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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Women and the Salon

BBC World Service - The Documentary, The Salon

"A woman trusts 2 people with her head. The first person is a psychologist. And the second is the hairstylist...

[In Japan] 'As women who work at the department store, we are particularly told not to dye our hair red or blonde. Also, we have to tie our hair back so it doesn't fall down when we bow. Every day at the morning meeting, there is a check to make sure we look respectable.'

There's only one acceptable colour of hair for women in Mamie's [sp?] workplace, and that's black. So she heads to the salon to have her grey roots dyed black again...

My husband had got me a dog without so much as a word. She's family. If it wasn't for Mini, I probably would have split up with my husband. We have lots of conversation through the dog. She mediates. When I'm with Mini, people always talk to me so I've made new friends...

'For some women, an important aspect of womanhood is being a mother'...
'Another aspect of a woman's identity could be her sexuality'
'One could be her religion'
'Now imagine a woman who's struggling to come to terms with all 3'
'What does she do?'
'She gets a haircut'
'What I'm saying to myself with my hair is body ownership. I choose. It's the only part of you and your body that you can shape and really personalise. It's my body, it's my hair. It belongs to me. I can say yes and I can say no'...

'The voluptuous Westernised version of sexiness is beyond their reach as Japanese. So instead of sexy, they go for cute'
'Typical Japanese figures are not really sexy, are they? Maybe about 1% of us can be sexy. Girls are short, so are boys'
'Perhaps because we are cute to start with. Westerners can look good. They are cool'
'They just wear H&M and just look so cool'
'The Japanese are cute, so perhaps we are emphasising the Japanese cuteness.'
'I'd actually like to look more grownup, but with my face and I'm short, so it doesn't really work. So I try to most out of what I have and be cute'
'We Japanese want to look young'...

[On Brazilian hairstyles in South Africa, costing almost $400] 'I need to consider Tracey's brothers as well. Their needs and some of their wants'

This is Tracey's mother, Hope. When it comes to Tracey's looks, Tracey pays for everything. Nails clothes, shoes, hair...
'The cost of Brazilian is the cost of what some people pay for rent... just so she can look good... Tracey and myself take the huge chunk of my income: 20% would go to Tracey and myself. For our hair and our clothes and beauty in general... Young girls go for good things. And good things require money, so as a parent if you can't afford to give your child what they want, they'll look for men that have the money to support them, and that I can't have that in my house. I need my child to concentrate on school.

Time for rich men will come in the near future. Maybe 10, 15 years from now... My child needs to look good, my child is an extension of me. So you look at my child looking good, you expect the mother to look just as good or better'...

It was difficult as a woman to find someone to cut her hair as short as she liked it.

'I used to go to barbers' shops before and they always did a bad job. The looks you get when you walk in because you're a woman turning up at a barber shop, historically a place where men go to get their hair done, you'd kind of feel unwelcome'

'And why didn't you go to hair salons?'

'Oh, god. They're even worse. Firstly they charge you astronomical prices for like a 2 minute job and also when you say short you never come out with the shortness that you asked for. It's like their definition of what short hair should look like'

The reason women get charged more is because they're more fussy (despite the lady who got short hair complaining it was discrimination for women to be charged more than men)
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