It dawned on me that some readers might have no idea what I’m referring to. In broad terms, a Poppie is an Afrikaans word for a (generally) attractive, but superficial (and thus unintelligent) girl. This is normally paired with a healthy dose of pretence. So pretty much a bimbo.
That is a massive generalisation. I know this, because I have been labelled a Poppie countless times, purely by association – that’s what you get for studying beauty therapy instead of something ‘smart’. So, you see, when I’m poking fun at the Poppies, I’m also making fun of myself. By the way, you can read more about me here.
I cannot count how many times clients (who were paying hundreds of bucks for a professional therapist [moi] to perform a skincare or massage treatment on them), asked me something along the lines of: “So you don’t seem completely brain-dead, why did you become a beautician?”
At first I was defensive. A few years on, the question offended me. Another few years on, I started giving them creative answers out of lack of interest for explaining my choice of profession to strangers. With that came the freedom of not giving a flying fish, and just taking their money and smiling ever so politely. It was also my cue that I might not belong in ‘the industry’ any longer.
I have a good idea it’s our own fault that people in the ‘easy’ and ‘dumb’ professions get judged. Maybe if I persisted, and explained to those clients that the classes were more anatomy and cosmetic chemistry and dermatology than nail painting and blue eyeshadow, it would be better.
Maybe I was never meant to be in a profession full of immaculately groomed girls that are expected to be demure and well mannered? Maybe there are just, coincidentally, a massive number of poppies that chose the beauty profession because it seems easy? Maybe if tutors did not force students to wear silly skirts and stockings paired with fully painted faces every day, the view of the industry would be different?
I don’t really have answers, I just like asking questions.
So now, because I have a chip on my shoulder, you know what a Poppie is. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go paint my nails.
Because, you know, deep down I’m pretty shallow.