Joblessness and Beauty

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American companies have shed 240,000 jobs in the first three months of 2008 (per the Bureau of Labor Statistics). According to the NY Times, this means that more and more people are walking around ‘at a loss’ and feeling disconnected from their former lives. More importantly, fewer people are spending money on the luxuries of beauty: hair dye, highlights, and facials.

I bumped into a woman, last weekend, who lost her job in 2006 (thanks to me). I didn’t recognize this former colleague because her long, chestnut brown hair is now a short, cropped shade of gray. She didn’t recognize me either, because I’ve stopped blow drying my hair and I wear animal rescue t-shirts and yoga pants. Also, I have some crazy roots and my eyebrows look like I’m a body double for a Chinese Kung Fu master.

We — the ones who have opted out of Corporate America by force or by choice — are the walking wounded. We have given up more than just financial security: we have given up spa weekends, deep tissue massages, and pedicures. We have opted to pay our mortgages and pick our own zits, paint our own toenails, and spend money on Target-brand skin care products instead of luxury brands.

We wear spandex-lycra clothing and we can no longer relate to your Brooks Brothers lifestyle.

Is anyone out there jealous?

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