Fashion is not so fashionable

A recent Guardian news item reported on the dark underbelly of the false hair extensions and wig trade.. on taking advantage of disadvantaged women who are forced to part with their coveted tresses by agents lurking in prospective towns and villages.. a tale not so charming as the Gift of the Magi.

Men haven’t come a long way from being suitors looking for Rapunzels, nor have women divested their confidence in waves of mane of customized shades and textures.. 10 different hair-does for 7 days of the week, and it doesn’t really matter how big a hole it burns in our pockets, or how much of a hole it fills in someone else’s.. makes us wonder if even patients of chemotherapy would need it as badly as our whim (you can call it celebrity driven media allure too) tells us we do!

Tracing the story to Tirupati and hamlets in Andhra where hair is sorted by workers who hardly benefit from the exotic industry, we cannot ignore the corporate invasion of salons, family spas, beauty parlours, etc.. reverse caste-ism entitles brands like Naturals, Green Trends, Block & White et al to deny franchisee rights to youngsters from the traditional barber communities of Tamilnadu. And ofcourse, what have these urban centers for pristine beauty done for the untouchability of rural “hair-stylists” ?  Nothing.

Unrecognised salon workers’ unions, pathetic wages, humiliation for unmet customer targets, hiring and firing – all these pale in comparison to reports of sexual harassment and forced sex work that women beauty professionals from North Eastern regions face as a rule here.

Read for yourselves –

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