ARE HAIRDRESSERS WEAKLINGS? (Feb, 1937)
“when my muscles hardened, I began to enjoy the rough good fellowship of the other men in the gym” … and now he poses for magazines wearing a g-string. Why would anyone think hairdressers were
gay, erm I mean weaklings.
ARE HAIRDRESSERS WEAKLINGS?
By Gasper Puglisi
I AM a ladies’ hairdresser employed by one of the leading Fifth Avenue shops in New York City, a position that brings me in contact with the best people from society, stage, and screen. My position requires me to stand a good part of the day and above all to maintain a cheerful attitude at all times.
About a year ago last fall, and at various times previously, fits of mental depression came over me. I became morbid, grouchy and felt ten years older than I was and I commenced to look it. I also began to develop an inferiority complex. I had no confidence when I spoke to my customers because I seemed to feel that life had cheated me out of a robust, healthy body. I used to dread the winter because I caught cold frequently due to my low resistance. These colds and complications robbed me of the necessary vitality needed to maintain a natural cheery attitude.
By chance one day I read several amazing articles about physical rehabilitation. I became very much interested. I felt convinced that I had found the answer to all my troubles. The next day I joined the Brooklyn Central Y. M. C. A. I soon realized my physical incompetency in contrast with the athletes who enjoyed vigorous exercise and had built up splendid physiques. At first it was hard work, I’ll admit, but after a while, when my muscles hardened, I began to enjoy the rough good fellowship of the other men in the gym. After months of hard work I was able to hold my own with most of the men with whom I came in contact.
In all sincerity I want to say that not only have I built my body into something I would never have believed possible but I have redoubled my energy. I now face the world imbued with confidence in myself. The change in attitude and appearance seems both startling and amazing to my friends and customers. They all have complimented me on the change. I told them the formula, how simple it was and beneficial to mind and body. Besides benefiting me physically and mentally, it has helped me financially. My clientele increased and they ask for my personal attention.
I also wish to correct the popular opinion that hairdressers are weak and effeminate characters. In defense of my colleagues I wish to state that many of them are ardent physical culturists and are just as red-blooded as men in other walks of life. However, due to the confining nature of their work they must exercise in the gymnasium in order to retain their health and efficiency.
At the Y. M. C. A. I received training in various forms of exercise, each one intended to build up a special muscle. I find now that my arms and legs are hard and firm, my shoulders broadened and my stomach flat and firm.
I can’t find words to express my gratitude to the directors of the “Y” and the marvelous specimens of physical perfection there, among them
Charles Atlas, whom I will always admire. They were all kind and helpful in aiding me to regain my health and self-confidence.
I can find no better example than my own for the expressionâ€””A sound mind in a sound body.” There must be other men who feel as I didâ€”depressed, discouraged and run down, who for that reason are losing their place in society. I hope for their own sake they will read this letter and recognize the symptoms and take, as I did, the “cure” for their physical failings. I wish I could convince these men personally that it can be done.