As someone who is often on the road or running around even when I’m back at my home base, I was immediately struck by these first few words of an article’s headline: “Traveling salon…” What I would do to get beauty services anywhere anytime (and add at a good price and then I’m set! We all can dream…).
But when I read the rest of the headline, I was floored. The article didn’t advertise a new beauty service for the privileged few. Instead it shared the story of a traveling salon in Pennsylvania called “Beauty in Transition” run by Kansas Artist Jody Wood. This salon is no Red Door. No way. It offers hair and make-up services for the state’s homeless population.
Wow. How cool is that?! And how beautiful?!
No question our homeless need access to beauty. It gives them the confidence to rise above their situation, interact with the rest of society and even find opportunities. But, as we all know, beauty treatments don’t come cheap. And so many people don’t have even have the ability to stand in front of a clean mirror and give themselves a good shave or hairdo.
Wood, along with the Asian Arts Initiative in Philly, developed this program to offer a path to greater dignity and as a way to build bridges between the homeless and the Asian community that also lives in the area.
We may think of beauty treatments as everyday tasks at best or frivolous past times at worst. But for a number of us, they are tremendous gifts that just may be the difference between homelessness and pennilessness, and self-sufficiency.
So the next time you wash your hair, get your nails done, your shoes shined or shave, realize these are all GIFTS. These small rituals not only connect us to ourselves but to society. And thanks to our fortunate situations, we have the space, the money and the resources to participate in them every – single – day.
Let’s celebrate these small gifts. Even better, let’s find ways to offer them to others who can’t celebrate them as often.