was younger. And in the post, she asked her readers to share some of their awful beauty moments. I don't think there is a woman out there that can't think of at least one time (if not more than one) when she looked at herself in the mirror and thought, "What the heck was I thinking?!"

Just about everyone goes through middle school (and high school, and college, and adulthood for some) trying to figure out their identity. Where do you fit in? Are you a jock or a cheerleader? A nerd? A band geek? A drama weirdo? For girls, part of that identity crisis includes your look.

When I was in middle school, everyone started perming their hair. It was the 90s, what can I say? Well, to make a funny story sad, my family was poor. As in too poor to get my hair permed in a salon. So my mom and her friend thought it would be perfectly acceptable to buy a box from Meijer's.

My mom and her friend are Asian. At the time we had been in the US for about 10 years. I was the oldest child between both families. And definitely the oldest daughter. I have lots of thick, coarse hair. I was a guinea pig, to say the least, but I was so desperate for curly hair I let them do it. "What the heck was I thinking?!"

Four hours and about twenty "Oops!" later, my head was permed within an inch of its life. The end result was a frizzy (not curly) mess that left me looking like Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act. Needless to say, I learned my lesson. Home perms are a huge no-no. Again, we were so poor I couldn't go to a salon, which meant I was forced to endure my Asian-fro puff until it grew completely out. There were a lot of ponytails and french braids in that following year.

I vowed never again. I would never perm my hair again. Fast forward about seven years. My family had moved from Michigan to Iowa. I had a whole new circle of friends, including two attending classes at Faust Institute in Storm Lake. Yup, that's a cosmetology school.

Anyone that's gone to (or knows someone that went) cosmetology school knows that you have to do so many treatments before you can graduate. Yes, I did get another perm. I know, I said I never would, but I was older, wiser, and able to get professional advice as to the best way to take care of my hair.

But, that's not the best part.

My girlfriend needed to sign off on a wax. I thought, "hey, why not?" Not just any wax. I decided to get a bikini wax. That's right. A bikini wax at a school. In all honesty, my friend had recently witnessed the birth of my first daughter. So, there was no mystery "there." In order to get graded on the treatment, an instructor has to sign off that it was done right. Hah. An instructor was supposed to inspect my bikini wax.

When we were done, my girlfriend left to get the instructor. The instructor (Oh Helen, we love you!), instead of coming to check out my privates, hollered from the front desk, "Poon, are you happy with it?!" I yelled back, "Yup!" And my girlfriend got an A.

The things we do for beauty. And education.

What crazy/horrific things have you done in the name of the glam?

Happy waxing,

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