Eve's Domain

The Changing Face of the Vizag Woman

24th Sep, 2004

If you are under the notion that even today the Vizag woman's idea of make-up and grooming is talcum powder and the bindi, think again.

The concept of Beauty in Vizag has undergone a sea change. The whole gamut of beauty therapies has undergone a transformation and so has the psyche of the Vizag woman. The vibrant women of the city are now ready to assert themselves and are fast catching up with the women in the metros. With this has also come the realization that a "beautiful you" means a "Confident You" and a confident woman will be noticed.

Today's woman does not quite conform with the mental picture we have of the Vizag woman of the past. No matter what her age, she is beauty conscious and health conscious. Good health is of course essential for a beautiful look and a healthy you.

The acute awareness of one's looks, amongst the women, is probably due to the change in life style, the media, increasing affluence amongst the middle class, financial independence of women, and the emergence of the high profile beauty treatment centers in our city. 

The players in this sector are not all big establishments and big names; a positive fallout is that there is a booming 'cottage industry' working in parallel and has generated employment for a certain category of women who have gone in for training (formal or informal) in beauty treatments. These women are welcome, as they do not mind making house calls and are easier on the purse. 

On the subject of Beauty it is interesting to note how even the type of treatments available have changed. Chemical based products were out a long time ago but what is in are 'Botanical Extracts' and Fruit Acid treatments. Unwilling to compromise on the quality, women today in Vizag, as in other up market areas of the country, prefer products based on coconut or palm oil, sugar, algae, wheat germ, marigold, chestnuts and even mushroom extracts, to name a few.

Hair extensions and Mono Fibre hair, and coloring of hair into outrageous hues is fashionable, Perms are back in a big way, and mind you, all these are for women from 15 to 50, age no bar!

How much of this change in attitude towards appearances stems from within and how much of it is due to pressure to 'look good' in a society that is increasingly placing a premium on appearance over other factors is something worth thinking about. After all, it doesn't seem right when barely adolescent girls go in for a facial when they should be out playing hopscotch. Another factor that is driving growth is the fact that multinational cosmetic companies (such as Revlon, Chambor etc ) faced with stagnant markets back home find 'third world' countries such as ours their only option.

Beauticians of Vizag too have transformed themselves to meet client needs, have upgraded their skills and are ready to encounter the challenge. The beauty salons in the city have the capacity to attract both the young and the mature woman, catering to individual clients to meet their specific needs. As the dynamic proprietor of 'Do Up' Sathya Prema says, talking about one popular treatment, "Fruit acid treatments result in deeply cleansed pores, improves wrinkles, purifies acne prone skin and gives a fresh complexion". Fortunately, her clients realise the advantages of such treatments.

The charismatic Supriya of 'Senor Senora' feels that the stress of modern life is taking its toll on our skin and hair. But goes on to add that, with advanced technology, we can stagger and even prevent the harmful effects of the environment. 

Two new entrants into this market are the Lakme Beauty Salon run by Mrs.Parminder Sandhur and VLCC run by Mrs. Neelam Sharma. The latter catering to both body and beauty treatment makes us aware of the fact that beauty is not just about cleansing and toning the face but also the body. Here clients are given tips on hygiene and 'Body Polishing'. Mrs. Sharma's clients are not only girls of marriageable age, but also women between 35 and 45, all of whom are conscious about the importance of their health and their looks and the fact that it should no more take a backseat in their lives. 

While the Lakme Beauty salon claims to have superior service based on the Lakme name, Vizag women will be the final judges of this. 

Even stalwarts in this field, such as Mrs. Asha Jain attest to the fact that the demands of the women of Vizag in sofar as beauty therapies are concerned, are fast changing. She is acutely aware of her importance and the need to keep herself abreast of developments in this field. Accordingly, Asha Jain has been upgrading her skills and introducing new therapies and treatments.

The Vizag woman has, therefore, without doubt realised the fact that personal grooming and beauty care, is an essential ingredient of every woman's existence and is nothing to feel guilty about. She is working towards it and no one perhaps will be able to deny her, her place in tomorrow's world when the New Woman emerges.

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