Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Snapshot 7: Beauty Parlor

In case you missed it, the Snapshot series began here.

My Mom used to tell me stories about her mother.
The grandmother I never knew.
She would go every few days to the local Beauty Parlor.
To have her hair set.
It became an idyllic 50's scene in my head.

Ladies sitting under driers in curlers.
Tiled floors, chrome and bright vinyl.
In front of huge mirrors.
Laughing about the latest news.
Heads full of curlers.
Local community sharing the mundane.
Doing hair.

I just never in a million years expected to find the same thing in Congo.

We were preparing for a big university women's event.
We had planned to dress up over at her house before arriving.
Could I just follow her to the hairdresser's for a few minutes?

Unexpectedly, I was transported to that idyllic 50's Beauty Parlor
in Congolese veneer.

Three women in shiny chairs.
Heads full of curlers,
(one under a drier!)
Discussing women's issues.
Local gossip.
Should women really be allowed certain freedoms?
Real questions were argued.
Laughter over the latest news.
In front of huge mirrors with a few cracks.
Plastic chairs, peeling linoleum, wooden shack on a dirt road with a generator and extension cord coming in through the boards in the wall to make things work.
Local community sharing the mundane.
Doing hair.

The decade, the country and the language may be different. 
But I'm sure it was the same Beauty Parlor.

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