Oct 19, 2010

Tore Up from the Floor Up

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’ve always been a pretty good student.

Then I went to beauty school.

The “school” part was easy for me; I scored 100% on most of my tests on Diseases and Disorders of the Skin and Scalp, and aced my essay on Salon Management.

The “beauty” part—well, that was another story.

When our first set of grades came out, I learned, much to my dismay, that we had been graded on personal appearance. I got a C.

“Ju need to ware maykup,” Miss Lupe told me during our midterm conference.  She picked up my hand and studied my gnawed-at fingernails. “¡Híjole!  Ju need a mahnee-cure.  And maybe dress more fancee, no?  Like a cosmetologist. And jor hair," she shook her head in desperation. "Ay.  Ees no good.”

Needless to say, I was mortified.

I mean, sure, I was kind of a low-maintenance gal.  No, I did not see the purpose in getting up an hour early to put on makeup and style my hair, only to spend the day with a bunch of other students and a truckload of demented $6 wet-set clients from the senior center. And yes, I've been called a "hippie".

But a C? Really?

Could it be that college had prepared me for taking tests and writing papers, but failed me on a more important level? My mother’s voice rang in my ears: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Shut up, voice!

Well, my first, completely elitist instinct was to scoff at the school’s misplaced priorities. Sure, this was beauty school, but if I knew how to make other people look good, why should my own looks matter? Shouldn’t I be judged on my abilities rather than my looks?  Hey, I SCORED HELLA HIGH ON MY SATs, goddammit!

The feminist in me even wanted to take off my bra, douse it with Aqua Net, and light it on fire right in the middle of the waxing and facial area. But eventually I resigned myself to the fact that looking good might not be such a bad thing after all. Besides, the teacher’s pet in me longed for approval and, moreover, a grade higher than a C. And so I invested in a little MAC Studio Fix to even out my complexion.  I learned that a little lipstick goes a long way.  I started wearing heels and pantyhose to school. I even tweezed my eyebrows and got a full set of acrylic nails.

Anyway, I was reminded of Miss Lupe’s gentle chastising today, when I heard about an email circulated at Columbia University-- coincidentally, one of the schools I attended before embarking upon my career in cosmetology. Reading it, I couldn't help but think that, in my case, the memo had come a decade or two too late; although, I can safely say that nobody ever had to tell my scholarly, low-maintenance ass to bathe. Um..ew? Gross. 

From Dealbreaker:

To: ‘ibc-members@bettyblue.gsb.columbia.edu’
Cc: ibc-board@bettyblue.gsb.columbia.edu
Subject: [IBC] Personal hygiene

Dear 1st Year Members,

It has come to our attention (through complaints from IBC board representing firms they are going to full time) that some of you may not have followed personal hygiene basics during recruiting events. We understand that it is an incredibly intense recruiting period, and is very hard to find time for yourself, but this is a friendly reminder on some dress code and personal hygiene basics:

§ Brush your teeth regularly, or have a mint/mouth refreshers before going to recruiting events (avoid chewing gums)

§ Carry anti-perspirant with you if you are worried about sweating. Don’t wear too much cologne/perfume

§ Carry a sewing mini-toolkit, in case your suit hems need an emergency sewing

§ Professional haircuts

§ No backpacks with you

§ Men – no tacky cufflinks or watches (with no crazy patterns, silver is preferable to gold)

§ Women – wear (preferably skin colored) hosiery and always carry an extra pair in your bag

§ Women – if it rains, do not show up in rain boots, no matter how cute you think they are

And again, if you have ANY concerns, please do not hesitate to share with the IBC Board!

A reminder, yet again, that all I really need to know I learned in beauty school.  Sigh.
  • Stumble This
  • Fav This With Technorati
  • Add To Del.icio.us
  • Digg This
  • Add To Facebook
  • Add To Yahoo


Tiny Noodle said...

Skin colored hosiery! GAG me!

tsada kay said...

That's what I said, Noodle. But believe it or not, we could be *suspended* for going without hosiery or, worse, for the cardinal sin of wearing socks. The horror.

Unknown said...

And yet they are a still T10 b-school...go figure

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.