“Our secret, right?”
“My lips are sealed, I promise.”
“That’s my girl.”
“She’s very good at manipulating people. She’s good at getting what she wants.
She’s a spoiled little rich bitch and knows nothing different.”
“He was always going to hurt you. I did it for us, sweetheart. We can be together
I’m so confused...
The glamour that comes with the stigma of working in the beauty industry is just
a facade. Long hours and late nights so you can stay open for customers to come in
for their treatments after their work day, no weekends as the salon needs to be open
to customers who do have the luxury of having a weekend, the back-breaking labour
of being on your feet for hours doing massages, facials, waxing. Then there’s the
chemicals and dust you inadvertently inhale from doing a full set of acrylic nails.
Apart from all that, a beauty therapist must also play the role of a guidance
counsellor. You are used as an emotional punching bag as clients tend to open up
and tell you everything about themselves and about the problems they are having at
work, with their partners, their sex lives. No holds are barred. By the end of the day
you are drained, mentally exhausted and your body feels like it has run a dozen
marathons with no rest. And the best part of the job? You have to get up the next
morning and do it all over again.
This is a pretty good insight as to how my life runs its course. My name is Lisa; I
am a beauty therapist and have been working in beauty salons for the past seven
years. I am qualified in all aspects of beauty – acrylic nails, relaxation massage,
body wraps, facials, waxing, you get the idea. I fell into the industry right after high
school, with nothing better to do and no huge corporate businesses knocking down
my door to offer me a high paying job in a clean, comfortable office like I had
I had no idea as to which direction I wanted my life to lead into after school. I was
18 years old, no official skills or qualifications however I was ready to make some
money to save for my future. Working part time in a bakery was not going to one day
buy me my own house, nor could I stand the smell of freshly baked bread any longer
(as much as it is a delicious aroma to most people).
I walked into a nearby salon one early afternoon on my lunch break from the
bakery after catching a glimpse of my unruly eyebrows in the reflection of the
gigantic stainless steel oven. A middle-aged woman with beautifully manicured
fingernails, impeccably styled blonde hair and carefully applied make-up greeted me
with a warm smile and a gentle handshake. She was dressed in charcoal tailored
pin-stripe trousers and a crisp white shirt, complete with stylish gold jewellery
decorating her ears and neckline. She looked more like she belonged in corporate
“And you will give yourself to me completely. Think of it as though I am your
teacher and you are my student. Trust me; we will never want to be apart from each
other. I will look after you forever.”