In second grade my mom took me to her beauty parlor. She wanted my hair cut. Her regular guy – I cannot remember his name – said, “You want short?” Mom said, “Yes.” And then those dreaded words, “Like mine.” Mom wore her hair boy short. I was a girl going into 2nd grade, and I know I didn’t want boy short. But that didn’t stop them. The look on her face after was priceless. A deer caught in the headlights of her own making.
But she’s not the one who had to walk the walk of shame into the classroom. I was. Not only that, I had the pleasure of being late for school (again) because of my mom (again). I had to walk into class already in session, where everyone turned around and watched, and I had to make my way to the lunch money box, put away my day’s money, and then get to my desk, put my backpack down, and then walk back and join story circle. I was painfully shy ever since that kindergarten underwear incident in which my mother thought bloomers were the *it* of kindergarten fashion. All those eyes on me. Then the snickering started.
I never forgot that day. Never. And to this day, I’ve never worn my hair short.
That incident is the focus of Damage Control: Women on the Therapists, Beauticians, and Trainers Who Navigate Their Bodies (edited by Emma Forrest.) A book of essays on women and the various life changing, perspective changing incidents involved in the beautification process women go through.
I really enjoyed the stories. Not all of the stories resonated with me, but that’s to be expected from that many different sources. But I triumphed with some, was aghast at others, and felt sorry for some. This is not a book about horror stories… It’s simply a collection of experiences. Some of which you’ve had. A very interesting read – I recommend it.
Traditionally, women share their secrets with their hairdressers. But what about their manicurists, masseurs, chi gong teachers, and tattoo artists? In Damage Control, women wax poetic about the experts and gurus who help them love themselves, sharing stories of everything from friendships born in the make-up chair to the utter dismay of a truly horrible haircut.
Minnie Driver finally meets a Frenchman who understands her hair . . . and tries to teach her not to hate it.
Marian Keyes remembers the blow-dry that pushed her over the edge.
Francesca Lia Block tells the ugly story of the plastic surgeon who promised to make her beautiful.
Rose McGowan explains why it’s harder to be depressed when you’re glamorous . . . and shows how it takes a village to transform from mere mortal to movie star.
Witty and wise, Damage Control is an intimate, sometimes dark, look at our experiences with the professionals who pluck, prod, and pamper every inch of our bodies—and a reminder why we surrender ourselves to their (hopefully) very capable hands.
Overall Review: Positive