All the male stylists were gay. Super gay. And their clients were famous. Super famous. The female stylists were polite, no-drama Asian gals. The sun poured in through the front windows and bounced around the chrome and white surfaces like a spotlight on a diamond. The beauty business is a breeding ground for insecurity and self-doubt and the need to look flawless is all-consuming when you spend 8 hours a day drenched in unforgiving light.
I was tweezing a client’s brows one afternoon when I saw a petite female hastily vacating a Volkswagon Beetle just outside the salon. She flung open the door, made herself known to the receptionist and plopped onto a bench in the waiting area behind me. A stealth glance at the mirror in between plucks allowed me to get a better look. I noticed that her creamy-white legs were dotted with bruises of varying sizes and stages of healing and she appeared disheveled in her hi-top Chuck’s and thin sundress. She seemed out of her element yet utterly, even enviably, comfortable in her own skin. It took me a minute to realize it was Madonna. My only familiarity with her was via a poster that hung in Social Distortion guitarist Dennis Danell’s bedroom and the incessant fanboy gushing he and Mike Ness displayed whenever they were near it.