A Beautifying Experience

Manon Meyer

Vreewijk in Rotterdam was the location of her research. The neighborhood reminded her of herself growing up and it didn’t feel quite right. She wondered if she could extract the positive feelings and review the negative memories. Her project had merged with her personal goal to open up to others. In order to connect with the neighborhood, she forced herself to look for aesthetic and beauty. This is how she encountered the numerous beauty salons: nineteen alone within the circle and many more in people’s private home. These beauticians play an important role in a neighborhood. It is a human-centered practice and it connects people through gestures, personal attention and physical contact. Some women walk out with more self-confidence, others had a much needed moment of relaxation. It is a memorable moment. They build up a community based on care and trust. According to Manon, beauticians embody the cornerstone of local life. She visited those beauty salons on appointment: they did her eyebrows and nails a couple of times. She got to know the ladies started feeling more comfortable. It gave her inside into their business model. They offer a product which becomes a temporary part of yourself, like a medicine. Their care will fade away and their clients will come back.

Beauticians pay a lot of attention to the way they treat their customers. A large variety of people visit their salons such as elderly, unemployed, parents raising children, teenagers, workers, etc. It has become a community of its own: a true representation of their neighborhood. This is why those salons are singular and can not go big. They will lose their inherently human aspect. Beauty salons are offering more than a service, they offer an experience. As an ode to this, Manon made a social awareness campaign in favor of beauty salons: Time and Trust. She aims at celebrating and acknowledging the strength and importance of beauticians in a neighborhood. Time and trust are posters hacked in Vreewijk Billboards. All locations and explanations can be found on the website http://time-and-trust.com

Research File