A 17-year-old madam, Kabul's beauty school and more

Afghan women can make up to $200 per haircut.


Tracy Clark-Flory
April 10, 2007 1:21AM (UTC)

Washington Post: A new study suggests that one out of three U.S. women diagnosed with ovarian cancer doesn't receive the full treatment that is recommended. "Minorities, women who live in low-income areas, elderly women [over 70] and those who live in rural areas are significantly less likely to get comprehensive care compared to those women who don't meet those [criteria]," said Barbara A. Goff, the study's lead author.

ABC News: When is a beauty school a feminist venture? Possibly when the school is located in Kabul, Afghanistan. American-born Deborah Rodriguez, a hairdresser and author of "Kabul Beauty School," traveled to Afghanistan in 2002 with an aid group. But her beautician skills were so in demand she decided to stick around and open a beauty school. A haircut can run as high as $200 in Kabul and that kind of income can be life-changing. "When they're bringing in $200, $300, $400 a month into their household, maybe the husband might not beat them," Rodriguez said. "They have a little more control over their destiny, which is so important."

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To the obvious question of why beauty salons are so sought after in a country where women often cover their hair or faces, Rodriguez says: "These women are so meticulous with their hair, with their makeup always -- they really try to outdo each other completely." Which, I guess, supports the argument that women dress for other women, not men. Or that we are superficial, frivolous creatures.

Eschaton: Atrios hand-picks an interesting reader response to the New York Times' recent sympathetic profile of a handful of well-heeled teenage girls facing pressure to be perfect:

"Although I admire their dedication, [the girls profiled] seem like the kind of 'perfect' girls I loathed in high school. I'll break it down this way: while perfect girls got to attend youth group, play tennis, take AP classes (my school only offered two), be in the student government, plan proms and get straight A's, since the age of 15 I had to balance a full-time job with classes and a disruptive, sometimes violent family life ... I'm no longer a senior in high school and I don't have to watch scores of personality-challenged, lily-white rich kids ship off to Harvard like calves to the slaughter. I'm proud that I not only worked hard in high school, but managed to maintain a sense of myself."

Associated Press: A 17-year-old girl in Illinois was arrested for running an escort service out of her house. Her first mistake: Advertising her services on Craigslist. Last year, the girl and her mother were arrested in a prostitution case but the charges were dropped.


Tracy Clark-Flory

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