Transforming a beatnik. It’s no more difficult than discovering the hidden beauty that lies under the greasy unturned skin of any woman who hasn’t surrendered a whole morning at least once a week to the experts.
So states the narrator in this funny piece of British Pathé newsreel footage from 1963. The premise here is simple. A young, cigarette-puffing, black-haired, black sweater and jeans-clad “beatnik girl” walks into a beauty salon that specializes in “teaching teenagers how to make the best of themselves” and, for better or worse, comes out looking like a new a woman.
‘Beatnik Girl,’ Pre-Makeover
After snubbing out her smoke, the soon-to-be transformed foxy finger-snapper bounds in through the front door and a team of of beauticians start to work some magic. After rubbing an egg concoction into her hair and putting it up in curlers, they lay in on some heavy facial treatment. This includes a facial massage, pads being placed over the eyes, the application of a plastic mask, and the brushing on of anti-wrinkle cream and hot wax.
By the time they get to the “oxylation spray” and some new shiny pink lipstick the narrator speculates that:
By now you’d give anything to be back in your leather jacket with your unkempt hair, wouldn’t you?
At the end of the clip, our former beatnik elegantly walks down a wooden staircase under a chandelier in a glistening new dress, donning maybe a slightly lighter hair color and looking like an entirely different person from the one who came through the front door a little while earlier.
‘Beatnik Girl,’ Post-Makeover
I don’t know about you, but I think she looked way cooler as a beatnik.
via Weird Universe