A few days later I saw Bev out at the Pink House (that would be Liaisons, for the uninitiated) and she told me she had a friend who would be the perfect candidate for a Divas makeover. Her friend was Michelle, who, it turns out, fits more lesbian stereotypes than I knew existed. She was coming to visit Bev for the weekend. Michelle lives in Tennessee with her two dogs, drives a Jeep Wrangler, has a butch haircut -- and, best of all, she's a UPS driver. I hear brown is in for lesbians this year -- as it was last year and, oh, the decade before. Michelle was agreeable and arranged for Michelle to be our first Divas for Dykes makeover.
As I pull up to Bev's house, someone steps out to greet me. Is it a man or women? Well, I'm not sure, but at least I'm being greeted with an enthusiastic wave. The person before me is indeed, Michelle. She's wearing a backwards baseball cap, cutoff flannel pants, a dirty white T-shirt, knee-high white socks and Adidas soccer sandals. I jump from my Diva Mobile, better known as the white Miata I've named The Heartbreaker, and run to hug her with tears of pity in my eyes. I'm worried now, because I don't know if I can make this girl over. There doesn't seem to be a lot to work with, but everyone has potential, right?
As I get to know Michelle a little, I realize that we may have a crisis on our hands. We didn't schedule waxing, because we thought she waxed regularly -- but apparently Michelle had never had her eyebrows or other, um, crucial areas waxed! As any self-professed diva would do, I get through to my beauty salon, Dilworth Hair Co. on Park Road, on my cell phone's speed dial. I explain the situation, and not only do they fit us into their schedule, but they donate all the necessary waxing -- enough to open up a small candle factory.
We jump in our vehicles and head straight to Dilworth Hair Co. for our waxing. Lula assesses the situation and listens to our direction on how to shape Michelle's brow. After Lula has finished, we couldn't believe -- the Oh my God! kind of couldn't believe -- it was possible that simple hair removal could change someone's appearance so much. Michelle's eyes take on a whole new look with her new, beautiful, natural-looking brows. It's an amazing change, actually transforming the shape of her face. The waxing is completed -- including the removal of other hair in troublesome facial areas -- and Michelle is thrilled with the results.
With the waxing crisis averted, my fellow diva Heather and I take Michelle for the Number 1 priority: a new hairstyle. Michelle has very, very thick, dark hair. I'm not really sure how you achieve the style she had when I met her, but I'm guessing Super Cuts or a concrete mixer had something to do with it. But after intense evaluation by our stylist Scott at another salon, he determines the style that's right for Michelle. Our one criteria for Scott: low maintenance! We want something chic and cool for Michelle, but we know she'll only maintain the look if it's something she can style in under one minute. Which also means we decide not to do color, since Michelle isn't up for getting foils every six weeks. Foiled again! Scott finishes up and, yep, the haircut is amazing. Even I, diva extraordinaire, am surprised at what a difference a professional cut can make. This is great, we're already seeing the benefits of our work. But little did I know what was to come.
After a lunch break, and a light beer for Michelle and a Cosmo for me, another diva, Michele Z., joins us when Michelle is ready to move on to the final steps of her transformation. We head over to the Sloan boutique on East Blvd. Sloan has agreed to donate an outfit of choice to Michelle to help with her makeover. I've already decided from what I've learned about Michelle what her outfits should be. She'll need a fabulous pair of jeans and a simple, but fabulous, blouse. I explain this to Jill and Courtney, the owners of Sloan. We all agree that the only jeans for Michelle are Blue Cult. We also pick out a fabulous slim white button down with an adorable cap sleeve. Michelle goes into the dressing room with a number of additional pieces as well.
When she emerges in her Blue Cult jeans, our breath is literally taken away. Michelle has a fabulous butt! She hid it so well in her man jeans, who would have known except other lesbians with x-ray vision? Paired with the white shirt and some blue earrings, the look is classic, trendy, and in no way too lipstick for Michelle to pull off everyday. We even convince her to remove her sports bra for the evening and wear a real girl bra! After all, we're heading to a club later, not trying out for the WNBA.
Next we head up to an amazing little shoe boutique. Michele Z., the diva, finds the perfect shoe right away: a red leather mule, with just a two-inch chunk heel. We feel confident that Michelle can manage with this heel height for a night out, plus the bright red leather adds a little color to her outfit.
We're now on to the final step of the makeover: make-up. Michelle has very tan skin, which also makes her skin look dry and, dare I say, older than she really is. We head to Potion on East Blvd., where they've ironically put some Melissa Etheridge on the CD player, to see if Wendi can help us. Wendi goes to work quickly, and Michelle's skin looks instantly hydrated. Wendi reminds Michelle to always wear lip liner. I was amazed by the hair and brows, and I'm equally shocked by the make up -- Michelle's skin has done a 180 and now looks vibrant and beautiful, yet very natural.
We head back to Bev's house to put it all together. I make Michelle remove all six of her earrings and her beaded necklace. We wait anxiously to see the total impact of the makeover; then Michelle emerges from the bedroom and we're speechless. Is this the same girl we took under our wing this morning? She looks totally different and astonishing. But best of all, Michelle is thrilled with her new look! She is so happy, and this is a look she can easily maintain. We get ready to head out for a night on the town and to toast a job well done!
Divas for Dykes is a huge success on our first try. We're thrilled, and now we can't wait to bring fashion and style into the life of another lesbian in the near future!