Going Ham at Beauty World
One Saturday evening, a bunch of friends from out of town were in Durham for this huge benefit dance party, so we decided to take them to Beauty World.
I live with a bunch of my friends in Durham, North Carolina. We all fled here half a year ago to escape the conservative yuppie culture that was taking over the town we were living in at the time. Durham has been a known hub for Southern queers since the 1950s, so it was a clear choice for us. Not long after moving here, we were taken to the infamous and locally adored beauty supply store Beauty World. It’s a slice of heaven – what my friend describes as the “one-stop shop, the K-Mart for every fag, hag, and drag in North Carolina.” Beauty World has something for everyone planning a crazy night out. My crew of friends are notorious for bringing the nast to the dance floor, so this place is a real asset to us.
All of us had gathered at my house to get ready. As we were trying to figure out what we were gonna wear to the party, everyone seemed to be experiencing some sort of fashion crisis – like a group of middle schoolers before the big 7th grade dance, but gayer. Every piece either didn’t fit right, was too dull, or was in serious need of fresh accessories. One of us suggested that we all go to Beauty World. “What in the hell is a Beauty World?” one of our out-of-town friends asked. “Shit bitch! Has no one taken y’all yet? Okay, you’re in for a real treat, let’s do this shit!” Our motley crew of fourteen freaks and queers loaded up into cars, and drove the half mile down the street to our beloved beauty store.
Upon entering the 10,000-square-foot store, Savannah gathered everyone at the entrance.
“Alright y’all, listen up. The shoe department is overpriced and ugly– except for the Doc Martens rip-offs – and the same goes for the makeup and swag by the counter. To find real bargains you gotta dig deeper. And although half the store is wigs, you wanna stay away from those until you can afford the investment. There are three aisles filled with makeup and nail polish for a dollar ninety-nine. And when you’re ready to move on to jewelry, ignore all that “gold plated” shit locked in cases and find me in the ninety-nine-cent earring aisles between the incense and the body suits. The back right corner is where you’ll find the beanies, balaclavas, shoe laces, pleather, leggings, fitteds, and fishnets. Let me know if you need help finding the section with magic oils, candles, and stuff from the eighties– you gotta kinda sit on the ground and look between shelves to notice it. Oh, and the entire middle shorter aisles of the store is bulk product for hair salons and barber shops, it’s great if you want natural oils and butters.”