Beauty Parlour : A Special Cultural Ambience Essay

Beauty Parlour : A Special Cultural Ambience Essay

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The beauty parlour has been present throughout history, this space is utilized by both men and women who alter their appearance in order to conform to certain social roles and perform their identity (Black 2004:20). The beauty parlour I conducted field work in is Grace’s Beauty Parlour located in Mississauga. This beauty parlour is very popular for threading and waxing eye brows as a majority of their clients come specifically for their eye brow shaping services. In addition, Grace’s Beauty Parlour has a special cultural ambiance that caters to the employee’s Indian background, this is evident in the music and language the employee’s use to communicate to one another. This beauty parlour remains gender neutral in sense of colour, as the walls are pained white and the floors consist of white tiles. Furthermore, upon entering Grace’s Beauty Parlour one will notice a line of nine black chairs against the glass window which serve as a waiting area for customers. These chairs face in the direction of where the employees are stationed to cater to the customers needs. Additionally, right in front of the entrance and exit door there is a long white and grey colored counter that harbors the cash register, this is where customers exchange money for the serves they have received. In the extreme back of the room there are three completely enclosed rooms which is utilized by women customers who want to be waxed in privacy. There is a short but long wall that serves as a partition separating the men’s area from the women’s. The women’s area is in the front facing the black waiting chairs, while the men’s area is behind the short partition. In the men’s area there are three separate stations with black hairs, a mirror connected to a counter whic...


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It is important to illustrate the different types of roles and responsibilities between men and women within a beauty salon context in order to understand the power dynamics. According to McCracken (2014:134), gendered division of labour is due to the inequality that exists between men and women. In addition, men are placed in higher positions then women and tend to dominant the workplace as women are subjected towards the “glass ceiling” (McCracken 2014:135; Smith and Elliott 2004:365). This power hierarchy between men and women is present at Grace’s Beauty Parlour and will be further discussed by analyzing the gendered division of labour. Although, many scholars argue that a beauty parlour is merely operated and owned by women (Barber 2008:458; Black 2004:21; Morris 1995:578). Instead, Grace’s Beauty Parlour is owned by two men who have employed many women.

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