April 6, 2013 6:06:13 PM
One of my favorite pinch-me moments came some years ago when I met the late Vidal Sassoon, an icon in the world of hairdressing. It was snowing in the Windy City where I was attending a national beauty show, and as I wrestled with my tangled Burberry scarf and Veronica under one arm, I rushed into a crowded lobby. Veronica was the name I gave my chestnut brown mannequin which would later become blonde, but that's another story.
I glanced over one shoulder to see the flashes of cameras surrounding a diminutive figure, chic with a tailored black leather motorcycle jacket and blinding white hair. Veronica and I pushed our way to the front of the crowd only to realize it was the one and only, "If you don't look good, we don't look good" Vidal. I have decided that we are now on a first name basis since we got up close and personal, if only for three minutes.
The legendary man was in town to be honored with a prestigious award and was being positioned by his handlers for press interviews. I grew up mesmerized by the flawless swing bobs that defined an era, and he defined those bobs. For crying out loud, my mama even had a burgundy Vidal Sassoon hair dryer with nozzle and attachments.
Standing between two ferns, a simple country boy from rural Mississippi posed for a snapshot with this inspiration in the midst of a swarm of media and hundreds of admirers. I knew I would never forget my moment in time and a few words of conversation with a man who literally gave birth to glamour. As I turned to walk away, I knew this was just like that day in second grade when I had to think fast. Miss McCaskill asked for a volunteer who could freehand a Smurf for the classroom door. "Me!" I shouted, and before Lela Jean Hubbard and all my other classmates could even open their mouths, I had made the most of the moment.
And, you see, with that same fervor when I met Vidal, I had pulled out my disposable camera purchased earlier at the airport gift shop, pushed my way to the front of the crowd while holding Veronica, sidestepped at least two of his assistants who had other plans for me (like having me escorted out by security perhaps), and demanded to meet my hero. "We don't have time for any photographs as Mr. Sassoon is already late," a woman barked at me. I gave her that same pouty face with puppy dog eyes which my mama and Miss McCaskill had seen far too many times.
Long story short, my "charm" worked its magic, and I put my arm around a hairstyling giant, smiled and had light chit chat, most of which I do not remember because of the excitement, and had our photo taken by that same assistant. Then he went his way, and Veronica and I went our way to the color class which had brought us there in the first place. But I have carried his trademark saying with me into my work: if you don't look good, well, I don't look good. And being beautiful really isn't too much to ask, is it?
Former Columbus resident David Creel owns Beautiful With David salon in Jackson and has 20 years experience in the beauty industry. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.